January 17, 2013

Day 10: An Architectural Tour of Florence

It was quite a dull day today. Amanda is sick so I ate breakfast and went to school alone. In Italian we went over homework then played a game involving matching words and articles. I am beginning to get tired of learning the same things I did last semester and hope Massimo will start teaching new verb tenses, etc. soon.
I then had Art History, which is truly a dull class. Luca talked about three Sienese painters today, Duccio da Boninsegna, Simone Martini and Ambrogio Lorenzetti, since we will be heading to Siena this Saturday. He spent a long time going over paintings and the development of perspective and facial features.
After class, I got a spinach filled pastry-like square and brought it back to the Palazzo Capponi. Then I hung out with some students before they had Politics of the European Union class. Once I was alone in the library, I did my Italian homework and began reading for Art History. I finished my reading from the first class and got about 1/3 of the way through my reading for the next.
I walked with a few of my classmates to the Piazza della Repubblica where we met Luca for class. He then took us to 3D map located in the square and told us some facts about the city (i.e. where the walls used to be located). We then headed around the city and saw various old buildings from the late 1100s to early 1200s. We also passed Via del Dante Alighieri, which I of course photographed.
During this trip, I learned why many of the small piazzas in the city were originally built. In the early 1200s, many families (or clans) built these tower-like houses close together. Instead of having the entrance to each house on the street side, they put in small courtyards that could be reached from an alleyway. Entering someone elses "territory" though these alleys was dangerous as many of the richer families had hired militia protecting it and thus provided security to the dwellers of these homes. Today, these narrow alleyways serve as short cuts between roads and there are entrances to secluded restaurants.
On my way home, I stopped at the supermarcato to buy two apples and a pack of almonds.
For dinner I had some sort of meat cake again that I barely ate, leftover mashed potatoes and the pizza-ish thing again (this time with prosciutto--- yuck!!!). Dessert was delicious though. Rosanna made some sort of small donut-ish thing rolled in sugar that was still warm when I ate it.

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