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Another Spectacular Day: The Ides of March, 2010

Another beautiful day in Firenze! After a hot breakfast the boys moved apace to view Lorenzo Ghirberti’s Baptistery Doors—he spent 50 years of his life working on them; Vasari’s inner dome ceiling frescos; Dominico Michelino’s Dante;  Luca Della Robbia’s Le Cantorie as well as Donatello’s; Giotto’s, Pisano’s and Della Robbia’s Lower Registry Reliefs—representing all of human activity known at the time; Michelangelo’s Pieta, completed some 50 years after The David, can you imagine; Donatello's Mary Magdalene--which I find very disturbing; the Clock of the Cathedral, found high up on the inner facade—the only clock in the world to tell Italian time (it moves backwards, by the way); the Santa Maria del Fiore’s interior, and The Museo Di Santa Maria Del Fiore.
Lunch and shopping with a taste of independence in San Lorenzo Market consumed the middle part of the day.  The eyes of the market traders lit up when we arrived and the boys definitely didn’t let them down.  We ended the shopping extravaganza with quite an interesting assortment of leather goods, jackets, “faulexs,” matching red shoes and belts, sun glasses, and oh … did I mention, fluorescent ties!

After lunch and shopping, we visited Brunelleschi’s San Lorenzo to sketch and view the architecture and Donatello’s pulpits.  Then, it was off to sports until the sun managed to lay down behind the Tuscan hills.

Our four “less then 100% boys” are all feeling much, much better.  No other signs of illness.

For me, Della Robbia’s choir stalls are just magnificent.  They represent the first real exploration of human life observed in its earliest phases.  We see now in this Renaissance work, an interest in childhood, especially the religious and social education of children, and Della Robbia expresses this with joy—singing, dancing, music and fun!

Dinner is over and we are heading out for gelato—a surprise.  We’ll walk up the Arno under lights to the Ponte Vecchio and then across to see Del Duomo illuminated.

The slide show includes a few detail shots of Della Robbia's Le Cantorie and Donatello's Mary M.

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