Category: Florence

Stasis in Sculpture

Umberto Boccioni's Unique Forms of Continuity in Space at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

David Stands, but Unique Forms of Continuity in Space Rocks As much as I love Michelangelo’s David (that stone! that body!), it’s a work of art that’s made to be adored. And indeed it is. David just stands there, commanding…

Spooning in Florence

An art installation called "I Eat Earth" by Simone D'Auria at the Lungarno Collection’s Gallery Hotel Art in Florence. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Discovering Contemporary Art in a City of Masterpieces Taking the scenic route from the Ponte Vecchio back to the Soggiorno Battistero in Florence, the Brawny Sherpa and I become a little lost. Wandering a bit aimlessly, we try to work…

The Master Works of the Opera Duomo Museum

A wood sculpture from 1455 by Donatello known as the Penitent Mary Magdalen is displayed at the Opera Duomo Museum in Florence. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Beyond the Uffizi in Florence So much airspace is taken up by the Uffizi Gallery in Florence that a visitor there might overlook a newer museum sited just behind the Duomo. Although the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiori, which…

A Double and the Duomo

A room with a view of the Duomo in Florence Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

A View on a Budget in Florence Our quick stay at the Soggiorno Battistero in Florence is just long enough to appreciate anew the place across from the Duomo referred to as the Baptistry. So thrilled with our view right…

How to Feel like You’re Living in Florence

If I’m not reading stories, I’m trying to live them, and there’s no better place to do that than while traveling. I’m not so much seeking escape as looking for a going-to. No matter how long I’m in a new place, I want to feel like I live there.

Florence DuomoThat’s harder for me in the big hotel chains in the United States, but living my dream, bit by bit, is far more possible in places like Florence. The last time the Youthful Adventurer and I were there, we walked from the train station, rolling our suitcases along the ancient sidewalks to Hotel Alessandra, then up the stairs to the tiny elevator, and then up to the second floor (which was the third, in my mind) to a charming safe harbor.

Our street-front windows allow us to watch the tourists below; we linger over breakfasts and savor our coffee; I’m grateful the Youthful Adventurer has managed to abandon his penchant for too sweet cereals during our time here. We are in the breakfast room when I meet a woman from London who in the space of 20 minutes tells me all about contemporary politics in the UK and the specialized tour she is taking in Florence to learn all about Galileo. I am reminded that all of the beautiful churches we are visiting on this trip can’t mask the misdeeds of some of their leaders. The threat of science to the Church seems remote to my life, but it wasn’t to Galileo, who managed to rile religion with his ideas that the Earth revolves around the sun. The Church didn’t kill him, but Galileo was accused of heresy, tried, convicted, and sentenced to house arrest.

I’d never have learned all of this in a large hotel, where I would have sat, alone or with my son, and not talked to strangers. It’s the smaller experiences, the kind you can get in inexpensive, unpretentious, old hotels, those build in the 1500s, that make the trip.

­—Lori Tripoli

The Takeaway from Firenze

I could barely recall my trip to Florence 20 years earlier. I knew I’d seen the statue of David, and the Duomo, and loved its doors, and been surprised by how spare its interior was compared to its façade. I…