• Boboli Gardens - Tuscan Countryside - Florence, Italy

  • Piazzele Michelangelo - Sunset Through the Storm - Florence, Italy-2

  • cropped-Ponte-Vecchio-at-Night-Florence-Italy.jpg

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On October 19th the Gigante dell’ Appennino was made available for the public viewing after 3 years of restoration! This statue by Giambologna was created in 1579-1580, during the time of Ferdinando de’Medici and the Demidoff’s who were living at the Villa at that time.
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Today the entire park which is called Parco de Mediceo di Pratolino can be reached on the number 25 bus from San Marco. It is the last stop and takes about 25 minutes. The park is lovely and there are other things to see there. There is a small bar, and lots of shady or sunny places to picnic.
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I have been to the park 3 times in search of the Appennino, only to find it under scaffolding. The work started in September of 2011 and was to be a one year project. Three years later and 315,000 euro later, the piece is breathtaking. I have always been a big fan of Giambologna, and now this statue will take my favorite statue position along with David. As you see, I couldn’t stop taking photos!
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There are still some pleasant days left to visit this park and see the Appennino. It is opened Monday-Friday from 10-5 weekdays and 10-7 on the weekends through October. Afterwards, it will be closed until April. Go now! Do it! You will be amazed.

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This is apparently the second edition of this outdoor cultural and art festival, and I got a glimpse of it when I visited Arezzo. Unfortunately, it ends on October 31 this year. It started on the 14th of June, and from what I saw is an incredible event. There are art installations in over 40 places in the city. There are maps to point out where they are, but we enjoyed “stumbling” upon them. I hope to get back to Arezzo to take a more in-depth look.
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Icastica means “the art of representing the reality”, and it is from a Greek adjective. This time I visited Arezzo to see the Renaissance art, but intermingled was some of this work which really caught my attention. Modern, whimsical, but also some religious pieces were placed throughout the city. It was really fun to see and after a while we started pointing out the unexpected pieces. I will be on the lookout for this in Arezzo next year for sure!
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The Florentine, Florence’s English newspaper, held a lecture featuring Victor Coonin. Victor Coonin is a Professor of Art History at Rhodes College A graduate of Oberlin College, he earned his Master’s at Syracuse University in Florence and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. He recently wrote a book entitled “From Marble to Flesh: The Biography of Michelangelo’s David “.
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This lecture was held at the Palazzo Non Finito which also houses the Museum of Natural History and Anthropology. As a secondary treat, we also got to visit a part of the museums recently renovated exhibition space with an exhibit called “From South America, the Voyage of Man Through Culture and Nature.
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The lecture was very interesting in that it discussed how the statute of David by Michelangelo was censored through the years by covering his genitals. Even though there were other naked statutes within the vicinity of David, this statue did (and still does) evoke a strong response from people. Dr. Coonin went on to further discuss how the statue has been viewed in other countries, through replicas, as well as the use of photographs of the statue for ad campaigns against AIDS.
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I know that this statue is my absolute favorite and I believe that when anyone lays eyes on it, they believe that there is a pulse beneath that stone. It is so realistic and such a perfectly rendered specimen of the male body, that it is very sensual, and people react to it in that way.
Victor Coonin’s book is available here.
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