Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Just had to keep the theme of terrible terribly internet related blog post titles going, sorry. I blame the fact that Ricardo is squishing me and draining all my oxygen. ANYWAY. ANYWAY.

hey guys, what's up? how's life? how's your week so far? how was your weekend? uh huh... uh huh..uh huh ... GOOD STORY, GUESS WHAT? Ricardo and I went to Ravenna on Saturday and on Friday we went to San Miniato and heard monks chant! ISN'T THAT COOL GUYS? don't answer that unless you're going to confirm. SO AS PER USUAL, we started off at the Duomo because that was where we were meeting our teacher. The weather was a lot nicer in a way because it was sunny, but it was so ridiculously windy. This was very upsetting. Anyway, we started at the Duomo because we were going to go into the baptistry, which unfortunately it seems we forgot to photograph from the outside...

The Duomo, in good light, on its good side...

This is the Baptistry's dome, dating from the early 1,100's to 1,200's, and made completely of 1 in. x 1 in. tesserae, or mosaic pieces of stone or glass that's been colored or backed with gold leaf.

This view shows the lower registers of the dome and the upper registers of the interior, those arches form a gallery which may have been for the women.

This is the high alter, with some relics in it! Although it didn't say whose body parts they were, it's pretty safe to assume that they claim that they're John the Baptist's relics as this is a baptistry and John the Baptist is the patron saint of Florence.

This is the AWESOME last judgment scene in which the centuries dead people rise from their graves in order to receive their verdict and these suckers get eaten by the devil's many mouths.
note that the devil is blue.
(I imagine this is somewhat what this would look like)

One last shot of the Duomo because the sky is oh so blue.

From the Baptistry we walked about twenty minutes to the original Medieval wall of Florence, whose doors they STILL close at night. After we left the original city gates it was a steady up hill climb for another ten minutes or so in order to reach the Romanesque church that was all the way at the top of a hill overlooking the city.

red nose. cold. My mom's super rad scarf!

A lovely view of Florence on the way up!

This is San Miniato's bell tower which Michelangelo apparently covered in wool and mattresses in order to save it from canon ball fire and installed a canon at the top when he worked as an engineer for the Republic of Florence while they were fighting against Charles the fifth of Spain who had allied himself with the Medici who were trying to regain their political hold of Florence after they had been exiled for the third time. How'd you like that run on sentence? All in all, I'd say I'd give it about a B (Kenneth.cookie jars. start watching at 17:52)

A monk in front of San Miniato

This is the facade in the afternoon light, very Romanesque.

San Miniato was beheaded in the Roman Colosseum in town and as legend has it, he picked up his head and trekked it up here because this was were he had prayed in nature when he went to become a hermit and it was his favorite place, so he wanted to be buried here. Then of course since he was martyred they had to build a church on top of his death site dedicated to him. duh.

one of the side chapels...

The leftover sinopia (under drawing) of a fresco which they never finished

The demi-dome is an early Christian mosaic

This is one of the walls and the ceiling of the sacristy, which showed all the miracles Saint Benedict performed, since this is a Benedictine church. He cured a blind man and some other stuff I can't remember. The devil hung out EVERYWHERE back then.

The gregorian chants are every Friday before the mass and they were SO BEAUTIFUL. The mass was at a tiny altar in the crypt, which only sat about twenty people and was all made of bare stone. The acoustics were amazing so it was like you were being enveloped in these deep intertwining melodies. It was a time warp that took us back to the 11th century. WOAH. INTENSE. DEEP. On a less time traveling note, the monks also make crafts, and more importantly honey! which you can buy at their little gift shop.

Florence at night, from the church

Everyone from our class left like ASAP after the mass began, so we felt really bad and stayed a little longer. Almost to the end actually, but we were so hungry and we knew it was so cold outside that we couldn't take it any longer and we BOOKED. On our way across the bridge we noticed these locks chained to the bridge and later someone told us they're "lover's locks." Couples come to a bridge over the Arno river to lock their lock to the bridge and throw the key into the river to signify their commitment to one another and their being " locked" together.

AND TO CONCLUDE, obligatory artsy photograph is obligatory.

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