It undoubtedly had something to do with jet lag and the near absence of sleep for two days as we traveled. But it felt like a glorious celebration of vacation.
|How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.|
|A tether ring|
There were many small but delightful finds, such as a marble plaque memorializing Elizabeth Barret Browning or the tether rings set into the stone walls. Each of these has its own face -- the work not of a sculptor, but of a blacksmith. Functional art for a function that no longer exists.
We walked by the Medici's Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens, but decided to wait until we have an entire day to enjoy them. Which way? To the Ponte Roma (the gate in the old city wall that led to Rome), of course. But that decision called for gelato (following a more substantial pizza and a corneto sandwich).
|The perspective mastery of Masaccio|
Nearby was the Basilica di Santa Maria del Carmine. This is the launching point for 3-D (my current academic focus). Masaccio completed a series of frescos in the 1420s that astounded the art critics of the day. Initially he painted a large scene (top) that was the first known use of realistic shadows in natural perspective. The lighting in the painting was as if it came from the large window over the altar.
He kept improving on his new form. Shadows and size in the lower fresco fooled the eye into thinking the faces and limbs of the saints actually stood out from the wall. It was dark and hard to photograph, but I want to learn more about this young artist and his colleagues who adorned the chapel. Smart History has an excellent video explaining the significance of Masaccio.
Finally, to home -- by way of the Conad Supermarket. About the size of a 7-11, but super by urban standards. We are enjoying the ability to explore local foods in our own kitchen. When we finally made it home, Cecile made a feast of fresh tagliolini pasta with bolgnese sauce and lots of extra mushrooms. With a side of crusty bread, of course.
We walked off our meal with an even more leisurely stroll down to the Ponte alle Grazie, the nearest bridge over the Arno to us. A pocket park next to the bridge has a fascinating modern scupture of St. John the Baptist, patron saint of Florence. We watched the sun go down over the famous Ponte Vecchio and almost reluctantly came home so I could edit photos and write this memory.
Buona notte. Bed is calling.