Florence: Magnet for Artists, Geniuses and Weirdos

Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Monday, September 14, 2015

The first day I arrived in Florence — where many of the world’s famous artists, composers and Visionaries lived– I found out that humans have the same attitude toward creative peope as they had 500 years ago. When you think of Michealangelo, the most renknown sculptor in history….would you ever think that his father didn’t want him to be an artist? When Michaelangelo took an apprenticeship with a local sculptor, his parents frowned on their son becoming a ‘lowly stone cutter’. They wanted him to be a banker, and work in his family’s banking business. Can you imagine Michaelangelo NOT becoming an artist because most of his time was spent working at a bank? How much support does a rock star get when they’re trying to create music? Mostly zero, unless of course, they have a hit song after all thise years of putting up with people’s cynicism and doubtfulness. Jim Morrison’s father never approved of him being in a band, or simging. He wanted his son to join the navy.  Can you imagine Jim Morrison NOT becoming a singer because his father thought it was a frivolous thing to pursue?
How many people who want to passionately pursue art, creativity or ideas that seem weird get taken seriously?
Galileo, the “father of modern science”.. you know, that super smart guy who discovered that planets are round– not flat– and revolve around the sun, was charged with heresy by the Catholic Church and put under house arrest for not believeing in Aristole’s theory that the earth was flat. This theory was sanctioned by the Catholic Church, who even threatened Galileo with torchure if he kept publishing books to prove the theory true. There was Dante Aligeri, the poet who had a day job as a politician, and Mozart often hung out in Florence when he went on a drinking/ composing binge.

You can definitely feel that strong contrast between creating art and the pursuit of commercial wealth in Florence, where both occur simultaneously. It’s one of the design capitals of the world, (home of the Gucci meseum).  Plenty of people with far out ideas and creative impulses who visit there, never leave.

I can’t figure out why I’m addicted to visitng Florence. Its where ancient history meets modern technology. Where Midevil Castles are turned into trendy boutiques and restaurants. Where I buy a pair of skinny jeans and then a gelato in the same hour.  Avid health food eaters are also chain smokers. The cobblestone streets are too narrow for cars, but they’re always filled with traffic, squeezing through places where people Can barely walk. The city thrives on contradiction, and contrasts.

I rented a 1 bedroom apartment for 3 nights, and just ‘lived’ there to see what evey day life felt like. I bought groceries at the supermarket and cooked an italian dinner every night. My travel buddy, Michael, and I would soon part ways. He would be leaving for Rome, then grabbing a flight back home to San Diego. I was headed for Milan, to catch a flight to Barcelona, Spain. But first, I would stop in Bologna to see what all the hype was about.

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