Thursday, December 1, 2011

a casa

things are finally wrapping up around here and i absolutely cannot believe it. the first of december means that i have all of 17 days left in this beautiful country, and my god am i going to miss it. over the course of but a few short months i have truly developed a serious affection for italia. its people, food, culture, they all really mean something to me now. i am certainly going to relish my last few weeks here.

in the meantime, i thought that i might tell you all some of the other things that i have been up to. thus far, i have really focused here on my travels, as they have been some of the real highlights of this trip. that being said though, i have also had some amazing experiences five minutes from the villa here in fiesole and just down the "road of the ancients" in florence.

view along the walk down to florence from fiesole

one of our courses is called city of florence, and the entire purpose is to compel us to connect meaningfully with the city. the premise of it was that we would have four group meetings, involving lectures, trips around florence (to one of the many medici villas, for instance) and an individual project that came with 100 euro of discretionary funds. awesome, right?

the cathedral of florence

i chose to focus on the musical character of florence, and therefore had a wonderful time spending my funds on such activities as:
  • the tuscan orchestra, twice. think strauss, shubert, part, mozart.
  • a jazz piano concert, held of course in the room of an old monastery, complete with original frescoes. also of note is the fact that we sat with one of the villa professors and his artist friends.
  • a sunday morning at the fiesole school of music featuring the fiesole quartet
  • a spanish guitar performance at the biggest wine festival in tuscany
yet to be attended are the florentine opera featuring la boheme and an italian band called le luci delle centrale. for a taste of italian music you can check out one of their videos here:

experiencing the florentine musical culture here has been interesting to say the least. last night, for instance, i sat in front of 20 teenagers at the orchestra. certainly not a sight that i was expecting. live music cafes have also been fun here, and typically offer an eclectic mix of covers of american songs and italian rock. 

view from the top of the duomo. the villa is off in the distance.

amongst other things, i have also:
  • eaten at my italian professors house twice. difficult conversation, but seriously delicious food
  • climbed to the top of the duomo, brunelleschi's architectural masterpiece that never ceases to amaze me
  • seen the david. enough said.
  • gone to the uffizi with an encyclopedia/astoundingly knowledgeable art history professor
and last but not least, you guessed it, continued to eat and drink delicious food, gelato and wine. there really is nothing like a perfectly made cappuccino taken standing at the bar in the local pastry shop, watching the day go by.

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