Travel Diary: Deep Dreaming in Florence


I. Am. Madly. In love with Florence. From the food to the museums to the people to the bells that I can hear from our open windows on the hour, to the streets in general, this is one of my favorite cities I have ever been to. It reminds quite a bit of one of my other favorite places, Seville, in many ways. One thing that they have in common is that they are cities for dreamers and romantics, and definitely for artists. 

Yesterday was filled with all kinds of experiences. First, we started at the Uffizi, which absolutely blew my mind. It's funny - I actually studied Renaissance art (and art theory) quite a bit in school - both at my high school, which was geared more towards the arts, and in college, but it never really blew me away. However in person, and in the birthplace of so much of it, it's a completely different story. 

I talked a little about my favorite piece, Judith Slaying Holofernes, on my Instastories - but the quick summary is that it was painted by Artemisia Gentileschi, a female painter whose painting was stripped of her name when added to the catalogues, and then attributed to Caravaggio. Only later was her rightful credit restored. Artemesia had also been raped, and when she was commissioned to paint Judith Slaying Holofernes, she painted her likeness in Judith, and the main who raped her as Holofernes (the man she is beheading in the painting). 

This is the kind of story that, to me, turns a technically skilled masterpiece into a work of art. It's the kind of story and history that makes a flat surface come to life, and this place is full of them (some just as morbid, others not so much. For example Dante's love for Beatrice, but more on that later). 

But it's not just about the tourist stuff. Yesterday, we bought hand ground pigmented paint ink, and got into the most enlightening and inspiring conversation about politics with a leather maker, whose shop was crowded with tools and beautiful charcoal sketches, tucked away in one of the bends of the smaller, winding streets. And not to generalize, but this place is full of people and experiences like this. 

This city makes my heart and my spirit come alive, and it sets my mind racing. I can't sleep, and it's not because of jet lag. But when I do sleep, I dream deeply. And I'll continue dreaming until I can return.