Tuesday, June 19, 2007
A Duomo With A View: 463 Steps Later
I am about to bid a fond farewell to Firenze and venture to yet another wonderful Italian location. Yesterday, I was overcome with insanity and decided to pay 6 euros to climb the 463 steps (think dark spiral musty stone steps)up to the top of Bruneleschi's Duomo. After a pause at the narrow ledge that leads all around the inside of the dome, thereby offering a view of the paininting on the ceiling, which included a wild and wicked rendition of Dante's inferno, I continued up up up till I squeezed my body through the opening in the top to emerge onto the top of the Firenze world. Three hundred and sixty degrees of Firenze, just imagine all the red tiled roofs, the views of the other famous structures and the tuscan hillsides beyond. Not a place for anyone afraid of heights, but it was a moment I will never ever forget. And, the walk back down was quicker than going up, but it made my head swim going step after step around a spiral.
If you have never had any inclination to go to an opera, well folks, Italy is the place to get over it already. Two days ago I was walking around the city and noticed a few posters of the opera La Boheme being performed that very night. But, it was in a church that wasn't on any of the tourist maps, an Anglican one called St. Marks. I thought, oh, if I could go to an Italian opera while I'm in Italy, well that would prove to me that my fairy godmother does exist. After my dinner I happed to be aimlessly ambling along a street on the other side of the Arno and what did I see? A big sign that said "Concert." That's all it said, but I walked into the front door (the church was completely covered in a 'mask'of scaffolding and protective material) and there was a lady and I asked if this was where the opera was being performed and if I was too late. "Yes, and No" No way!!! So, I paid a measley 19 euro to get in, and realizing I had only 40 minutes before show time, I ran back to my hotel, changed out of my jeans and t-shirt into opera attire, well at least I got a chance to wear my girly clothes, and ran back in time to find my seat. The setting was quite intimate and I'd have to say there were maybe 100 people in attendance and the mc gave the introduction in English. You must come to Italy to hear Italian opera, YOU MUST. There was no amplicfication of any type, yet these singers practically raised the roof! Rodolfo and Mimi were sublime.
Must leave you now. Love to all.