Pete and I are in Florence. We decided we had to come and visit Clara before she moves out of her apartment on Monday, so here we are, walking the sunny streets of Italy. It is a wonder to me that she has been living here since January, with some of the most famous art and architecture in the world right out her front door. She very smartly took a Renaissance art history class, so she is just about the best tour guide available. I am very happy that we were able to give her this opportunity.
Pete and I were here 24 years ago on our honeymoon. We flew to Milan and drove through the Dolomites and into Slovenja to visit his relatives, then continued on to Florence. We had allotted one day here. We parked our little rental car on a bridge crossing the Arno and walked to the Accademia to see Michelangelo's David. The museum was closed and Pete started feeling sick to his stomach. We returned to the car, only to find that it had been broken into and someone had stolen Pete's suitcase and the wedding gifts we received from the Slovenjan cousins. We drove south and found a pensione so Pete could sleep and recover. I sat and read all evening and listened to a robust fellow tell jokes in German to an audience of older women who tittered endlessly. And we never got to see the David.
Clara tried to reserve tickets for the Accademie so we would be sure to get in this time, but no tickets were available. I thought it was funny that here we were in Florence again, and we would not get to see David. But Pete insisted we walk to the Accademie to see how long the line was. We were inside within 20 minutes!
Pete and I are avid museum goers and we have travelled a fair amount. I wouldn't have thought a work of art could affect me the way the David did this morning. We turned the corner and there he was, towering over the mass of upturned faces gazing at him. I cried. I waited 24 years to get back here to see this and it was worth every minute of that wait. He's magnificent. There is a quote posted nearby, which, paraphrased, says that once you have seen the David, you don't really need to see another piece of art, because he is perfect. And he is. Just perfect.
I've been taking pictures and visiting lots of churches and museums and eating lots of good food, so there's more to tell when we get back to the States. Right now I have to go visit my daughter, who makes me even happier than the David. . .