Today I started out with breakfast at a little place down the street from my hotel. I have to say that the Italians cannot make a croissant quite as good as the French – more butter is needed I think. However, they do load them up with custard, which does make them just as fattening and equally delicious. Then I headed to tour guess what?! Another church! I know you are shocked, but considering I am now in the Catholic Capital of the World, there are going to be a lot of churches to be seen in the next couple of weeks. And boy, do the Italians know how to do churches on a grand scale – it is clearly where all of the money went and why the country is broke – maybe they can start selling off the atrocious amount of marble that is housed in each of them? Maybe then they can pay off their debts that they lied to the European Union about?!
Don’t get me wrong, one day in and I am already completely in love with Italy, but let’s all agree that they are pretty good scam artists. The churches charge you to tour them here – first country that has happened, so then again, maybe I won’t be visiting as many as I had previously….hmmmm..more naps in parks for me – YAY! Anyway, I did get suckered into seeing a couple of big churches today – the Basilica Santa Maria Novella and the Basilica di Santa Croce where lots of famous artists are entombed. Going back to Catholics mourning their religion – is it just me or is it creepy that they entomb their saints and other famous dudes IN the church….so now I feel like a big jerk because I am walking on these peoples’ graves because their graves are in the FLOOR! Of course, the really cool kids get stuck in the walls with really fancy sculptures placed in front of them – but we are talking really cool like Galileo, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Florence Nightingale. If you aren’t as cool as them, you get the floor, but only then if you were a saint, so no wonder Italian Moms are so adamant about their kids making something of themselves!
As I sat in one of these giant structures (of course not as giant as Sagrada Familia, holy cow!), I took a moment to admonish myself for not working on my book, been avoiding it really. Every time I sit down to work on it, all of the old crap just gets dredged up and I end up pissed off for the rest of the day – and really who wants to be pissed off on their 3-month European Extravaganza Holiday?! But, it struck me that I can tell the story, without living in the past. Now that the story has come to an end, tragic as it may be, they are just characters in a book and I have a chance to write a whole new story about who I am today and where I might go. I can’t do that while attached to thinking the old story can be edited or changed – what is done is done. We miss out on really tremendous moments right now when we are looking in the other direction, don’t we? Of course, I am crying now. Sigh…..
Enough of these chains that bind me, I am getting the eff out of the church and going to the photography museum where I saw the complete opposite of anything holy or religious. They were featuring an exquisitely avant-garde exhibition from two photographers from Paris. All of the models were styled and portrayed as mannequins in this depiction of death and beauty being equal. Okay, I don’t know if that was their intention, but that is what I got from the whole thing – oh and that they like S&M. But, the museum was interesting because they really dove into the whole history of photography, process, equipment, artists, and types of photo albums (the largest collection in the world, BTW). It was so nice to see something that was modern and didn’t make me cry!
I took a break after that to grab some lunch and a nap, of course, then went out later that evening since it was the last Tuesday of the month, Florence does their Art Walk and all of the museums are free from 7pm-11pm – yippee! I seized the opportunity to see some of the museums that I may not have chosen to pay to go to normally. Glad I did, because the Museo di San Marco just had a bunch of old dark crap painted in the 15th and 16th century. If I see one more Madonna with Child, I might scream….. I left as quickly as I arrived, and went to the Galleria where the Statue of David is housed, but there was a long ass line (like there always is), so I went to get dinner since it was nearing 10pm. I found my way to a little pizzeria and ordered a Calabrose Pizza (lots of cheese and sausage….fantastic). I ordered water and NO wine, but the damn waiter brought me a glass anyway. I succumbed and enjoyed my meal while being serenaded by the Village People…..Macho, Macho Man!!!!
The table next to me was full of people speaking English, so I chimed in. I didn’t care if they wanted me to be a part of their conversation or not, I was happy to have someone to talk to! Fortunately, they welcomed me into the group and I very much enjoyed some conversation. Then, it was time to go, so they asked for their check and the waiter said “NO”, so they asked for more wine instead, and he said “YES!” He brought them more wine, and a glass for himself and sat down with us.
And so here I sit past midnight with this damn waiter, named Claudio, drinking champagne…..scuzie… ..Spumannti…..waaaaait a minute……I don’t even like champagne!