Act 2, Scene 21
One Last Taste of Firenze

Ancient Rome, The Italian Renaissance, And Postmodern Love

by Frederick Noble

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Up early, we parted with Cortona. As tradition held, we somehow ended up on the wrong bus and had to walk to the train station from down the road but we made it to the train on time. We were headed to Venezia (Venice) a day early to meet with Heather's friend Jenny and decided to swing through Firenze (Florence) to give Lena a tour.
Our third trip to Firenze...

"The thrill is gone. The thrill is gone away."
B.B. King

Cortona to Florence ticket stub
Firenze just isn’t that big a town and I felt like we’d seen it all. I also felt like there was no way we could top the nights we’d had there before. But more than anything the not-so-sweet sorrow of having to part from this country weighed heavily on my soul.
Lena was suitably impressed with Firenze, however, and her joy was contagious.

Santa Maria Novella, Florence
Another of the antique photos of Firenze I found in a flea market in the States. Santa Maria Novella was begun in the late 1200's, but this facade is the best part. It was added much later, in the 1400's. Designed by Leonbattista Alberti, it is often credited as the beginning of Renaissance architecture.

We showed her the sights and saved the best for last, a return trip to Vivoli that I didn't expect to get! We trekked across town, turned down Stinche street and suddenly I'm stunned. Lena and Heather kept walking, failing to notice the front door with the sign "Closed for vacation," in Italianio of course.
They turned around to see my long face and realized why. We sulked back across town in search of something to make us forget. A sad, second-rate gelato didn’t even come close to making up for it.
As further torture, we stayed at the same hotel Heather and I had stayed at our first weekend in Firenze. We gazed out the window with fond memories but Lena’s presence prevented any replay of the passionate scenes. Someone a little less pure probably wouldn’t have stopped us, but Lena is like family, the sister I never had.
Santa Maria Novella, Florence
Most folks know Santa Maria Novella because the train station is right behind it and it's surrounded by bars full of English speaking staff.

Another of the antique photos of Firenze I found in a flea market in the States. This is the courtyard of the Bargello, a marvelous palace-turned-museum housing tons of glorious sculpture.

This little cutie is Donatello's Amor. I new all the Renaissance artists were gay but I didn't know they were into children in chaps...

Donatello has several works in the Bargello, such as this St. George, missing his sword, spear and helmet. The relief piece below the statue marked a drastic change from medieval to Renaissance methods of relief work.

When confronted with big, beautiful statues sometimes the small, delicate stuff gets overlooked. But if you take your time you'll find a few wonderful trinkets here and there.

Another of the antique photos of Firenze I found in a flea market in the States. This is San Lorenzo, where the Medici Chapel is located. They never got a facade on this building so it's not the prettiest place on the outside. You won't ever see it this deserted by day either. A massive outdoor market fills these streets, with some excellent deals on leather and other goods.

Behind the church of San Lorenzo is the Medici Chapel where most of the famed family is buried in opulent crypts by Michelangelo. I'm not a big fan of the works, they're gaudy and the sculptures of women are obviously men with breasts stapled on them, but the floor and walls and tombs are all covered in precious stones and marble.

Babbling with Lena on the train headed north, I discussed my plans for the grand finale of the trip.
"So what are you going to do in Amsterdam?" she asked.
"Get stoned and pay for sex."
"Ha ha... yes!" I giggled.
"Because I can! Besides, what else is there to do in Amsterdam?"
"Walk around and enjoy the beautiful city!"
I burst out in hysterics. Lena's not truly degenerate but at least she's tolerant of those of us who are. I was determined to corrupt her bit by bit.
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