Of Cathedrals and Kings

This morning begins with the consumption of the legendary triple espresso… It’s a fierce! Bitter bitter bitter but I’m not vibrating yet. Maybe it’s my innate caffeine resistance.

The Santa Maria del Fiore is impressive as yesterday. The facade of the building is intricately decorated, fluted columns framing tall windows, complex geometric patterns woven into the marble tiles of the surface. Pink marble inhabits spaces between the green and white. The entrance is superbly detailed, statues and friezes populating the enormous edifice, stern faces of saints and bishops staring out, cherubs dancing among them.

The inside is cavernous! Like one of the smaller halls of Khazad-dum. The flooring is entirely marble. It looks like more than a few basketball courts could fit this place, though I guess the marble floor might mess with dribbling and bounce passes. The echoes of the swish of the bet would be great though! Light streams in through the windows, illuminating the inside with a misty glow, so high is the ceiling. High arches span the cathedral. Granite and plaster and marble fused into a grand construction. I’m tempted to whistle and see what it sounds like in this place. There’s an organ in a corner, together with the choir it must be beautiful! Too bad there’s no choir here. Stained glass windows filter the sunlight, telling their own stories, crimson and carnelian crystal joining with violet and vibrant greens to dazzle. The silence is awesome. The camera cannot capture the scale of the place.

Lunch! Seafood risotto, fettucini bolognaise, and a triple threat sample of traditional Tuscan soups, filled with beans and veggies, and one with barley! Tuscan soups turn out to be more like stew, very thick, lots of body. Strong bean flavours, vegetable-y. The fettuccini is a dryer sort… I think it is a bit disappointing. There’s a spinach ravioli in walnut cream, super gao, but has a fascinating taste. The seafood risotto is my favourite! So many different elements coming into play: clams, mussels, little baby squid, squid rings, tomato, capsicum, octopus, all cooked with that rice and blending deliciously into a rich rich stew. I like risotto.

After three plates of food I am stuffed.

Michelangelo’s David is epic. It is honestly the most impressive statue so far. At a statuesque (ha-ha) 5.4 meters it stands at the end of the hallway. The only suitable word for it is Manly, with a capital M. His fierce and royal mien, a fiery gaze into both the distance and the future, the lines of the body speaking of great potential for action, yet the relaxed confidence of weight resting on one leg, conveying a sense of vitality and energy. Truly kingly.

A lazy afternoon is followed by a pizza dinner! Thin crust Italian pizza with super fresh ingredients… Mmmm. Just like how it’s meant to be.

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