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Firenze, Italia

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Taylor Mathis

on 2 December 2012

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Transcript of Firenze, Italia

My trip to Firenze, Italia By: Taylor Mathis June 4th We depart from Little Rock. I'm nervous. Excited. And full of anticipation! June 5th We arrived in Florence around 4:00 pm Italy time. (9:00 am U.S. time). We jumped into a taxi and handed the taxi driver a card that had our apartment address on it. We then dashed through the streets of Florence like mad men. I had been in a cab in New York so I had already been introduced to the frightful rollercoaster that is public transportation but I could tell that Grace, who was sitting beside me, was scared to death. Our driver was rather friendly and kind enough to point out a few key landmarks such as the Duomo. We arrived at our apartment quickly and were immediately thrown into orienation and told by the Florence and abroad office the do's and dont's of our stay there. We were greeted with a package of sphagetti noodles, sauce, and warm milk on the kitchen table. After orientation we changed out of the clothes that we've been wearing the past few days and gathered as a group to head up to the michealangelo piazza. While there we gazed at the city that we would be getting to know in the upcoming month. We were all blown away at the vast beauty of our surroundings. June 6th June 7th June 8th The larger the image size, the more significance that image is supposed to portray to the viewer. Before linear perspective was discovered and mastered, important individuals like Mary and Jesus were painted much larger than the individuals surrounding them. This was done in order to display the importance and holiness of such individuals. We met at the Duomo steps at 8:00 a.m. in order to head over to the Santa Maria Novella church. There we saw the holy trinity. In Masaccio’s Trinity, in order for the patrons in the painting, whom are closer to the viewer, to be smaller than Mary, St. John, Jesus Christ, and God the father, Masaccio placed the patrons on a lower level than the others. Masaccio also had the two patrons kneeling; this helped the patrons look to be even smaller and lesser significant than the important individuals surrounding them. It would have been problematic if Masaccio had painted the two patrons any larger than the others because this would have degraded the others’ accepted holiness. The church and the people of the time would have found it appalling to see a painting that displayed patrons whom were larger than Mary, St. John, Jesus Christ, or God the father. The same goes for Mary and St. John; they are smaller than Jesus Christ because they are of less significance. This is because the more important or significant someone was, the larger they were to be painted.
Another example of this can be found in Ghirlandaoi’s frescos in the Tornabuoni chapel. Like Masaccio, Ghirlandao uses the technique of various levels and individuals kneeling to display the appropriate sizes of people based on their significance, although Ghirlandao’s use is far more elaborate and sophisticated (this was probably a result of it being 50 years after Masaccio’s Trinity). Cinque Terre June 8th-11th June 12th June 13th June 14th June 15th Venice June 16th-18th June 19th June 20th June 21st June 22nd June 22nd-25th June 26th June 27th June 28th June 29th Florence This day marked our first taste of the metro system in Italy. Riding the train for the first time was definitely an experience. The train that we got on had no air conditioner which made it almost impossible to breathe and due to some of the seats being faced backwards, several people started feeling a bit nauseous. Nevertheless, we arrived at Siena in one piece!! Once we arrived we had to travel up several steep escalators due to Siena being a hill top town. At first we just walked around and explored the streets. We took a quick break for lunch and many of us opted for this grab and go pizza place where I chose a mushroom and bruschetta slice and a Nestle peach tea. After lunch we headed over to the square and took pictures and then headed over to the duomo of Siena. It was breathtaking. Afterwards we explored the crypts and then traveled up a tower so that we could have a view of the entire town which concluded our day. It took us 3 hours on a train to arrive to Cinque Terre but as soon as we saw the first glimpse of the Mediterranean we knew it was worth it. We got off at the train station which had the most beautiful view of the water anyone could ever imagine. We then climbed the 382 steps that led to the town. I quickly regretted packing a 20 pound suitcase for the weekend. Once we caught our breath we found our hostel. Inside had two beds and a cot which had to make do for 9 people, but we didn’t care. We were in the most beautiful place in the world! We had a wonderful dinner that Friday night. I had Gnocchi for the first time with pesto sauce and had some red wine to go with it. Saturday we traveled to Monarosa so that we could go swimming. I laid out in the sun for about an hour before I jumped in to the freezing water. Everyone was jumping off of the huge rocks so I went up there and jumped too! It took me about 30 minutes to get the courage to do it but I finally did. Once we were tired of swimming we went to go get dinner. I had this amazing dish of seafood spaghetti and then we went back to Corniglia. The next day we had planned to go hiking but a group of girls decided to check out another beach instead. We went to Monaroso where it was a mixture of sand and pebbles. We laid out all day and had a nice dinner there. I had stuffed tortellini with ham sauce. After dinner we ran to the train station because it was pouring down rain and we ended up getting on the wrong train home. So we had to sit and wait for the next train for 40 minutes. But we met some cute Italian boys who bought us wine while we waited. Taylor, Andie, and I left for Venice 10:00 Saturday morning, but we didn’t sleep Friday night so when we arrived at our hotel we passed out for a few hours. We grabbed dinner at a