Class began this week with scattered clouds and even more scattered classrooms. I trekked throughout the city to reach classrooms with names like Leonardo and Machiavelli, which seems fitting.
I’m taking five courses: Consumer Behavior, Operations Management, World Religions, Elementary Italian, and Wine & Culture (taught by a man that is the definition of the Italian archetype). I’m eager to get back to class and soak in as much as possible. Learning in the very streets Da Vinci walked somehow raises the standard.
The First Train Ride
Long story short, a friend lost his phone and it conveniently ended up in the police station of Montevarchi, a small town just an hour away. This called for a train ride to a place where NO ONE knew English.
It was a quaint little town and I enjoyed a cappuccino from a local pastry shop, owned by a quiet older man who can make a mean dessert. I’m also happy to note that Red Hot Chili Peppers quietly joined us through the radio on the counter.
People rave about the David and there’s good reason. It was commissioned originally to be displayed on the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Il Duomo), but instead was placed in the Palazzo Vecchio where it stood proudly at the entrance of the town hall of Florence. There he faced Rome, serving as a protector of Florence. Florence had many enemies and was often seen as weak, much like David in the story of David and Goliath. In this fashion it is was beautifully rendered as a deterrence to those who dare threaten the city.
This piece is considered a work of absolute genius. Being made of solid marble, it stands tall and surprisingly sturdy. With even the most modern technology it took several years and failures to make a replica.
Concerning Street Musicians
It’s become a habit now to carry change to pass out to the street musicians here. It’s my way of letting them know their music brightened my walk to class, even on a rainy day. I encourage you to do the same if music brings you as much joy as it does for me.
My time here has only just begun and I am already falling in love with Tuscany. Here’s to hoping I can pick up the language and speak back to my love.