Searching for Utopia

Searching for Utopia

I fell in love with this giant sculpture in the piazza della Signoria in Florence.

 

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……and when I read the plaque, I loved it more. It is slow to find, is it not?

Jan Fabre is a Flemish artist and this sculpture was only recently brought to Florence.  Like it or hate it……..

 

……it certainly makes a statement among these very old and historically beautiful sculptures.

I remember Florence as a beautiful gift. I hadn’t done much research on the city before the trip and everywhere I trekked, I found new delights and learning  opportunities.

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Tut, tut…using cell phone while driving. 🙂

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Seeing and hearing while we wander .

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Tripe soup anyone?  It was too early in the morning for me but I did enjoy getting a view through the window. He was most obliging in holding it up for us.

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And then there was Pinocchio.

 

As we neared Florence, I noticed all things Pinocchio and so at a rest stop I bought a couple of pencils painted in the colours of the Italian flag with Pinocchio’s head at the top. My new found friends had a great laugh …. “You come to Italy and buy Pinocchio pencils  made in China.”   I simply replied, “The author of Pinocchio was Italian you know and not only will my grandchildren use these pencils, they will talk about Pinocchio and as an added bonus, they will now know the Italian flag!”:)

Later our tour guide gave a long talk about Pinocchio, its author Carlo Collodi, and pointed down a lane to where Carlo Collodi had lived. Throughout the group I heard laughter and my name being mentioned.  I rest my case.:):)

 

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Carlo Collodi lived here.

I later bought the book  Pinocchio The Adventures of a Puppet, a shorter version of the original  and what a lovely book it is!  “While the puppet was swimming, all of a sudden, out of the water popped the horrible head of a sea monster, coming straight at him with its mouth wide open like a deep chasm, showing its three rows of sharp teeth which would frighten you just to see them painted on paper.”  Quite a long sentence and what a description! No wishy washy nonsense here! I love it!

 

A sudden heavy downpour in Florence and within minutes vendors were everywhere trying to sell us umbrellas and ponchos. I admire that kind of business sense.

 

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Duomo di Firenze Cathedral

The interior of the Cathedral has 463 stone stairs and reaching the top offers a stunning view of the city. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to climb them.

Florence, city of history, detailed architecture, amazing sculptures, great paintings, and fun!

 

Photos by L & C Fudge

“Not all those who wander are lost.”J. R. R. Tolkien

“Not all those who wander are lost.”J. R. R. Tolkien

In my case, by wandering I find myself.

A ‘trek’ from London, England brought us to Rome, Italy and so this is another tale, with our trails being the streets of Rome.

Michaelangelo's Pieta, 1499
Michelangelo’s Pieta, 1499

St. Peter’s Basilica…never did I imagine that I would see both Michelangelo’s Pieta and his David. He carved this in 1499 at the request of French cardinal Jean de Billheres who wanted a spectacular memorial to be placed on  his tomb when he died! I guess his wish was granted!

Michelangelo was only 24 when this was completed from a single slab of marble and it is the only piece that he ever signed.  Unfortunately in 1972, it was severely damaged when an unemployed geologist from Hungary hit it with a hammer and after 12 blows, it sustained terrible damage. After several years it was repaired  but now it is behind bulletproof glass.

 

The  beauty, art, history and workmanship are overwhelming to the senses.

Vatican City was built over the tomb of St. Peter and became a separate state in 1929.

 

Tiber River, Rome
Tiber River, Rome

 

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Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”  Miriam Beard

The Colosseum, commissioned in AD 72 and completed in AD 80 with 80 arched entrances to allow the spectators easy access!  “The amphitheatre could hold seventy thousand spectators. The tiers of seats were inclined in such a way as to enable people to get a perfect view from wherever they sat.”  Visiting here was my husband’s dream come true  and the sheer genius behind the design and  construction of this architectural  masterpiece had me thinking……. and we think we are evolving?!

 

photos by L. Fudge

 

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”  J. Nehru