Falling for Florence

Hello readers! I’m Amy, and I’m a junior majoring in Architecture. On this Valentine’s night I’m happy to report on our class’ recent trip to Florence. Be forewarned; I have amazing stories to retell. By the time this post is done you may just find yourself so in love that you’ll be checking plane tickets. The city is THAT exceptional. So let’s begin!

We’ve just returned and are all very exhausted. We packed the last four days by trekking to the top of the Duomo and the Campanile, with cathedrals, sculpture, painting, sunsets, and garden strolls. We walked along the Arno river to visit the studio of esteemed architect Andrea Ponsi. He gave us a look into his drawing process through a demonstration that left us inspired. Then we headed to the leather market to haggle over bags, belts and wallets. I can’t speak for the entire group, but I also punctuated the trip with a few great meals.

For my sake and yours (remember, I’m still concerned you might buy a plane ticket) I plan to narrow the focus my praise to discuss two significant Florentine museums, the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia. They house very famous works of art and proved to be a rewarding investment of time in a city with so much to see and do.

We visited the Uffizi on our second day in the city. The museum is located inside the palace of the Medici family. The Medici were a powerful dynasty that politically and financially supported the Italian renaissance, and a  significant portion of the art inside belonged to them. How amazing!

I found the experience of walking through the rooms here to be quite moving. I studied many of the works in my high school art history class. My interest in art history helped me consider architecture as a major, and while I feel as though my academic life has changed for the better since high school, the passion that first attracted me to art and architecture was palpable in the Uffizi. Among the works that made me a little misty eyed were:

1) Botticelli, Birth of Venus 2) Botticelli, Spring 3) Da Vinci, Adoration of the Magi 4) Titian, Venus of Urbino 5) Gentileschi, Judith Slaying Holofernes 6) Giotto, Madonna Enthroned

Now on to the Accademia, home of Michelangelo’s David. Simply put, I’m so glad I got to visit the most handsome man in Italy! I took some time to sketch here, and while it was a challenge to record the figure history has deemed perfection, I am thankful for the experience. It reinforced my appreciation for the sketch process as a way to learn. I feel like after sketching David, I know him better and will remember him longer, which is good. I feel like I shouldn’t make a continuing habit of spending Valentine’s day with 14 foot tall marble statues.

I will leave you now with a few photos and sketches- Ciao!

Amy

 

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