Italy: Music & Culture

Monday evening we went to a baroque concert featuring pieces from Vilvaldi, Albinoni, Haendel, and Telemann, featuring trumpeter Alison Balsom.  It was a fun chance to dress up a bit and the pieces were done amazingly well.  During intermission I ordered my first cioccolato caldo and it was absolutely delicious, though unfortunately I was a bit late in getting it so I only got a few sips in quickly (which led to a burnt tongue), but I did put the cookies the waiter gave me in my purse to enjoy later (they were buttery sugary melt in your mouth wonderful).

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Apparently this costume was in one of the first productions of Othello.

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On Tuesday evening we went to a operformance of La Triviata at St. Mark’s church, which is part of an old Medici Palace owned by Machiavelli.  Since it’s such an intimate space we had a very close view, though they had to edit the opera a bit to accomadate for the setting.  Ever since I first saw Tosca last year I’ve fallen in love with opera and this performance was very well done.  When Chiara Panacci (Violetta) sang I could feel it reverberating in my ears it was so clear and loud!  The proceeds of the church’s opera performances go to charity so it was supporting a good cause as well.

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Today we went to the Uffizi and though no pictures were allowed I did manage to sneak a couple — I took the first because Adoration of the Magi by Botticelli is actually the picture on the cover of the book on the Medici family that my mom gave me.

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This is what the ceilings in the hallway look like.

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And of course I managed to take a picture of books (ledgers, actually, I suppose).

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We only had two hours with our instructor giving us a guided tour but luckily we have passes that allow us to get in as many times as we want for free so I’ll have plenty more time to explore.  So far we saw some early Madonnas, the Botticelli room, and the Leonardo da Vinci room.  It was amazing seeing something like The Birth of Venus up close since it’s such a famous painting.

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4 thoughts on “Italy: Music & Culture

  1. Geez I remember those ledgers! Did you notice that the people in the Adoration of the Magi are all members of the Medici family?! It’s truly amazing to see those all up close isn’t it? The brush strokes! You’re making me so happy!

  2. Yes, that ceiling is gorgeous. They, like the French, saw the great value of architecture and art. There’s some incredible works at the Uffizi and the Academia as well. So glad you’re getting to see all that history!!

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