Florence 2022 Florence, Italy MSMU Travels

Monuments of Florence

To be famous for your structural unsoundness is quite ironic. This week I went and saw the
Leaning Tower of Pisa. This was quite a trip; we lost some people along the way, and they had
to take a train to find us, but it was interesting nonetheless. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was
smaller than I thought. I imagined it as wider and taller, but the picture I took was hilarious.
Jumping up, using a cone, and throwing a punch made it look straight out of Pinterest.
However, I am here to write about art, but that was a highlight this week.

This week I went to the Bargello National Museum. This is the museum with Donatello’s David.
Honestly, it does not compare to Michelangelo’s David. However, my favorite piece was from
the Museum of Opera of Saint Maria of Fiore. Within these gates, it held Florentine designer
Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise. These gates were more than I imagined: They were so
shiny after all these years! It looks like if I opened these doors I would enter into a portal to
another dimension. The eight lower panels depict the eight virtues: hope, faith, charity, humility,
fortitude, temperance, justice, and prudence. This is such an attraction to visit in Florence and
is adored by generations, including Michelangelo himself. It is said he gave the name gates
of paradise, and it stuck. These bronze doors are monuments of the Renaissance. The famous
narrative of the Old Testament is a sight to behold.

In addition to their aesthetic beauty, these doors are massive at seventeen feet high. Crazy
enough, Ghiberti was only in his early twenties when he first started working on them. He got this commission when he entered a competition to design the bronze doors for the
Baptistery’s northern portal. Ironically his rival, Brunelleschi, entered as well. However, the
Baptistery liked both of their work so much they called it a tie. Nonetheless, Brunelleschi was
too prideful for a tie, so Ghiberti took the win, and his gates will go down in history. The project
took 27 years to complete, but it was all worth it because these doors are grand enough to
adorn the entrance to paradise, and they are masterpieces and very epic.

Finally, I ended my week by buying a leather jacket. My friends say you can’t go to Italy and not
buy one; it’s for the culture. It did leave my bank account crying, but I’m looking good in the
club, so that’s what really matters.

New addition to the wardrobe

Ciao until next time! Make sure to check out my classmates’ reflections from earlier this week and those still to come!

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