Because of yesterday's party, Monday morning class did not start until 10 a.m. We met for class at the Piazza della Signoria because we had not gotten to it last Thursday. We sat and had espresso, while Giuliano gave a good talk about the Piazza.
|The Piazza with the Rivoire on the right.|
Several of us went to lunch across the river at an outdoor trattoria recommended by the teachers as a good but also reasonably priced place. After lunch we were sitting around talking, and I pronounced an Italian word so completely wrong that one of my fellow students corrected me, not one of the course teachers. I have a 'tin ear' when it comes to foreign languages. Marie, a schoolteacher from Brooklyn added, "Don, you should open a school for languages." Everyone laughed; it was very funny. Later, Marie felt bad about it and said she'd buy me a dinner sometime.
Later that afternoon, I was walking to the Rivoire when I noticed something I hadn't seen before. When one looks at the Palazzo Vechio straight on, the building and tower loom powerfully over the Piazzo della Signoria. From the side, however, the profile of the Palazzo Vecchio did some strange things! Sketching had made me more aware of seeing as well as looking. Now I saw that the three hundred foot high tower extends up from the front face of the battlements of the building. These battlements are already a meter out from the front face from the battlements of the building. Then, the crenelated battlements of the tower extend the center of balance out even farther. This would normally make the tower fall forward, because a masonry-bearing building cannot support that kind of torque. But ingeniously, the crenelated top element above the battlements of the tower don't sit in the center of the tower but at the back. Thus giving stability and allowing the tower to forcefully 'read'
(Before I forget, let me tell you about those Italian windows. Italian windows are a delight. They do more than let in light and keep out rain. They boldly define space. They're always shuddered and allow all manner of effect. The large slats of the exterior shutters don't individually pivot but the entire shutter folds out at the mid-point to allow various degrees of light and air. On the inside, you find two glass-paned doors and two solid wood doors, which are used to further control the weather and light, thus varying the effect still more. The combinations are endless and fun to play with. I couldn't resist doing another photo essay. [Again, why don't we have these in America?])
Next, more FIRENZE TREASURES.