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Go to the past | Go to the future

Enroute to Firenze (Florence to philistines), our train passed through Pistoia, where in the 1500s the town’s engineers invented the pistol (hence, the name). Trenitalia failed to hinder us this time and Matt and I arrived in Firenze, fulfilling a pledge held for many years. Well, almost: no Liesl.

By dint of compulsion, we headed first to Chiesa di Santa Margherita, for in this fine city the golden-haired son was The Dante Alighieri, and this church was profoundly close to his life. Here, he first encountered Beatrice Portinari, the love of his life, about whom he penned La Vita Nouva and who led him through Paradise in The Divine Comedy. Sadly, this was due to her untimely death in her twenties. Dante had never properly pursued her, being distracted by others until it was too late. She is buried in this church, and we came to pay our respects (which is better than going to Juliet’s house. She never existed). Spare a thought for another lady buried in this church: Gemma Donati, Dante’s wife through a marriage motivated by politics. Married to the greatest romantic poet in history, in the same church, and he never wrote a jot about her, not a single merde.

After that, we went to the Dante House museum, about four doors down, rebuilt to something like the original specs on the same site, seven centuries after his birth. It was slightly on the average side. We followed this with a walk around the city to get the general feel of the town, and I find its architecture the most compelling so far encountered in Italia. Far more precision cut stone work than most regions, without the sterility of that in Piedmont, and less brick, rough cut stone and rendering than elsewhere. The negative aspect of our walk was the almost omnipresence of slack-jawed, dawdling touristi stupidi. Firenze may have a high rate of petty theft, but the fact it is perpetrated against these dazed, ignorant bovines leaves my heart devoid of sympathy. Fate, consider thyself tempted.

Day 2 was epic, as shall day 3 be: Uffizi. I'll write on this and the new rockin' Yanks and Canucks that Matt and I are hanging with laters.

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