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  • Simone Richter

What a trip - back home, longing for more

Nearly one week at home I have Florence still in my bones, thoughts and dreams. An experience like that does not end with coming home. I am so thankful and happy that I had the chance to go for 5 weeks to Italy, experience a little bit of Pisa and falling eternally in love with Florence. But who am I telling this. You see the magic and beauty of this place in every photo of this incredible place. In case you have been there you probably understand exactly what I am talking about.

Sometimes, I wake up after a dream about the art I have seen with my own humble eyes at the Uffizi - THE museum. And still sleepy I believe when I look outside I will see Florence (which means a wall, actually, because that is what you see in most apartments when you look out of the window, due to the narrow streets and tight building structure.)

Sometimes, I even get sad then when I realize that Florence for me is in the past. Then I need to tell myself that it is also in the future. And yes, we are planning to come back. Maybe already in spring.

After writing here regularly in the first weeks of my adventure, getting a bit less frequent in the last week (meaning: not writing here at all, there was just so much to do, to see, to experience) I thought it might be nice to finish this blog (or it's first episode) with another entry. To wrap up my stay, my experiences, my memories.

When still in Florence I asked my companion: "What do you enjoy most about Florence". His answer was quick, very quick for a man usually thinking his answers through a lot: "The Uffizi".

The Uffizi Gallery is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in the Historic Centre of Florence. One of the most important Italian museums and the most visited, it is also one of the largest and best known in the world and holds a collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance.

Which means you get to see Botticelli's "Venus" and "Primavera", "Medusa" by (Michelangelo Meresi di) Caravaggio, Paintings from Michelangelo (Buonarotti), works from Titian, Rembrandt, Giotto, Dürer and so many many more. All in one place. It is so hard to believe that all these works are real. That they were preserved over such a long time. That these artists really walked the streets I was walking.

So, we went twice. And for our next stay we plan to buy the yearly ticket with which one can go every day. Because. We need to take a very much closer look.

The Uffizi is one of the first modern museums. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, and in 1765 it was officially opened to the public, formally becoming a museum in 1865. (Source: Wikipedia)

So what did I love most besides the Uffizi?

The Duomo (Opera di Santa Maria del Fiori) was my first love. It's the wonderful cathedral with an impressive dome, painted so exquisitely in the inside, decorated with three color marble from the outside, and a bell tower from which I one morning took the picture you see above. And I have not mentioned the Baptistry yet. A round building in front of the cathedral. Also with the same 3 color marble decoration. Its incredible decoration (painting and mosaic) inside is worth a day of discovery, at least. I want a tour with an enthusiastic and well studied guide!

When we arrived in Florence and laid our eyes for the first time on this majestic building it felt like being on drugs (in a very good way). During my trip I found several sights which gave me the feeling that I am magically drawn to constantly look at them:

- the Leaning Tower in Pisa - The duomo - The David in the Galleria dell Academia - and many, many paintings at the Uffizi

I loved walking around in this city without a goal, finding beauty and art and artists everywhere. Florence is breathing art. Everyone is breathing art, it seems. I met many very interesting artists and models. Most for too short. On our last evening we sat together after a life drawing session with 4 people, all trained in old masters style painting. So different from the crowds you meet in Berlin at life drawing sessions. Such a change in perspective.

What I want more of next time: - More time to sketch all the beautiful houses and landscapes

- More time at the Duomo dome, preferably with a guide - The Baptistry, explained

- walks through the landscapes on the "other side" of the Arno - Doing proper oil plain air on the country side

- Days which are empty to digest all the beauty

- More poem writing

- Meeting people, the ones we met and others. Artists.

- Days spent at the Uffizi

- sitting in cafés, thinking

- going to exhibitions of local artists

- life drawing sessions. I never have enough

- Finding a place which sells nice bread :-)

If you are still not sure whether you should or should not visit the new destionation of my dreams, please come and visit me at my studio on December 03 and 04. Then I will show all the work I created during my stay and also show some photos.

If you are planning to book a class in "Old Masters Style" painting, feel free to talk to me so I can share my experiences and tips.

I send you love.

See you in Florence next year,


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