Firenze is Art


botticelli

A Repost from 2012


About ten years ago, my wife and I landed a brief teaching opportunity in Florence, Italy. We were jointly teaching a group of college students in a study abroad program. Of course, if one is in Europe for any length of time, it is impossible not to travel, and we led the students to as many sites as we could reasonably fit in and around Italy.

When we first arrived in Florence where we had not visited previously, we were anxious to see the sights. Our tastes were not always compatible, so we took the time to go our separate ways through the city and agreed to meet up at a certain spot before lunch. We decided to rendezvous at a small church close to an outdoor café we scouted out earlier.

Florence itself is “art.” It is a living museum. I am particularly fond of Renaissance architecture, so I wandered through the city's historical buildings all morning.

When it was time to meet my wife, I arrived at the Church of Ognissanti, the burial site of the Vespucci family. Carol had not yet arrived, so I walked through the church and its interior chapels. About fifteen minutes later, my wife caught up with me and began to relate enough stories about her morning in Florence to last a lifetime. We were extremely excited, and I was not paying attention to where I was going.

As we talked for a few minutes still exploring the church while conversing, we agreed that Florence has to be the most artistic city in all of Europe. I specifically remember my words: “You have to watch where you walk. You never know what you are standing on. It could be a famous monument.”

After uttering those lines, we looked down simultaneously and realized I was standing on the grave of Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as the famous Italian painter of the Early Renaissance, Sandro Botticelli.
 
Indeed, the city of Firenze is art. Visitors find masterpieces and historic monuments everywhere. But be careful where you walk!


Comments

  1. What a delightful story and unforgettable adventure for you both!

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    1. Karen: Thank you. It certainly was a surprise.

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    1. Liza: Thank you, Liza. It is a good memory.

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  3. What a great adventure! Another adventure to your collection! I love these stories.

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    1. A-M: I am glad. We certainly have enough of them!

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  4. Florence is the art capitol of our lives. Walking the city, sitting at the cafes, standing on the Ponte Vecchio, turning the corner at the museum and being blown away by Michelangelo's David, then the slaves still entombed in blocks of granite, And the Ruebens- with lunch and vino at Little Harry's before catching a nap at La Villa Medici before a late dinner--heaven. Glorious. The city and its art around every corner brings tears to my eyea some forty years later. It was a city filled with precious moments. If anyone hasn't been, they have to put it on their bucket list before skydiving.

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    1. Linda: Oh, wow. For an artist, this city is the ultimate. I have a little tale about the Ponte Vecchio too. I was standing on it while my wife took a picture and I looked out to see a little jewelry store with my mother's maiden name on the door. We walked across the street and sure enough the owners were distant family members. What a city!

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  5. As I was reading this one, I kept thinking, "I've heard this story before. Maybe JJ and Carol told it to me in person." Then I looked at the very small print under the title... repost from 2012. Well, it was just as good the second time around!

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    1. Robin: Carol probably did repeat the story in person. It was quite a memory.

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  6. I love that story! Botticelli not only at eye level, or at your feet - no: under your feet :-) I agree with you on the utter loveliness of Firenze, and think you both were very lucky to enjoy a job-time spent in Italy.

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  7. I posted a HERE'S TO YOU on Friday. I dedicated something to you:)

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  8. What a wonderful story, JJ! As always, you had impeccable timing! We visited Florence on a cruise a few years ago. It was exactly as you described it, and I wish we had more time there.

    Julie

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