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Visita il Mugello, culla dei Medici, a due passi da Firenze e le bellezze toscane

Travellers in Tuscany



The Bridge

You continue along the river. Just ahead is the Ponte Vecchio, the old bridge. It is the oldest of the bridges and one of the few that survived the German occupation in WWII. You wonder what you would be seeing right now had they been successful in blowing it up. You could not imagine being deprived of this vision.
The bridge is reflected in the river. You should take a picture, you think to yourself. You reach into your pocket. Oh, why bother. A picture could never capture this. But then you think there could be more to it than just capturing the view. It is the confining to internity a single moment of this walk, having it as a reference point to all the moments preceding it and following it. Those other moments that just flow one into another,that have no idividual identity,all becoming just one memory.

You lift the camera to your eye. You try not to be dissapointed. The moment is there. This moment with its blue sky and brown water. The birds flying through the viewfinder are now your birds and the river flowing is your river. You feel good about what you are seeing. This picture will be rich, you think.
You cross the street before you get to the bridge. Something else attracts your attention. It is the sound of a band playing somewhere behind a short narrow street leading to who knows where. It is jazzy and just odd enough. You follow the sound and come out into the a large arcade, with a straw market on one side and the Uffizi Gallery on the other. You spot the band. They are young and dressed the part. One has a beret and goatee while another is wearing a loud scarf and a tshirt. The three others in the band are going for the rumpled rather than the bohemian look. There is a small audience of appreciative young travellers. They clap wildly when one song ends. You hear the band speak English. They sound like yanks, you think to yourself. The band loses its charm and they strike up a rather bare sounding Sympathy for the Devil. You recognize the melody immediately. The young audience cheers while the rest of you move on. You walk through the arcade, past the portrait artists, past the museum and into the Piazza della Signoria. The first thing you notice is the copy of the David in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. At first you are confused and think you are seeing the original and your heart sinks with the feeling of dissapointment.

The statue is spotted and stained,with large dark streaks running down the cheek as if David were weeping over his predicament. How could they leave him out here with all these pigeons. Surely there must be someplace better. Cleaner at least, for the Piazza is a magnificent location. Just as you are getting comfortable with your indignation you happen to hear a tour guide explaining to her party that this is just a copy and that the original is not far away in the Galleria dell'Accademia respectfully displayed. For a moment you feel foolish but quickly you feel relief that this is not what you thought it was.
The David will be special,afterall.



Text by Bryen Lebar
Picture by Sandro Santioli

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