(Written: 1/24/09, 18:10)
This morning we switched hostels (pictured in the previous entry) and set out for a Florentine adventure (which is nothing like an eggs florentine sandwich, for those who were confused). The man at our hostel gave us a map because Rick Steve’s cartoons can only take you so far. The first thing was did was buy our very expensive coffees in preperation for our big climb to the top of the Duomo. It was €8 and 463 steps and well worth it. Even though it wasn’t a clear day, the rain stalled for us and the fog settled snugly over the mountains as Florence showed off it’s grey streets and orange rooftops for us. We also got to get close to the incredible fresco inside the Duomo’s dome (above). I can’t even attempt to describe everything that was depicted there, but there was story after story; demons, monsters, skeletons, angels, men. Everything painted vividly on this domed ceiling.
The thing about most of Italy so far is that it’s beyond pictures and words. How can I show you the blanketed landscape while making you feel the feelings I feel here? Fear of tumbling down off the dome, joy of basking in the beauty and being in this place on this earth, loss for this moment and it’s brief existence which will slowly melt and fade in my memory and may never be shared again with the others I love… It’s complicated, this beauty, so distant from home but so touchable now. I can stick my fingers in it and make it what I want with the limits of the resources I have with me.
I didn’t know until today that this David was as in David & Goliath. And it’s a little ironic, I think, that this David was so huge and so majestic (2-3 times the size of a real man) when in the story he was so small.
We took our time getting to the Galleria dell’Accademia, shopping and strolling through the Piazza San Marco, and even peeking at an art show nearby. In the gallery we took our time too, looking at the instrument collection and the other paintings.
When we could do nothing else, we walked down the hallway, flanked with unfinished Michaelangelo sculptures. I carefully avoided looking at the end of the hall, taking in each half-formed stone, for contrast and build up, really. Then I finally turned to see the grand and giant David, elegantly standing under a dome surrounded by his admirers. I looked at every bit of him, especially taking notice of his hands and feet, so overwhelmingly huge. It wasn’t so crowded because of the time of year but it was so worth seeing. I obviously didn’t take a picture (above) because that’s so illegal, but if I had, it wouldn’t have captured the size or splendor in the least. No picture that I’ve seen has. After that it was just a little more shopping and back to the hostel for a little relaxation and a lot of journaling.