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Right, so I am running out of room for my pictures of Italia on this website, because you only get so many gigabytes.  Therefore, I have created a second blog for my second semester in Italia: https://studiareallesteroinitaliadue.wordpress.com/ which should work.  If it doesn’t let me know!

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This was our last stop in Firenze, a church on the other side of il Fiume Arno that overlooks the entire city.  It is perhaps the most beautiful spot for viewing the city that I was in, in my opinion, especially helped by the fact that it was sunset and gave a dusky glow to the city.  We attended mass there and waited around to hear some Gregorian chants.  They were . . . interesting, not what I expected but it was still nice to experience.

And that was the end of the trip with my darling sister.  What a journey it was – we had our ups and downs but it was so much fun.  Certainly a once-in-a-lifetime chance.  And now I feel much closer with her, and I have experienced parts of Italia that I hadn’t before.  Going back and doing this makes me want to travel with her again instead of doing school!  [Also, I wish I could say I’m caught up with this post, but I’m not . . . definitely this coming week though because I have to be.  I have a trip to Sicilia coming up in two weeks, and I don’t have a class this week so I have the time.]  (taken 11.1.2015)

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Dante!  Who doesn’t know this wonderful man?  Well, we visited his house in Firenze, which was really difficult to get to – it’s not as easy as it looks on the map.  The layout of the museum inside was very confusing – it was more about the political and artisan/guild aspects of his era than about him, and I know he was involved in those things but it was a little too much about them.  Although there was a room at the top that was dedicated to La Divina Comedia – there it is, all written on one poster and then the last picture is the oldest, illustrated copy (I believe) dating back very far to around his era.  (taken 11.1.2015)

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We visited another church (which Hillary wanted to see because she wrote a paper on one of the paintings inside or something).  It was nice – there were many relics.  Have I mentioned before that the Church needs to get another hobby besides collecting parts of other people?  But, the last picture, is supposedly some of the thorns from Jesus and a piece of his cloth.  I believe that it is but Hillary doesn’t.  (taken 10.1.2015_11.1.2015)

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So, I’m skipping ahead a few pictures/posts because I want to lump these guys together, but the next day we headed up the bell tower, il campanile, which gave a few good view of la cattedrale.  And we got to stand under the ringing bells several times (since they ring every 15 minutes).  And it was so cool because they reverberated through you.  (taken 11.1.2015)

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These are sights that we saw as we climbed Brunelleschi’s dome.  It was slightly scary coming down (okay, very scary for me) but it was so cool!  I got to touch where Brunelleschi touched!  I even hugged the wall of the dome!  And it was so amazing!  It was a beautiful moment in my life, all of those steps (more than 400) and Brunelleschi!  Oh, dear Brunelleschi!  (Oh, I should probably mention that those wooden tool things are examples of some of what he used to create the dome.)  (taken 10.1.2015)

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Alongside the ruins, there is the tomb of Filippo Brunelleschi.  Who is he, you might ask?  Well, he was a genius, that’s who he was.  He built la cupola, the dome, of the church in an extremely inventive way, which is a little complicated to explain.  Long story short, he not only revised the way we work with perspective today, he also created a new technique of building domes, which we still use today as well.  It’s really complicated and confusing still to me but trust me on this – it was a new way.  (There’s a book that I read for a class, Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King that explains it all very well.)  Anyways – it was very exciting seeing his tomb and climbing up his dome.  (taken 10.1.2015)