Thank God for Fridays.
From Monday through Thursday James and I are working on business ideas, blog posts, photo updates, resume building. But on Friday, we take the day off for a self imposed day of touring.
This Friday in Florence, we hit the big one: Michelangelo's David. James and I (and Anthony) read The Agony and the Ecstasy---a biography of Michelangelo's life. It was brilliant, and we highly recommend it (p.s. I just read that Seattle's Art Museum has 10 original sketches from Michelangelo). If you have read the book, you have read the description of Michelangelo's David: the process of making it, the intent in the sculpting, his study of the human body and his portrayal of youth-becomes-man through David. It was remarkable. We circled The David, trying to memorize every vein, and envisioned the artist covered with marble dust while he aggressively and deliberately placed each muscle and bone and tendon.
It is humbling and surreal to be in a city whose artists created so many works, defined history and reinvented art, dedicated their lives, sweat and sanity to their passion...
... it makes you visit and revisit your own passions and talents. What are we contributing? Sigh.
Besides a visit to The Academia, which houses Michelangelo's original David (a copy of The David stands in the Piazza Signoria---where the original used to stand), James and I had a splendid lunch at a nearby cafe. A bottle of wine, some rigatoni with rabbit, white fish baked in tomato sauce... long Friday lunches are key to our touring success.
You will note a photo of me in Piazza Signoria, mimicking a statue by Giambologna (ironically, this Piazza has the copy of Michelangelo's David, and this original Giambologna; and in The Academia is the reverse: the original David and a copy of Giambologna's statue). It is a little nuts, but once you have been here long enough, gone to the Bargello and Gardens, toured the Uffizi and visited the many churches... you see originals and copies and copies of copies... it take great concentration to keep it all straight!
We cut it a little short this past Friday: by 2 we had to jet home, as I had an Italian class (taking a few hours to push some of the lingo into my brain... just to keep up with the boys). All in all, a day well spent.