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Florence, Part One

This morning we woke early, enjoyed breakfast and headed into the heart of Firenze. We started the day by wishing Angela Buon Cumpleannos!

We started with the Gallery Academia and saw Michaelangelo's "David". Most of us had seen photos of this stature or images on screen, etc but none have done it justice. The thing is HUGE. It now weighs in at 5 tons! It was carved of just one piece of marble. So how big was the original block of marble before he began chipping away? We learned about his technique and how he personally selected the blocks of marble from the quarry.

This gallery also had other pieces of art for us to view and learn about - but the highlight was the David.

Upon entering the city this AM, we encountered a lot of students. We found ourselves in the middle of a student protest!

We next made our way to the Duomo. The seat of the bishop in Florence, this cathedral is breathtaking! Marble floors that go on forever. The domed ceiling with frescos was magnifient. It even has a clock - a 24 hour clock!

We heard from our guide Alessandra, lit candles in prayer and were awed by the art (some done by Donatello himself).


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We next drove to downtown Granada where we checked into our hotel and had some free time.  Several of us met up with some special guests later while others explored the city on their own and enjoyed some of its finer offerings.

Our special guests were from the University of Granada's GRIIS Program - the one Stonehill has a partnership with for our students to spend a semester.  Amalia and Teresa work for GRIIS and they coordinated a lovely walk down the Avenido de Constitucion with Jessica '14 and Elyse '14 as well as Sara '12 (who has returned to Granada for a year after graduation to get post-graduate work done).  All five of them were welcoming and informative.  We saw some of the university and heard some history of the city, and some current facts as well:  300,000 people live in the city but 100,000 are students!!  This was apparent as the whole city has a college-town feel to it.

Check out more about the program:  GRIIS Program

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