Firenze is Art
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!