We’ve been having a fabulous time in Florence this last week and we’ll be sorry to leave it. We may come back at the end of the month instead of going back to Rome, or we may just make an extended stay in Siena (the only city that has a crayon named after it). There are of course, many highlights in this city. The statuary from the renaissance is everywhere and is both beautiful and frequently violent. As a former history student I am familiar with much of what occurred in the renaissance, but to see it all again is really inspirational and makes one wonder if humanity will ever again have such a shift of consciousness, knowledge, technology, and art, all simultaneously. However, although many things came together during the renaissance I wasn’t aware (until I saw all these statues) that the late fifteen hundreds were known as the time of the Great Clothing Shortage. All of these statues are naked! Further in the art they’re all looking at heaven, not in their closets, so apparently they may not have been smart as they are cracked up to be.
It is also apparent that when the Italians finally addressed their clothing shortage they focused (for some reasons unknown to the historians) on leather gloves, handbags, and shoes. This appears to have been codified in later Italian zoning laws that require a shoe store every hundred paces. It also now seems de rigeur for everyone to wear a scarf no matter what the weather. Perhaps they have a new-found shame of their necks. That’s OK, the last time the Italians were ashamed of a body part everybody ended up wearing fig leaves. Trust me, scarves are an improvement.
That said, I was really blown away by seeing Michaelangelo’s David. There are not many things I’ve seen in this world where the only word I could use to describe it was “Perfect.” But that statue truly takes your breath away. On top of that it was humbling. It explains why when you think back through human history you’re more likely to remember artists, writers, scientists, and other creators and explorers than you are likely to remember politicians. Additionally, I am convinced that when Michaelangelo was chiseling away on this marble he was under his breath humming Elvis’s “hunk-a-hunk of burnin’ love.”
It is also apparent from viewing all these statues that the Venetians did not practice circumcision (with the possible exception of David). When we saw this bas-relief we understood better why they preferred not to do this to their young men
We also had a chance to visit the Pitti Palace, home to the de Medicis, and we spent a considerable time in their gardens. Seeing as how the de Medici’s owned everything not taken by the Borgia’s you could say they lived well. Here are the fabulous Miss K. and Molly checking out the south lawn:
We were also able to capture a very rare moment when the statue of Neptune came to life and tried to spear a heron that was attempting to shit on him. I side with Neptune on this. Churchill had much the same feelings and insisted that there be an electric current running through the statue of him in Westminster to keep the birds off his dome.
As you know the de Medici’s fell on hard times. Although they were able to keep the palace, the china, and a few Donatellos they had to let go of most of the staff. One of the sad things on this trip was that we had a chance to meet the last of the de Medicis, Larry on his way out to move some rocks in the garden. He’s a nice guy but I thought he looked overwhelmed.
One final complaint about of all things the Italian gustatory experience. Can someone explain what’s up with those tiny, tiny cups of coffee? They’re served up like prescription medicine and you get so many teaspoons before they cut you off. Is anybody looking into this?
A couple of final shots because I couldn’t resist: