Adventure in Italy: Florence, Day 5

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day5postcardHere’s the thing — and I expect no sympathy here — but travel is hard work. It’s a blessed kind of work, but this girl has to be very kind and gentle with herself while on the road. I schedule “downtime,” and grab it where I can. Today that was necessary. But first, I had to go see some art.

We started the morning with the enchanting Museum of San Marco and the magical Fra Angelico frescos and painting. It’s one of those small museums that takes you by surprise and leaves its mark on your memory and, for me, my soul.  I discovered it on a trip several years back, and it hasn’t lost an ounce of charm. Fra Angelico was a monk, and this was his monastery. The frescos were created for the monks’ cells (bedrooms), and they remain right where they were painted. You cannot photograph anywhere in the museum, so these pics are from the internet. If I had to be a monk, self-condemned to a life without earthy pleasure, please, please let me sleep under these precious masterpieces.

On to lunch, a relaxing affair, and for me, a mortal American, a completely charming event indeed. Italians understand pleasure, have mastered relaxation, and lunch is a event. As they often drink wine with every meal, they are still perplexed by Americans drinking habits. They say we drink too much for effect and not enough for pleasure. I heeded the call and have been enjoying my afternoon vino with cuisine that makes me feel like a Medici (Florence’s very wealthy extremely powerful ruling family and sponsors of the Renaissance). My feet thank me after all that walking, and I understand siesta after all of that food!

Did I say I took it easy on myself today? Well, not yet — first, a visit to the Medici-Riccardi Palace. This was once home to Lorenzo (Medici) the Magnificent, Lorenzo almost single handedly (with some help from the Vatican) funded the high Renaissance, and the art here is indeed magnifico!

OK, now I can take it easy on myself. It’s time for a evening in with my Momma to reflect on all this glory. A trip to a grocery store that feels like a delicatessen for a picnic dinner in the room and a quiet evening of rest, listing to the rain gently fall!

About Stephanie Schlatter Art

Stephanie Schlatter is an Artist who draws from the world for inspiration. While she calls Grand Rapids, Michigan, home she’s often off on new adventures. For more than a decade, her journeys have taken her across the globe. She has studied art both locally and abroad, including time in Mexico, where she decided to shift her focus from photography to painting. Stephanie's travels led her to found Absolutely Art: A Project for Change in 2006. Through this non-profit organization, she brings art instruction to the children of Ethiopia while supporting their education. Stephanie's work reflects an expression influenced by other cultures which resonates a variety of influences that have given her work direction.

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