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Italy Italy 2019

It All Leads Back to Michelangelo

Michelangelo is hands-down my favorite artist of all time. The way he is able to create life from stone is truly amazing and awe-inspiring. While in Firenze I wanted to go to the Piazzale Michelangelo since it has the best views of Florence and the artist in me was itching to find something truly beautiful to draw, but my body would not have been able to make the hike up the hill to go there. Instead, I found myself at the Medici chapel. The Cappelle Medicee is distinguished by the octagonal shape of the dome and attached building and contains the tombs of the Medici family. I know it’s common practice, or at least it was with popes, to preserve their finger in within the altar of the church, and even with some priests, I’ve heard of this happening. Prince Gallitzin back in Pennsylvania has his preserved body in a glass coffin within his church, so I know things like this aren’t completely unique to Italy. At the Medici chapel, behind the roped-off altar, which was truly beautiful, to be honest, would have only been accessible to the priests or servers back then probably. In the room to the left of the altar was a piece of the clothes a priest would wear: the scarf-like object worn around the shoulders. It looked like it was made with gold thread woven in with the fabric. While it was beautiful, what caught my attention was the mummified fingers in bejeweled containers in that room, and the other Medici family bones preserved in similar jars in the other room to the right of the altar. Right under my feet were the bodies of one of the most prominent families of Medieval history, but even that doesn’t compare to the beauty of Lorenzo and Giuliano’s tombs carved by Michelangelo. So in a roundabout kind of way, I did get to experience something Michelangelo related. It might not have been what I originally intended, but it was beautiful nonetheless.

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