Florence

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Butterflies in the cradle of the Renaissance

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As an admirer of the Renaissance, my cousin made sure that we spent at least one day in Florence. So we booked our train tickets from Rome very early in the morning and spent the whole day walking around and falling in love with this old and beautiful city. We explored every church we stumbled across and tried Florentino chocolate; we found all the graves of the Ninja Turtles, ate pasta in front of the Duomo and had lemon gelato (my absolute favourite) for the first time.

If I forget all else, I know the one thing I’ll remember forever is the Uffizi Gallery. Despite the hoards of people, we were thankfully able to see The Birth of Venus, Annunciation and other masterpieces I only dreamed of seeing. Surprisingly, the highlight for me was a Da Vinci piece, Adoration of the Magi. My favourite thing to do when I see art is look at the cracks in the paint. To me, that’s what makes it real. I imagine the cracks to be like wrinkles – a sign of age and of a life well-lived. I know it sounds stupid but sometimes I can’t wrap my head around how brilliant people are and can be, and so I imagine them as myth more than flesh. Because Adoration of the Magi is unfinished, it made it easier for me to picture Da Vinci as someone who really existed; someone who did first drafts and someone who had to draw in pencil before solidifying it in paint.

I don’t know why but the thought gave me butterflies, and even now as I sit in Sydney thinking about how close I was to something he laboured over… I still get chills.

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