We have come to the beginning of our second week here, and I still feel a sense of childlike awe whenever I wander the streets of Firenze. Once morning and afternoon classes are done, we are given the opportunity to embrace the Florentine culture on our own.
I have roamed the endless cobblestone roads, becoming enamored by the quaint cafes and shops and their quirky store owners, the obscurely hidden piazzas and art galleries, the eccentric merchants, locals, gypsies, and tourists, the vivid colors of Firenze’s local architecture, and most of all… the food. Our excursions to surrounding cities such as Lucca and Pisa over the weekend have not only given me time to relax from our week’s classes and activities, but it has allowed me to bear witness to some of Italy’s most highly-regarded pieces of architecture and sculpture not connected to the city of Florence. I feel these past two weeks have taught me how to better appreciate and experience architecture, finding beauty in a simple street layout or house. I find myself mentally critiquing and analyzing architectural elements, harmony, spatial layout, symmetry, and the aesthetic/emotional response I receive from just standing in the presence of architectural wonders like the Duomo or the Leaning Tower and contemplating the history behind their construction. Already I have taken numerous pictures of every building, sculpture, or landscape that has caught my eye at that exact moment, so I can continue to remember the sense of astonishment I had at the time when I look over the photos once I return back home. It has been a bit of a slow week, so I thought I would go on a little tirade about my experiences with Italian architecture and art. I am particularly excited for tomorrow, because our art class will be venturing to the L’Accademia to draw the David, another experience to put in the book. Until next time, Ethan