Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Not dead, just in Florence

Everyone who told me nearly a year ago I needed more than two days in Florence was entirely right.

My opening bid of four days may have to be upped: this place is unfairly burdened with history and art. Yes, it is worth climbing 347 steps to the top of the Duomo and it is worth paying 9.50 euro to see the original of Michaelangelos David (excuse the typos, I cant find the apostrophe key in Italy).

David, despite the "life" size copies littered all over Florence, still hits youl ike a hammer blow when you round the corner in the Accademia. Even better, the hall leading up to it is lined with the "prisoners" - Michelangelos unfinished, partly "uncovered" sculptures. Davids expression is just so richly ambiguous; is it the eerie calm of a man about to enter comabat against impossible odds, or a restrained and serious appreciation of his victory (or humility at the role of divine intevention/inspiration)? His expression is profoundly human, and yet touched with an alien nobility.

In other news, it is hot here. Damn hot. So much for my fears that it might be too cool in the evenings in a two man tent.

I also teamed up with a random buch of English speakers for nights one and two here, all but me were American. The oddest moment was undoubtedly drinking with Americans, in a Florentine Scottish-themed pub, being served by a Spanish waitress.

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