place right beside our hotel after our nap and then headed over to the square. At night the square is beautiful. It is filled with people and music. I was so wrapped up in the moment that I grabbed Andie and began dancing with her. Venice is a very romantic city. I wouldn’t want to go back without bringing my significant other along with me. The next morning was father’s day but unfortunately I didn’t have any way of contacting mine. But we went shopping instead at all of the neat little stores that Venice offered. It was incredibly hot though. Up until this weekend Italy had been very pleasant but it had to be in the upper 90s this weekend. Today we went to Pisa and saw the leaning tower. We attempted to take a few pictures that made us look like we were holding the tower up but none of them were really convincing. We grabbed lunch in Pisa and it was delicious. I had spaghetti with eggs and bacon sauce. After lunch we headed to Luca. Andi, Anna, and I were actually outside of the city wall because we were told the wrong directions so I didn’t actually get to experience the charming little town. We climbed the Duomo today and it was spectacular. Climbing through the narrow hallways and steep stairwells made you feel like you were traveling back in time. The grand paintings on the ceiling of the dome were my favorite. The dreadful depiction of hell seen when you looked up almost shook your bones. It was just so frightening to see this beautiful yet awful piece of work in front of you. Once at the top the view was amazing. You could see the entire city of Florence and even beyond it to Fiesole. We stayed up there for probably an hour or so and then headed to the museum. There we saw amazing sculptures like Mary Magdalene and the Michelangelo and Tiberio Calcagni. Today we ventured to the Accademia Galleria to see Michelangelo’s The David! Walking toward The David I had goose bumps all over. It was absolutely breath taking. There was also a section in the Accademia Galleria for modern art and I loved it! I sat in this particular room for about 30 minutes staring at several digital videos that were playing in sync with one another. There was also a piece by Andy Warhol there and I have always been a fan of Warhol’s art. All in all this day was one of the most enjoyable for me and where the art had the most effect on me. We took a day trip to Fiesole on this day. The bus ride up there was very nauseating due to all of the twists and turns but the view of Florence from the hill top was amazing! There we saw a Roman amphitheater which was really neat. Plays are still put on at the ampitheatre; we saw costumes and a place for the actors to change. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed on stage. Chris was very disappointed. Next to the amphitheater were these wood carved statues that were interesting. I attempted my first sketch on this day but it didn’t turn out very well. We all sat down next to the statues and discussed our favorite things about the trip so far up to this point. Afterwards we split off into groups and had lunch. I had ravioli stuffed with potatoes in a meat sauce. After lunch we all gathered again as a group and walked half way down to Florence. Once we were half way there most of us got on a bus to take us the rest of the way down. Today was a rather short day. We went to the Galileo museum and it was one of the coolest things I saw on the entire trip! They even had his teeth and a few of his fingers on display. After the museum we headed to the kebob place and had lunch. That night Andie, Anna, and I went out to Twice and had a lot of fun. We all slept until noon on Saturday. We attempted to go souvenir shopping but failed miserably. I did manage to find an outfit at H&M to wear that night. We went to club twice again. I met a really charming boy from Belgium and we flirted the night away. The club closed at 4:00 am but we weren’t ready to go home yet so we ventured to a place called Monte Carlo that closed at 7:00 am. I had never been to a place like Monte Carlo before. It was very dark inside and wall to wall with people. It had a huge projector that had music videos playing on it. It was mostly carpet on the floors and had four different levels to it. It had couches everywhere and was very nicely decorated. I really enjoyed it there but we left before it closed. The next night we went to the beer house club to watch the Italy vs. England game. The best way I can describe watching a soccer game in Italy is to say it is a religious experience. For our last day in Italy, we took a bus to the Medici home. It was a stunning place to visit and it was such a neat feeling being in a place that was once home to the most influential family in Florence history. We didn’t get a tour guide that spoke English which was unfortunate but Dr. Bryon did a wonderful job explaining everything to us. Once our tour of the Medici home was finished we set down in the court yard and talked about everything. Every one took a turn sharing with the group what they were most interested in writing their paper about. Then we took a bus back to our apartment and started getting ready and packing our things. We all went out that night to the beer house club to what the Italy vs. Germany game and then we went to club Twice. I was drunk and in a strange mood so I walked back early by myself. I’m glad I did because our apartment was still filthy and it was about 2:00 am and we had to be at the Duomo steps at 4:30 am. So I had to clean and do the dishes while probably being the drunkest I had been in Italy the entire time. But we got it done and arrived at the steps on time. Depart from Firenze :( My Daily use of Italian:
"Scuzi, El counto per favore?" My Daily Use of Italian:
Ciao! Come Stai? My Daily use of Italian:
"Piccalo kebob de pollo." Daily use of Italian:
