Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 7: Developments

Wow! I can't believe I've already completed three days of classes! It feels like it's been a whirlwind adventure.

I'm taking two courses here at LdM, Introduction to Italian Philosophy, and Renaissance Civilization and Culture. I'm especially enjoying my class on Italian Philosophy. I've never taken a philosophy class before, and just barely touched on philosophical theorems and works in my history classes. Right now we're studying the roots of Italian philosophy in Greek and Roman antiquity. My reading for tonight was on the work of Aristotle. In the past two days we've covered Plato and Socrates (and by covered I mean had a broad overview). I really enjoy reading the logical arguments that are set out by the philosophers, and like the ideals put forth by Plato and Aristotle for the most part. I really like the Idea that man is not enlightened unless he asks questions. I like that it's not about the answers.

My Ren. history class is interesting too, but the professor just kind of reads from the textbook and makes comments. Today I took most of my notes in Italian to practice the distant past tense and to try to stimulate my brain enough to stay awake. We do get to go on field trips in that class though— we did a walking tour of the Florence of Dante yesterday, and that was really neat. We also read some Petrarca today, and I realized that I need to read the Cazoniere. As well as Dante's Commedia, Plato's Republic and Boccaccio's Decameron.  You know, just some light reading.

Yesterday I went shopping in Florence for the first time and bought a pair of mid calf boots. They're white and I'm obsessed. They're like "slouchy western" style I'd say, which is pretty much all the rage here. It's like that and biker. I also bought two adorable tops. I almost bought another pair of stivali (boots) today at this ginormous sale, but I didn't want to blow money at the beginning of the trip.

The sale was ridiculous though. It was at this super famous Italian shoe store, Romana Firenze. Everything was 20, 30, 40 or 50 Euro. For shoes that range from retail 145 to 199 Euro. HUGE sale. I really liked the boots; they were made in Italy out of leather and snake skin. Grey, a mix between motorcycle and western styles. With an original price tag of 195 Euro, 50 Euro was a steal. But it was just too much for me at this time. I'd rather have too much money to spend at the end of the trip than run out in the middle.

Today I got my first glimpse at the inside of the Uffizi. It's huge. I definitely am glad that I purchased the museum pass. There's just so much to do in Florence! I'm looking forward to doing some exploring this weekend.

I also made the decision to cut down my weekend travel while abroad. I'm only here for four weeks, and not only is it expensive to leave the country, I'm afraid that if I go I won't be able to enjoy my time here as much. I would like to visit Edinburgh while I'm in the UK, and I still plan on trips to Rome, Perugia and Pisa, and maybe Cinque Terre and Venice.

But back to the Uffizi. The gallery of the Uffizi is the home to an incredible amount of art from the middle ages up to the nineteenth century. It was truly remarkable. We didn't have much time before the museum closed today, so we didn't really linger anywhere. We kind of made a beeline to the rooms of Botticelli and Leonardo Da Vinci (here they just call him Leonardo, because Da Vinci means "of Vinci," it's not really a surname).

Today I had the honor of viewing "The Birth of Venus" and "La Primavera." Oh. My. God. When I say that my knees went weak at the sight of such masterpieces, I am not exaggerating. What magnificence. The paintings filled me with amazement and wonder . I truly was awestruck.

I also got to view two pieces by Leonardo, as well as more Botticelli and a few pieces by Ghirlandaio that I had studied in AP Euro in high school. Talk about an incredible experience. I would really like to go back the Uffizi and spend more time with the works. I know that sounds pretentious, but I'm the kind of person that could stay in art museums for hours— especially museums that feature work of this time period. I'm planning to go back sometime this weekend, as well as to the Palazzo dei Medici Riccardi (a Medici palace). I'm doing a project for my Ren. history class on the Palazzo, and I'm really excited to get started.

This blog does nothing but make me sound like a huge nerd.

ANKLE UPDATE: I skyped my grandfather, an orthopedic surgeon, and it's definitely sprained. It's a nice purple/black color right now, and is still swollen. I've been elevating it like whoa and icing it, taking ibuprofen and wrapping it. They don't really have Ace bandages here though, so my mom decided to overnight an air cast (which my gradfather also recommended) and some wraps. I'm so mad that I can't run. Luckily I'm walking everywhere, so I still get some exercise.

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