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Italy Day 2: Immersion in Art History

Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, & The Uffizi Galleries

· Italy 2019

The amount of art and history we saw today was incredible. We started our morning off with a great breakfast in our hostel, and got to celebrate two very special birthdays for Alice (AVPA’19) and Elana (AVPA’20).

Very soon after, we set off for an unforgettable day in Florence. The first thing we saw was Michelangelo’s famous “David” statue. As one of the most well-known pieces of art in the world, it was surreal to see it in person, along with many other impressive statues in the area. We took lots of nice photos in the Piazza della Signoria before entering the Palazzo Vecchio. There were so many rooms filled with beautifully intricate art that it was hard to keep track! Inside the main hall, we all stood quietly as we viewed the high ceiling, decorated with masterful artwork, lots of gold, and intricate storylines. Although there was an important speech going on in the hall, we got our fair share of the room and everyone’s phones and cameras were filled with the glory of the hall. We saw plenty more rooms, many of which were bare aside from the detailed ceilings. From lots of the windows, we could experience beautiful views of the city.

After our time in the Palazzo Vecchio we were given time for lunch on our own. Many of us ran as quickly as we could to local restaurants with homemade pasta and other dishes, while others got gelato and a quick bite to eat and set out to explore the city. Once we met up after lunch, it was time for the Uffizi Galleries. The sheer amount of artwork in the building was enough to intimidate us, but as students interested in art and its history, we jumped excitedly at the chance to see the artwork. It ranged from statues to early medieval art, to plentful mannerist pieces often depicting stories in the Bible to pieces of Medusa in all her glory. Many of the pieces were recognized by the AP Art History students, including “Madonna with the Long Neck” and “The Birth of Venus.” There was something for everyone as we roamed the ornate halls. Each portrait had a story to tell, and Mr. Guthrie and Mrs. Min were eager to tell them as the groups ventured through the galleries. The time we spent went by very quickly because of how exciting the galleries were.

After a long day of immersion in art history, we sat down for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, where we were greeted with great food, an Irish dance performance, and most importantly some birthday cake and wishes for our two birthdays. We had a fun and exhausting day, and we can’t wait for tomorrow! Thanks to Joella Chase (AVPA'19) for the photos!

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