Friday, 30th September, Florence

We slept late because of the Conrad trial, which shows the defense as bumbling and pointless, and the doctor as grossly negligent. The Accademia was not too far from the Duomo and once we gained entry, we moved into a hall of paintings and on to a nearby stairway which eventually led to a wide hall – around which stood David (almost with no warning.)

He was lit effectively, standing twelve feet on a podium that was already about five feet tall, and gazing off to the distance, way over our heads and seeming a little bothered by the attention? The marble sculpture was just a triumph of detail – veins, muscle, smooth, smooth skin, powerful, all that suspended grace standing with a mix of casualness and pride.

It was probably the best piece of art we saw in Italy – repeating the word ‘masterpiece’ here doesn’t seem like much, but looking up at David, he strikes you that way. We circled the statue, noting wear on his toes, the piece of cloth and the counterweight tree-branch at his leg, ultimately hesitant to leave.

Florence Haiku Sequence

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blood orange
in small plastic cups
green fields blur

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sidewalk café
crowded with the
swell of English accents

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miniatures
in the souvenir shop
the fan droops

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trimming mat board
with borrowed scissors
Dr Conrad squirms

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to climb the Duomo
and breathe in the whole city
– graffiti

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frozen white
David’s too-large-hands
towering over us

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Vittoria Scaffidi

Vittoria is a Florentine artist whose watercolours instantly stood out in a city full of wonderful watercolour artists. In part due to the sometimes darker colours she uses, but also the outline/coloured look, where the image often leaves the ‘frame.’

She can be found in Piazza Pitti, Florence, and it’s definitely worth visiting her if you’re travelling. The piece my wife and I purchased was of the Duomo visible behind the Ponte Vecchio, it drew our attention from across the street – I’ll try and upload an image later. In the meantime, here’s a link to what might be her old website (hopefully it still works) where you can see work that is similar to the piece we have:

Vittoria Scaffidi

And a link to a interview/profile about her at Clever Magazine. The interview is a few years old, but has some great information in it. I’ve actually come across a few travellers who’ve mentioned Vittoria on blogs after visiting Florence, which is great to see. I’d definitely buy another piece of hers without hesitation.

Italy 2011

So my wife and I have recently returned from 3 weeks in Italy and after the jet lag wears off I’d like to inflict my thoughts, ramblings, writing and a few photos upon you.   It may be that I can manage semi-regular posts on the trip too (we shall see how I go getting back into the new term) broken into the four places we spent our time, being Rome, Amalfi, Florence and Venice.

During the long climb to the cupola of the ‘Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore’ in Florence, which everyone simply called the Duomo.