Wednesday, May 18, 2011


We woke up extra early this morning, because a few of us took a day trip to Florence. 

We rode the train there. The Italian countryside is cinematic and beautiful.

Of course, we didn’t get to see nearly enough of Florence, since we were only there for the day, but we did get enough of a taste to know we loved it.

The David was unreal. Wait in the line for it, it’s worth it, and the copy outside the Palazzo Vecchio does not even come close. Michelangelo’s technique is perfect. The David is really the perfect piece of sculpture, and it will leave you utterly breathless.
Interestingly, the rest of the works in the Galleria Accademia were relatively mediocre. This is because the Accademia is really an art school, and it is a gallery for students to study.

I wonder what it had to be like to live during the height of the Renaissance in Florence, surrounded by people and culture and an insatiable thirst for knowledge.
*Musing of the Day* Could anyone living then really grasp the scope of what was going on? But I suppose that's like asking if we can really grasp the true scope of what's happening in society today; if we can tell how our actions and "progress" will end up influencing the course of history. Which, of course, we can't.

We visited the Uffizi museum, which is where such works as Botticelli’s Birth of Venus is housed, along with pieces by many of the masters, such as Titian, Tintoretto, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Durer, and Rembrandt, and many more. The Uffizi is huge and informative, and I would definitely recommend it.

With only a little bit of time to spare, we traipsed over to the Palazzo Pitti. This was built by a man who wanted to rival the Medici family, but a hundred years later the Medici’s bought the building and moved all their collections into it. So they still won in the end. We managed to see some of the gardens (gorgeous view of Florence) and a brilliant costume exhibit before we had to scamper back to the train station and to Roma.

Today was a bit expensive, and a lot of travel time for not nearly enough time in the city, but it was totally worth it. While Rome is a historical center, Florence, or Firenze, as the Italians call it, is a center of art and learning. We humanities students pretty much had a cow.