Follow by Email!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 5, 2013: Renaissance Bling

Today turned out to be a fabulous day! I met a new friend, and it was really meaningful because this is the person who had recommended the company to rent apartments from in Florence. My friend's mother, Pam, is the reason I am staying on Via Delle Pinzochere! Pam decided to come to Florence in August and we just had to meet up.

We started the morning by going to the Sant'Ambrogio Market, where Pam has all of these amazing friends that are vendors. It was so fun to see her interacting with her old pals and buying the food that she needed for her amazing cooking in Firenze! We then walked over to San Marco, which was a church that I have always walked by but never went in. What a mistake it was to pass by such an amazing church, which is really a museum.


The museum occupies a vast area of the Dominican convent of San Marco and preserves much of its original atmosphere. Founded in 1436 and designed by the architect Michelozzo, the convent played an important role in the cultural and religious life of Florence, especially at the time of Savonarola.

The museum boasts many paintings of Fra Angelico, one of the great artists of the Renaissance, who frescoed extensive parts of the convent. Other works by Fra Angelico were assembled here in the 20th century, resulting in a remarkable collection of the artist's works.

There is also an important collection of 16th-century paintings including numerous works by Fra Bartolomeo. The museum has a section devoted to fragments of sculpture and architecture from buildings of the city centre which were demolished in the 19th century.

We were amazed at the large number of monks' cells, and each one had a different fresco painted inside. Some were quite disturbing, strange, and some were quite beautiful. We noticed that in the paint, there seemed to be a kind of shimmer, especially on important parts of the pieces such as angels' wings. We joked that even the Renaissance liked their bling!

We then shopped around, and I purchased a much too expensive but amazing jewelry set of Murano glass. This store quickly became my favorite in Florence! Armando Poggi


After a little break during siesta time, we met up again and ate a great dinner at Cinghiale Bianco, a restaurant across the river. I've been wanting to try it ever since we walked by it a few weeks ago, and Pam was interested in going because her kids ate there on a previous trip to Florence. It was yummy! Cinghiale, in Italian, means wild boar, so much of the menu featured items with wild boar in it. Delish!

We had the essential gelato from Santa Trinita and had a nice walk home. We are planning to meet again for drinks or dinner, and I am so happy that I made yet another friend in Florence!

For the next three days, I will be savoring every moment. It's time to go home, and I am ready. I am starting an amazing job in the Fall and am itching to get to work. This has been going on for the past two weeks, and I can finally announce that I will be a Co-Band Director with Sean at McCarthy Middle School, teaching 5-8 Band and 5th Grade General Music. This has been a dream for a while, and I'm thrilled to be joining the band faculty in Chelmsford full time. I did a lot of soul searching, and went through some very heavy emotions while I was making the decision to leave South Row. After some tears and tough emails that I had to write, I made my choice and I am ultimately happy with it. I found out about the job opening two weeks ago, and when I read the text, my white wine spilled everywhere and I was pretty much a hot mess! This is going to be a great job and I can't wait to start teaching instrumental music with one of my close friends. This certainly made my trip much more memorable!
Frescoes in San Marco 
Beautiful blues

One of many monk cells

Hallway of monk cells

Amazing painting of Piazza Delle Signoria. Now, we stroll through the piazza, eating gelato, listening to music, and enjoying life. Then, they had public executions in the middle of the piazza! Remember this scene for the last two pictures in this blog post.


My dear friend Caroline's old apartment door in Firenze!

Hands down, my favorite Florentine doggy. He was sleeping, but woke up when he was being swept on!

And of course fell right back asleep.

This stone carving is on the bottom right hand side of the Palazzo Vecchio if you're looking at it in Piazza Delle Signoria. Can you see the grey stone's profile of a man? Legend has it that Michelangelo was standing in this spot while observing a public execution going on. He had his hands crossed behind his back, but was secretly carving the face of the man being executed! Thanks so much to Pam for telling me this!

Amazing to think he was just standing there, watching someone burn or hang, and carved his face with his two hands behind his back. I marveled at this! And I have walked by it thousands of times and never knew to look for it. That's the amazing thing about Firenze...the secrets, and they are everywhere!

No comments:

Post a Comment