Mystery in Monterinaldi

Binoculars looking out from the rooftop of the Duomo

Binoculars looking out from the rooftop of the Duomo

Today I went and explored my architecture project with Laura and Sam. I found out which bus to take in order to get us there and when we were on the bus and found the stop we needed to get off at, right at the moment we needed to get off, some guy lost his water bottle on the bus and it rolled right in front of us. So, kindly, we picked it up and gave it back to him instead of let it roll all over the bus. Unfortunately, the bus driver didn’t see that and closed the doors before we even got out. So we got off at the next stop which was down the road. We had to walk down this street that was a little scary since it was windy and had cars going moderately fast up it. But we made it safely to the street, Via di Monterinaldi. We began the ascent and encountered the first of many of this particular architect’s projects. They were really cool buildings. I liked how he used the stone and contrasted it with modern stucco and forms. We made our way up to the top, not really knowing what was there, but found a certain house by the same architect (all a part of the series) that I recognized from the internet. There was a large wall surrounding it, but we could see people on a sort of balcony up above. We were jumping up and down trying to get a better look when they noticed us and we/I yelled up to them that I was an architecture student and this was my project. The guy came down and I told him my scenario and he offered to let us walk around the property, problem: he only spoke Italian. So he walked us around the house and showed us part of the quarry from which the house was built. Unfortunately we couldn’t go inside, and the grounds were really unkept. It was a shame because the architecture had so much potential and the family/people (one of which is the architect’s) didn’t have enough money to keep the property in shape. After we were finished looking around, we thanked our host and headed down the hill to catch our bus, which promptly took us back to town.

Upon arriving, we spontaneously decided to stop by Laura’s project before it closed. Laura was lucky enough to have Santa Maria del Fiore as her project, so it was a good reason to get to go inside the Duomo since I have never been. It proved my theory once again: that if a church is crazy ornamented on the outside, that it is probably plain on the inside. Although it was plain, it was still very beautiful. The Cupola was also very nicely frescoed. After walking around for a little bit, we saw where the crypt was and thought it would be neat to get to go down and explore it. So we did. It was amazing to see the ancient Roman ruins of Santa Reparata literally right underneath one of the most impressive churches of the world. It was also really neat to see how the architect/designer created the exhibit around the ruins. With time to spare, we again spontaneously decided to climb the Cupola! It was AMAZING to see the frescoes that up close (they actually looked really terrible and sloppy) and EVEN MORE AMAZING to walk between the double shell of the dome! Spiral staircase after spiral staircase, we ascended into the narrows of one of the biggest domes in the world. I’m pretty sure I saw 500 year old dust. There even came a point when we had to scale the dome vertically; and the final ladder to the viewing platform, was probably the steepest I’ve ever seen (maybe except for the stairs in Holland). The views of the city are amazing as always. And the better you get to know the city, the more you appreciate seeing it from above. It was also beautiful to see as the sun was setting.

We eventually descended the Cupola and concluded our day with nothing better than a tasty kebab. That night we went out for a few drinks, which was fun, and eventually made it to the secret bakery for a one euro chocolate brioche that was still warm – delicious! Overall, it was a splendidly fun day!

GlassSpurChain MailDuomo1FlowerGiotto's Tower

PLP Project Visits, a set on Flickr.