"Molto Bene!" While walking through Siena, I tried my best to place myself in the shoes of someone who walked the same streets hundreds of years ago. There were several places that made this easier for me; for example the stairs that led to the cathedral were so grand that it made me feel like I was in the middle ages and of course the cathedral itself took me back as well. The narrow road way in Siena didn’t really compare to those of Venice but they did illuminate an ancient sort of vibe for me. I feel that living in Siena in present day must make the residents appreciate the history of their town and perhaps draws out a more traditional way of living for the people there. I know I would feel pride if I lived in a place that had so much history intact and I would do my best to preserve and appreciate such a place. The fresco by Giotto entitled St. Francis before the sultan trial by fire tells the story of St. Francis walking through a fire while the other priest are not willing to do so. In the painting, the sultan is pointing the priests to the fire and they turn away from it showing both a lack of faith and dedication. When comparing Gaddi and Giotto it is clear that Giotto had a more developed sense of depth and space in his paintings. Giotto created dimension by using foreshortening. Giotto’s technique influenced Masaccio a great deal but Masaccio was the first to use systematic linear perspective which places people at various levels in the painting in order to create accurate depth and perspective. Masaccio’s The Trinity was the first to use systematic linear perspective and the technique quickly influenced other painters. Masaccio’s innovation caught on more so than Giotto’s probably because Masaccio’s technique was so groundbreaking and allowed for the important figures in the painting to remain larger than the less significant figures; however, I would go as far as to claim that Masaccio’s technique was simply a continuation of Giotto because Masaccio was so greatly influenced by Giotto’s use of space and dimension that without Giotto, there probably wouldn’t have been the creation of systematic linear perspective. Trecento refers to the 14th century in Italian culture and art. When in the room dedicated to trecento, it was fairly obvious which altarpiece belonged to Giotto. Giotto’s use of light and shadows was far better than Duccio and Cimabue and the chair’s architecture gave the view more sense of depth than the other two pieces, but Giotto’s use of space is what mostly sets his painting apart from Duccio and Cimabue’s. The placement of the figures in the painting is more realistically convincing than the other pieces.
The three altarpieces compared to Michelangelo’s painting of the holy family seem so structured and, for the lack of a better term, boring. Michelangelo’s painting is beautiful and the bodies are twisted and flow together in a way that is wonderfully done and the depth is very evident when looking at the painting. The family is much larger and up close to the viewer while the figures in the back ground seem very distant and far off. The edges are soft while in the three altarpieces the edges are hard and rigid. Freud’s modern day equivalent to the two horses would be that of the Id and Superego. The Id could be thought of as the horse pulling forward out of an animalistic drive and desire for pleasure while the Superego is the horse rearing back as an aim to counteract the Id. Consequently, each horse must be balanced out by the Ego. The Ego tries to find middle ground between the Id and the Superego, or, as a parallel to Donatello’s Bust of a Youth, the two horses pulling in opposite directions.
I never found Brunelleshci’s and Ghiberti’s entries for the competition to select the artist that would forge the doors of the Baptistery, however, I found both panels on the internet and decided that I like Ghiberti’s panel much more than Brunelleschi’s. Ghiberti’s panel is much more elegant than Brunelleshci’s and flows better. Brunelleshci separates each figure on the panel while Ghiberti connects each figure which, in my opinion, is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Donatello’s David is a little hard to read but the first thing I noticed about him is how feminine he looks. His face is very soft with a little bit of a smile which communicates that he is very confident and proud. It almost seems like a welcoming look; like he is saying “come get me.” I know that the feather caressing his leg has thought to portray a sexual connotation and by seeing it for myself I can’t help but agree; it’s almost as if he is being a tad bit coy.
Turning to Verrocchio’s David, I instantly see a more masculine figure standing in front of me. His face has a very delighted expression on it like he is very happy with himself for just slaying Goliath. I think he is basking in the glory of his victory.
Michelangelo’s David is beyond words. Everything about him is beautiful; his size, his posture, his intense expression. I got goose bumps when I first saw him. As far as what he is feeling, I notice that his expression is so different from the other two Davids. His furrowed brow can be taken a few different ways but I see pain and extreme concentration that can only come from such an overwhelming task of defeating Goliath. Staring at his face almost makes me sad and I’m not sure why exactly. Maybe it is because I’m looking at something so beautiful with such a pained expression on his face. It just doesn’t seem fitting. First walking around the corner to where Michelangelo’s David stood, I felt as if I was walking toward something that only existed in legend. I couldn’t believe it was real and I was in the presence of it. It was the only thing in Italy that made me have goose bumps. I couldn’t tell that there was a huge gouge cut out of the middle of it at any point because Michelangelo did a perfect job; his David is absolutely flawless. I can’t tell where the gouge existed and I can’t tell it ever existed at all. The tool he used was labeled piano inclinato. Scavenger Hunt Photos Today we went to the San Lorenzo Church, San Marco Rectory and museum. The public frescoes which are intended to teach the illiterate biblical stories are much more obvious in their message than the frescos by Fra Angelico. Fra Angelico’s frescos possessed a quality that allowed the monks, who were the intended viewers, to have a more subjective interpretation of them. Teaching someone how to pray is more of a private, subjective matter than simply teaching someone well-known biblical stories.
