Saturday, November 13, 2010


Firenze Crest.  Source

Today, Mama and I got on the train (far too early, in my opinion) and headed off to Tuscany.  Specifically, we were going to Florence!  In Italian, Florence is "Firenze."  Dad couldn't come on the trip because he needed to rest; he has been sick since they got back from their last field study.

I slept on the train a bit of the way, but what I did see was FOG, and lots of it.  We were worried when we got to Florence because it was gray and cloudy, but it never did rain, luckily!  When we got there, we hurried off to meet our tour guide, and we walked into several churches and looked around the city.

I played the snob, leaning over to my mom and saying in a thick British accent, "This architecture is raaaather Romanesque, but look at the fan vaults.  It's has some devastatingly LOOOOVELY gothic qualities."

Ok, I didn't say it in a British accent.  But I REALLY wanted to.  It just doesn't feel right talking about features of architecture as just a lowly high school junior.  And I was probably wrong, anyway.

I got terribly excited farther along into our trip because we saw the church, house, and neighborhood of Dante Alighieri!  He wrote The Divine Comedy, and we saw the place where his beloved Beatrice was buried.  (Fellow Omnibus-students: coming to Europe really makes the curriculum come alive!)

We went the Uffizi Gallery, and they had so much lovely art.  I saw a lot of things that I had actually just studied this week.  My jaw nearly dropped when I saw a large print of the Annunciation, and I said to my mother:  "Mama!  I read this in sister Wendy's book on Monday!!"  Now, I'm not Catholic, but I highly appreciated this art.  It's just... breathtaking.  Lots of gold leaf and deep blues.... truly marvelous.  This one is my favorite, though we saw lots of images of the Annunciation.

We saw the one painting by Michelangelo that is in Florence (in which Mary's muscles are oddly pronounced), and lastly we walked through the Caravaggio exhibit.  It's obvious that Caravaggio was very talented, and we saw the Medusa, but most of his paintings are too grim for my tastes.

Caravaggio's Medusa.  Source
Mom, our British buddies, and I all went shopping during our two hour free time, and had a blast.  We bought lots of things, because Florence is known for their leather working and they have great street stands everywhere.  There was haggling, there was purchasing, there was strolling, and there was much happiness with all of our "winnings."

We finally met at the train station at around 7:15 if I recall, though I could be wrong.  I'm very tired.  But, it was a great day!  I really want to live there.  It's a beautiful place, and it's a lot less chaotic than Rome.  I also like the Romanesque qualities of the churches mixed with the Gothic pieces and extravagance.


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