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History of Art Visits Florence
In the Easter holiday, the History of Art department (joined by a handful of other keen Art students) travelled to Florence for four wonderful days exploring this beautiful city. With our fantastic guide, Agata, we were able to appreciate the historical context of the Florentine Renaissance, walking the very streets that great artists such as Donatello and Ghiberti walked 500 years ago and exploring buildings like the Medici Palace where Michelangelo actually lived for a time.
Getting to see so many of our Renaissance case studies first-hand, and sometimes in their original location, allowed us to better understand their communicative power for their original audience: climbing the 463 steps of Brunelleschi’s great dome for Florence cathedral definitely made us appreciate this incredible engineering feat! The views from the top were spectacular.
By day we visited great art institutions such as the Uffizi and the Accademia to study masterpieces by great artists like Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci, and in the evenings we ate in local restaurants to sample delicious Tuscan food. We also visited sites that are more off the beaten track, such as the peaceful monastery of San Marco where we saw how Fra Angelico’s frescos formed part of the friars’ everyday devotional lives.
The students made the most of every minute and could even be convinced to trek up to the church of San Miniato al Monte for gorgeous sunset views of the city below. We learned a huge amount about this remarkable period of history that has had such an impact on the world we now live in, and our guide helped us to make links between political, economic and social issues then and now. We all enjoyed periods of free time to explore the city, do a bit of shopping, and rest our weary legs.
All in all, this was a brilliant trip for both students and staff and we were blessed with beautiful sunshine on all four days. The History of Art students have already tasked Miss Dobell with planning another trip next year – will it be Venice, Rome, Paris, New York…? Watch this space!