Italy’s Mountains of Gelato Heaven
Oct 10, 2016
My I first say – my heart felt thoughts and prayers go out to the citizens of Italy after the devastating earthquake today and in the past months. Wishing all that were affected a speedy recovery to a normal life, a resilient rebuilding of your homeland and a peaceful earth beneath your feet in the future.
All good things must come to an end, including my enjoyable visit to Milan, Pisa and Florence, Italy.
My closing thoughts…
Regarding Italian Gelato – clearly there is no competition .
Regarding the architecture – the adornments on Italian buildings never cease to fill me with awe – this Lion’s expression almost chased me across the street!
Regarding the churches – every church I entered was filled with beauty, history, amazement and wonder.
Blindly I walked into the Church of Orsanmichele in Florence with no prior knowledge or suggestion from people, guide books or Google, yet, I walked in and stood before this intricately built tabernacle and painting and was stunned by it’s beauty. It’s story is also amazing. In the 13th century, the building that stood here was a straw market. During this time, the first “Madonna of the Graces” was painted on a pillar in that market and soon followed by miraculous events. The building and painting was destroyed by a fire in 1304. Rebuilt in 1337, still as a straw market. In 1347 Bernardo Daddi’s “Madonna and Child with Angels” was commissioned to replace the original “Madonna of the Grace”. While it remained a commercial site, pilgrims inspired by the miraculous events and sightings of the Madonna there, came in increasing numbers, especially after the Black Plague struck in 1348. As the legend grew the tabernacle was built in 1359 by Andrea Orcagna to protect the new “Madonna of the Graces” ( the one in this photo). Eventually the building was dedicated as a small chapel and oratory in 1380. The stained glass windows were added and are some of the oldest in Florence, and illustrate the miracles of the “Madonna” of Orsanmichele.
Regarding the crowds – lots of people were everywhere in Florence (and at all of the famous attractions in Italy) – even as the rain continued all day long. Bless the people that were standing on every corner selling $5.00 umbrellas and ponchos. What more can I say except that everyone loves Italy ?
My pokka-dotted umbrella adds a little extra pizzazz to the Duome, don’t you think? There were many more photos like this with the pokka- dots edited out.
Lastly, regarding Pinocchio – I really need to include Pinocchio in this last posting of Italy, as he is a much loved character in Italy and can be seen everywhere in many different forms – ornaments, books, stuffed dolls, puppets, key chains, etc. Pinocchio was the creation of the Florence- born Carlo Lorenzini, a political author. Under the pen name of Carlo Collodi , he wrote the story of Pinocchio. Collodi died 7 years later, in 1890, so he didn’t live long enough to see the spectacular success of Pinocchio’s story. It has now been translated in over 100 languages and is one of the world’s best sellers.
Pinocchio Park opened in 1956 in the hilly Tuscany village of Collodi, where Carlo Lorenzini’s mother was born. The village was Collodi’s inspiration for the setting of the book – thus it is also Pinocchio’s “home town”.
” A lie keeps growing and growing until it’s as plain as the nose on your face.” ( Pinocchio)…… or…
” A thousand woodpeckers flew in through the window and settled themselves on Pinocchio’s nose” (Carlo Collodi)
Most fitting me thinks since we are days away from electing a new president in the United States.
Thanks for reading and please vote responsibility.