Wednesday, August 21, 2013

david and the duomo, done and dusted

 The first thing that surprised me, were his hands. I'd read the guidebook, downloaded the Rick Steves' audiotour, but still. It's hard to get beyond those paws. Phrases like, Hand of God, and Gotta hand it to him, kept assaulting me. Wouldn't want to get on the dude's bad side. Which, I guess, is the response that Michelangelo had in mind.

So, I'm standing there in awe, like everyone else, circling this iconic masterpiece, when all of a sudden there's a clunk sound next to me. A bad clunk sound. Turns out this rather large woman has just collapsed in front of the David. A small group of us start fanning our tickets and guidebooks around her. Her husband stoops down next to her and starts rummaging through her purse. An attendant grabs her legs and lifts them up. (I'd never heard of that.) It was a diabetic thing, apparently. Low blood sugar. Dehydration. Maybe a combination. After a few minutes she came to, and was dizzily guided out the door by her husband.

I'm sure it's not the first time David inspired fainting. Plus, it's August in Florence.

Still, it more than freaked me out, in that I'm-a-woman-traveling-alone sort of way. Humans are more fragile than we think. And the way those Smartcars and motorbikes zoom around the cobblestones here. And me, and my daydreamy half-attention style. Doom could easily be just around the bend. Or tainted gelato. Or a falling brick from some renovation project.

So, I did the thing I always do when I start down the doom-trail. I manned up and strode toward the Duomo, intent on climbing to the top. Unfortunately, by the time I'd finished the Accademia Gallery tour, the line to walk up those 463 steps to the dome was a winding mile long. I don't know about you, but it seemed absurd to stand in a two hour line, and then pay money to climb the world's longest staircase. So instead, I walked across the piazza to the Campanile bell tower (413 steps, no line, 10 Euro), to sweat out my anxiety.

As with most huffing and puffing adventures, the payoff did not disappoint. It was a clear, moderate morning in Florence, and the view from the top was magnificent. Plus, I got to look down at the massive Duomo line from my perch.

Have you ever had a "plan B" experience that made you feel pleasingly cocky? 


  1. i think seeing a david-inspired fainting might be almost as great as seeing david.

    sometimes i fell like my life is a plan b experience. (which reminds me of an Amy Schumer joke about the Plan B next-day birth control pill and how for some of us it's Plan A).

    Really, I'm just rambling here, trying not to be completely overcome with envy with where you are and what you're doing there!

    have fun. write lots. see as many faint-inducing works of art as possible, and workshop that MSS like a MoFo!

    1. Speaking of writing (that is why I'm here, after all). I have three goals:
      1. Get feedback on my revised legacy novel in order to decide:
      a. to continue on with yet another revision
      b. bury the mofo in my backyard upon returning home (or maybe wait until the rain starts again since after a rainless summer, that's some hard ass clay
      c. backburner said novel in favor of new start. Which brings us to:
      2. Fuel up on new NA start and sink in with a gusto
      3. Decide whether to go forward with RC sequel set in, you guessed it, Firenze.

    2. Anonymous7:30 AM

      Ooo, I vote for the sequel! (Wait, are we voting? Yes? See my hand waving in the air?)

    3. Ha! Funny you should mention that, Averil! I had an aha moment today at the Uffizi while being absorbed by a Caravaggio self-portrait. The wheels are turning...

  2. I'm so freaking excited that you're there I can hardly type!!! I'd say, "enjoy your time there" but I know I don't need to. You will take in every bit of it, and then some. That's why I love you.

    (well, that, and you'll drink martinis with me) :-)


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