Friday, November 19, 2010

"Your Face Looks Arabic"

The dome Frescos in the enormous Duomo in Florence.

Well, Firenze is an amazing place from start to finish. I started with coffee joined by a new friend I hope to get to know better. We scooted around the corner from my B and B and sipped warm coffee and shared life a bit. She is an amazing woman who works for Harvard's graduate program in Florence.

Then, Jill, Lynn and I headed for L'Acadamia and touched base with dear ole David. I was covertly taking a photo, sort of, of David with camera sans flash in my purse, because I remember when the plexiglass was not at the base and anyone could take a picture, or draw there, many years ago. Well, a fellow tourist came right up to me and said, "It's because of people like you that this museum will probably be closed soon. "

Wow. I want to publicly apologize to everyone on the planet for taking a photo of David. It was his backside by the way:-) I don't plan on selling my photos or reproducing them, so, forget about emailing me for anything. I give up on being a covert photographer of nude statues in Florence. I'm being serious. :-)

After the David Fracas, I soberly, dejectedly slumped into a chair that turned out to be a museum guide's chair. OK, so I got going, saw a ton of plaster sculptures in one room, and then lingered over the unfinished Michelangelo sculptures that stand in sharp rows leading up to David. Those were my favorites. I want to understand him; I want to know why he thought those creatures were waiting to be freed from the marble. It's a profound thought to think they were just there to be found.

I ended up at the museum shop and acted like an idiot and bought a David mug. Every morning, I will drink my Moroccan coffee and think of Michelangelo. At least, I did not buy the miniature David statue, although, I think Morocco needs it. Maybe.

How did this Fra Angelica get on my camera?
We then sloshed through the rain and made it to San Marco Museo. It is just wonderful because it houses simple, pastel-colored frescos created by Fra Angelico during the Middle Ages. Each monk's cell has a different fresco from the life of Jesus. The annunciation is my favorite. Jill secretly took many photos of the frescos, Lynn took one in the museum and I took zero pictures. :-) I am a recovered criminal photographer.

We were fairly heavy-laden with bookshop odds and ends, so we headed for the B and B to unload and massage our feet. 

Sanata Croce Church in Florence.
Back out on the cobblestones, we went through the main Duomo, decided to climb the 363 steps or whatever tomorrow morning before breakfast, and then we peeked into the Baptistry least I did... so I wouldn't have to pay the 4 Euro for the baptistry. I repent again.

Then Lynn and I headed for Santa Croce Church because I heard from a friend, Mary, that I had to sing Amazing Grace in the Medici Chapel, so I decided to give it a try. After wandering a bit, we made it to the facade of Santa Croce. Again, we paid and enjoyed a visual feast. 

After finally finding the chapel I was supposed to sing in, I lost my nerve and just enjoyed the beauty. There were several other tourists, and a guide explaining about Galileo's burial spot in the Medici Chapel. The church would not let him be buried in a cemetery, you know, the earth is round, no it's not, you're booted from church, so the Medici family stepped in and gave him a room off the Chapel for his spot.

Jill making marble paper.
After the Medici Chapel, we headed back for home(the B and B) to massage our feet and regroup. Jill and I then went out to make marble paper at a wonderful paper shop called Il Paprio. I just absolutely love that shop (business) because it is a throwback to the renaissance. The owner and I chatted, I told him I made marble paper with students in Seattle, and he gave me good tips.

Finally, the owner said, "If the paints are not working, just put them away and have a cappuccino," That makes a lot of sense to me:-)

I could go on, but, let me end for tonight by telling you of two small incidents. One, we told our waiter tonight that we taught in Morocco. The waiter weakly said to Lynn, "Your face looks Arabic." (She's from Carlyle, PA) He kind of ignored us and treated us poorly. It was the same place we had gone to the first night we arrived. We had such a good experience the first night. I calmly said to my compatriots, "What's happened to this place?"(I had my arms raised with long fingers holding a wine glass high into the air.) We laughed. How funny we were judging the place in just 3 days.

Two, we ended up at a bookstore that had books in English, and we stocked up for the winter in Morocco. I got Mansfield Park by Austin and a history of Italians called, The Italians. I also got," You can't Get Blood From A Turnip" because I had mentioned that to my boss. (Hopefully, she doesn't read my blog.)

The Duomo
We are now relaxing back at the B and B thinking about those steps up the Dome  - we climb at 8:30 AM. 

I have added some pictures of the dome frescos and a panel from the bronze doors from Girabaldi's doors of the baptistry. Such amazing art everywhere you turn here!

The frescos in the dome by Vasari and another artist.

A bronze panel by Girrabaldi as seen on the doors of the baptistry in Florence.


  1. Marcia, wonderful - thanks for taking us on the trip :) I was laughing at your covert operations...might have a few of those in my history as well ;) I think I was actually in that paper shop once - where is it?!
    I sure hope we can do something like this together one day! Rock on sista!

  2. Really Marcia, your blog is beginning to make "Under the Tuscan Sun" seem like a lame story!!! :o}
    Boy will you enjoy your morning coffees now!

  3. Bless you dear friends! Yes, we just climbed all 463 steps and saw Florence from the top. (Written Saturday morning.)