Dolcetto o Scherzetto

Halloween isn’t a big celebration here in Italy. I was feeling a little homesick for jack-o-lanterns and cobwebs, so I was quite happy when we wandered into an English pub for lunch today and were greeted by Halloween decorations.

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This is about as good as it gets in Firenze on All Hallow’s Eve. No “docetto o scherzetto-ing” for the bambinos.

It seemed appropriate to spend Halloween wandering among the dead, so we visited Santa Croce Basilica e Museo Dell’Opera. Founded in 1294, Santa Croce is one of the finest Gothic cathedrals in Italy, but in the 19th century, the cathedral became the final resting place for illustrious Italians.

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One of my favorites is Dante Alighieri. There are statues of the poet all over Florence and they depict a man who definitely looks like he’s been to Hell and back. That or he was just mad as hell.

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His funeral monument is one of the more elaborate. No surprise as he is a hometown boy.

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But, they brought out the big guns for Michelangelo….

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and Galileo.

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Twentieth century “illustrious personages” like Marconi have humbler monuments.

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And Machiavelli is kind of in between as if they didn’t quite know what to do with him..

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But Santa Croce isn’t just known for its funeral monuments. You can see Donatello…

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and Gaddi. Gaddi, like other artists around Florence, was commissioned to paint The Last Supper in the dining hall. I imagine a bunch of Franciscan monks who look about as happy as Dante chowing down in silence — well, except for the sound of their chewing.

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Happy Halloween!

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