Friday it was goodbye to Venezia and hello to Firenze (Florence). This is also a shift from a part of Italy that had once been relatively independent of Rome, and then for awhile controlled by Austria, to a region that defines the central core of Italian identity: Tuscany.
We focused today on setting up the renaissance, building from Giotto and Scrovegni to Brunelleschi, the Medicis and the like. The politics, art and development of western thought in the renaissance is astounding and Florence is central.
Of course, the students got interrupted as camera crews kept coming through. “Oh my God,” one yelled and they all started screaming. Apparently a show called Jersey Shore is filming here, and they distracted the students a few times. Still, things went well.
Later as we gave students a walking tour, a few of them decided to dance on the Ponte Vecchio to a street singer/musician. He was pretty good, and they had fun.
Florence is louder, livelier, has cars, and is a fascinating historical treasure. More soon!