Before coming to Florence I had heard of the ‘bonfire of the vanities’ but never really knew the story. It sounded more like a witch burning than a burning of sinful possessions. The original bonfire of the vanities resulted out of the intense spiritual concern of the Florentines at the time of the renaissance which led to a burning of paintings, musical instruments, and various other things that were thought to be sinful and not of God.
The building in the background of the Execution of Girolama Savonarola is the Palazzo Becchio which was home to the Medici family. The form of execution was first hanging and then burning at the stake.
I’m not sure how I would feel if I were visited by an angel just as Mary was in Fra Angelico’s The Annunciation, but my reaction probably wouldn’t be so calm and humbling as depicted in the painting I think the realistic aspect of Macchiaioli is how the pigments portray flickers of light. Each pigment has a slightly different shade than the one next to it which translates to the human eye a slight difference in the way the light hits it.
The statue of Bacchus in the Boboli gardens varies greatly from Michelangelo’s Bacchus. The Bacchus in the Boboli gardens is fat and is sitting on a turtle while Michelangelo’s Bacchus is long, slender and, even though off kilter, is standing on his feet. Today we took a trip to the Pitti Palace and then to the Boboli Gardens. It was a really beautiful day and it was need to see the large collection of artwork in the Palace. Today we revisited the Uffizi gallery to go back and take in the art work one more time before we depart from this wonderful place. I'm glad we did because just one visit to the Uffizi gallery isn't enough. I think most people believe that Galileo dropped objects off of the leaning tower of Pisa because of how convenient the tower would be in such an experiment, but historians have ruled out that this ever happened. Such an experiment would not have confirmed Galileo’s notion that heavy and light objects fall at the same rate due to gravitational pull.
Answering the question of whether or not Lucca needed a wall to defer attackers is a difficult one. We would need to know if they were ever attacked previous to building a wall and, if so, how often? But we will probably never know whether or not Lucca’s wall successfully defended against enemy invaders or if it never needed a wall in the first place. This reminds me of the Y2K computer bug because everyone got the antivirus even before Y2K were to take place. It never happened so it turned out that people didn’t even need the antivirus but I suppose it’s better to be safe than it is to be sorry. Brunelleschi, to take on the project of completing the dome must have been utterly and completely out of his mind. It takes a confident and ambitious genius to do what Brunelleschi did. In the presence of such an accomplishment I feel both inspired and intimidated. It makes you realize what great capacity humans possess but it also makes me realize how mundane my accomplishments are. It’s ironic really. Brunelleschi, in my opinion, is the definition of ‘Renaissance man.’ He believed in the human form; he believed that man possessed the ability to accomplish anything and that to me is what created the renaissance. Italian Flag My leather Journal I carried with me everywhere Locks of Love A dog at a restaurant Cuts of meat. Reminded me of the Razorbacks Cafe Latte Venice Clearly Americans. From the clothes to the elaborate picture taking. Funny sign This is what everyone looks like at the tower (not my picture!) Optical illusion. Linear Perspective Car models that I've never seen before My apartment is about here
(not my picture!) Garlic The streets after the feast of San Giovanni The view of the interior of my room The chalk work was amazing The roses were beautiful The pigeons enjoying a fountain Someone paddling in the Arno The End
Ciao Italia! I'm not sure which church we went to on this day but here is the journal entry that i wrote while sitting in the church: A nun's cell phone just went off while she was praying. She got up quickly and walked away. I had the most amazing night last night. Fashion week started here and we went down to the square to see everything. I've never experienced anything like it. I was in awe of the people and the fashion. We sat outside of this outdoor party/concert/fashion show. It was amazing to witness how these elite designers and momdels interacted with one another. Tonight we are getting dressed up and going back. There are people praying beside and its strange. People feel such intense emotions in places like this but I feel nothing. Today is the beginning to my last week here in Italy. It's hard to believe that 3 weeks have gone by. I'm disappointed in my journal. I wish I had more in here. I just want time to relax and gather my thoughts and recollect before going back home. This has been a crazy adventure to saw the least. I would just like to be by myself for awhile and process my experience here. I'm sitting by a beautiful view of the river and it breaks my heart that I will have to say goodbye soon.
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