Say you find yourself in Florence for about 36 hours. Art, architecture, gardens, libraries and specialty shopping abound in what National Geographic calls a “city-size shrine to the Renaissance.” A city with Roman origins that flourished during the Middle Ages, Florence, “the Athens of the Middle Ages” has been ruled by Medici, served as the capital of the Kingdom of Italy and continues to serve as the capital of Tuscany and the providence of Florence. It is a majestic city lying in the basin of the Arno and three other rivers between seven hills – Rome has nothing on this place. Continue reading “Firenze”
I am not afraid of the storm, for I am learning to sail my ship. Louisa May Alcott
I recently came across that quote and it stayed with me. Not only did this quote force my adult self, with its understanding of free will, to reevaluate my perception of Amy March (she is no longer just the Laurie stealing oh-no-she-diduhnt sister), but it brought to mind comforting nautical references. From Genesis (Noah) and The Book Job to The Perfect Storm, from Homer to Shakespeare (who loved a good shipwreck) to Melville or even the celestial sailings of Winken, Blinken, Nod and Opus, literary works have used the sea and boats as a vast slew of devices – symbols, allegories, tropes and you name its. The sea, the shore, sailing – all are able to have several different meanings: vastness, redemption, opportunity, hardship, a vestige of what was once unconquered and also travel and former lives, the unknown, journeys both physical and figurative, and water, lots and lots of water. Continue reading “Dance To The Storm/Harbors Make Me Happy”
In Islam, it is haram to take pictures of people without their permission. Ideologically, it is tied to frivolous or indulgent pursuits and should not be displayed. So you could take a picture of a significant event to preserve the memory, but it should not be displayed on the wall for others to see. I had to shoot this over the shoulder of another person, because of the people I was with, we were split as to whether or not it was taboo to take a picture of a priest. (Hijab to Wimple to Clerical Collar?) But we could find no reference to anything saying a priest should not have his photo taken, nor a nun for that matter. As a side note, I learned a solid life lesson – don’t google taboo and nun, it’s really disturbing.
Italy seems to offer a whole section of tourist stuff geared towards the tourist with a unique sense of memorabilia. Maybe it’s because there are cities where the whole tourist economy is based on marble models of naked men, like Florence. Maybe it’s because of the tourist. Or maybe it’s just part of the culture. Continue reading “Cheeky”