Florence, city of flowers, deserved another day. Less than a mile north of the Uffizi is the Galleria dell'Accademia, the art gallery of the University of Florence, wherein stands Michelangelo's original David, not the imposter pretender outside the Uffizi, although the only way I could tell the difference is if a pigeon left a message. Would be interesting to read the thoughts of the admiring audience.


Giambologna's plaster version of The Rape of the Sabine Women is here also. For some reason, abducting women was very popular in the Renaissance, and much more difficult since apparently Renaissance men preferred to abduct the heftier variety. The marble version is under an archway of the Loggia in the Piazza della Signoria since 1583 where the outdoor David can stare at it perpetually. So far no one has carried it away. Nashville has yet to fully appreciate Alan LeQuire's version on its Music City Roundabout. Perhaps because the women are enjoying their abduction too much. (If piazzas are square and pizzas are round, should this Nashville attraction be retitled Pizza di Musica? Nahhh...)


On the other side of the Piazza di San Marco, for the more pious tourist, sits the San Marco Monastery, Fra Angelico's home and now his museum. Rather than spray paint his walls like graffiti artists do today, Brother Angel plastered his with divine images. His Annunciation, with the angel's muted rainbow wings, has always been one of my favorite influences. The wings were likely less muted in the 15th century. Although the symbolic message of his images do not move me emotionally, as they did the people living in this place and time, the care with which he touched his images communicates all the qualities and values of the original message. If we are awed by the trees, do we need to see the forest? (Please, no jokes about choir boys, thank you...)


Left Florence-Firenze with stimulation in both upper and lower chakras. Hiked past Siena , the other birth of the Rebirth, and slept next to Highway 6, now A1-E35, near the tiny town of Bettolle, Tuscany, no doubt on top of an Etruscan tomb or two in the vicinity that would 28 years later be excavated by Tennessee Dave, anthropological specialist in ancient Mediterranean cultures. So here's to all the Davids! May they remain beloved from wherever they hail.