Tomorrow, after my hopefully triumphant return to Italian high school english teaching Chiara and I will be hopping a train for Florence, the motherfuckign home fo the Renaissance. The town that started it all, thanks to Lorenzo il Magnifico of the incredibly rich and powerful Medici family. The banking/art patron dynasty. The word bank comes from the Italian word banco, which means counter. Where they did and do the banking. Capisci?
Anyway, Michelangelo, the towering figure of the Renaissance that he is, moved into the Palazzo of teh Medici family where he learned his trade in the sculpture garden of the Medici family. It was there too he learned from the great minds of his time, Latin and Greek, and began to write poetry.
Michelangelo could also walk up the street and see the Duomo, built by Brunelleschi, a remarkable Renaissance dome inspired by the Pantheon and inspiring for Michelangelo and others building the Dome of St. Pete’s.
It’s there in Florence in another church,Santa Croce, where Michelangelo is buried. It was buried there in his beloved hometown though he died in Rome (at 89) and was supposed to be buried in St. Peter’s Basilica. So saideth the Pope. However Michy’s remains were spirited out of Rome under cover of night (stolen, if you will) and taken to Florence where he was put to rest. According to his, not the Pope’s wishes. And he’s there still. And I’m gonna go see him.