La Dolce Vita: Gazelle Went to Italy Ya’ll

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Italy, Italia… however you spell or say it, wow! That place was nice.

Going to Italy made me realize the need for balance in my views on non-Western cultures.  With good reason, I didn’t focus on Western Civilization in College or beyond: There was so much that I didn’t know about the Arab World, Africa and Asia (so much I still don’t know). I can’t even begin to fill the pot holes on the road of knowledge about Latin America.

And yet, this trip left me in awe and amazed at…..drum roll please…. Western Civilization! ha ha…

It is a strange thing, I think. To be in awe of Italy and particularly Tuscany/Florence, where I went, the extent to which I am is weird. Yes, for me it’s weird.

I am not unfamiliar with Michaelangelo’s David.

Look at him. He’s beautiful.

But I wasn’t aware of not just how amazing it is to see this in real life, but to understand something about the amount of work that went into carving this.  The statue is anatomically correct (including the muscles and veins!)… Michaelangelo didn’t even get to pick a choice block of marble for this: He had to carve the David out of crappy product, making this feat even more amazing.  But the real kicker is how old he was when he did it: 27 years  old!

And um, yeah, here are the masterpieces he completed by 15 or so:

Yup 15

Yup…only 15!

But you know what, I could gush and gush about him forever… so let’s leave it at that… ha ha…

This trip just helped connect a lot of dots in history… I saw a shrine dedicated to Galileo (Florentine). I also saw the graves of ….. Leonardo Da Vinci (Florentine), Dante Aligheri (Florentine), Machiavelli (yup… Florentine) and Michaelangelo himself.

I saw some of the great works of artists whose names were familiar and unfamiliar, but their works pieces I had scene as I rustled through pages of white-washed history books.

It was amazing, exhausting and humbling. I have never really cared for visual art or museums. And I am surprised by the extent to which I connected emotionally with the pieces I saw (and most of which I could not take pictures of! Ugh! museum policy, but yeah I bought a book about MA’s masterpieces… ha ha…). And I don’t just mean Michaelanglo’s stuff either. Look at this…

I actually saw the finishing touches of the restoration of this altar/chapel... amazing, the time and effort it takes

I actually saw the finishing touches of the restoration of this altar/chapel… amazing, the time and effort it takes

 

When I say amazing to see in person, I mean, Amaziiiing! …. my photos don’t do it justice, but this one (from the web) at least let’s you see the entire piece.

 

 

 

 

Seriously, and experience like this 12 years ago, might have turned me into an art history major….. (…. no comment).

 

 

 

 

and yeah, if anyone was wondering, the food was awesome… and I say this although I got sick (and don’t think I will ever eat Lasagne again!… ha ha…)and never actually tasted pizza in Italy 😦 …. I guess that means I ought to go back?…. ha ha….

Anyway, here are a few more snippets of what I saw in Italy.

IMG_00000570 IMG_00000607 IMG_00000581 IMG_00000609 IMG_00000588 IMG_00000605

 

So yes, I completed an art history on crack tour… and am so grateful for the experience. Would I go back?

Sometimes I think when you back the magic is lost. But, you never know…  Italy will never be Spain to me… Barcelona will always have a special place in my heart… ha…