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Cupola, Rosetti Sandwiches, and Florence

After breakfast at 8, we head to climb the Cupola at 9:30 as it opens at 10am. The Cupola captures the late gothic renaissance style and we are informed by a fellow student’s presentation that the dome, to prevent it from collapsing due to its large size, there is a skeletal structure within that zigzags and is constructed of wood and brick. The climb was not easy but worthwhile as the view was extrodinary.

We then head out to grab lunch, a sandwich shop, at Mercardo Centrale. Students are offered an option of meat or vegetarian sandwiches. Since there are twenty-two sandwiches that need to be made, with twenty students and two instructors, students are granted an appreciated window of time to explore the various shops at the local market. There are many interesting sounds, smells, and scenes to soak in. When our rosetti sandwiches are ready, we scout out a nice shady area at a nearby park and chow away. The vegetarian sandwiches have eggplant in it and students who were craving for fresh produce didn’t hold back their compliments. The sandwiches geared for the carnivores were also full of gratification as the thinly sliced meat was just the right amount of salty and full of flavor. The consensus however was that the bread, the crusty yet soft, luscious bread was the star of the meal.

At 4pm, we were presented a lecture on the brief history of art in Florence by Daniele. We learned about the Renaissance, which means ‘Rebirth’ and refers to the period from the 1300s to 1600s that was a new period of learning and creativity. The lecture focused on the art of ancient Greece and Rome and comparing Renaissance art to Medieval art characteristics. Medieval art, more flat, with little or no perspective, told stories on religion or warfare, and commonly had a gold background with no landscapes because it represented heaven. In contrast, for Renaissance art, the biggest innovation was the use of perspective. Other important characteristics were light, movement, specific color, proportions, and symbolism. For the first time, art and artists became scientific. The common theme still contained worship and idealizing but in a more common scene and sense.