August 29, 2000
Perhaps Italy's most beautiful city adorned with history: the Bonfires of the Vanities happened here burning some top-notch works of art & literature. A year later the guy who started was staked and burned on the same spot. Leonardo da V and Michelangelo studied here together, setting a high standard for the honor role that year. And the city is home to the most famous of the David statues.
One of the world's top renaissance art museums is here. Proving how fragile this irreplaceable canvases are, a flood damaged a large part of the ground level and, more recently, a terrorist bomb did more damage, shocking Italians that someone would even conceive of such an idea. Parts are still blocked off. The burning, flood, and bomb launch all sorts of thoughts. Even surviving, immortalized art is, unfortunately, mortal. New texts will skip over the missing parts of the museum and of history forever.
The architecture of Florence is fab too. A mediaeval bridge survived the war (the pilot had two towers knocked over on each side not having the heart to destroy such a sight) and the Dumo (cathedral), tower and baptismal buildings are massive and unforgettable. Dante, the author, lived here and the list goes on and on. But it has finally hit me. After over 6 months, I've got travel burnout. No doubt the heat of Italy in August has contributed to this. Yet, I'm still anxious and excited to see Venice - something I have imagined since I learned of it as a youngster and today find it hard to envision as a focused reality. So I'm leaving Florence for another time and moving to where my heart calls.