the birth of venus

Settimana della Cultura

The Settimana della Cultura – Culture Week – running April 14th to the 22nd, is a span of 9 days where all throughout Italy, state-run museums and other cultural attractions waive their entrance fees to attract tourists who wouldn’t otherwise be prone to visiting.

Being exactly this kind of tourist, I wanted to give a quick thumbs up/thumbs down review of all the places I visited, but it just so happened that my experiences within them proved to be much too personal to be put into words. They accumulated into a knowledge, an understanding, of things I had never cared about before but was now not only interested in but wanting more of:

Being exactly this kind of tourist, I wanted to give a quick thumbs up/thumbs down review of all the places I visited, but it just so happened that my experiences within them proved to be much too personal to be put into words. They accumulated into a knowledge, an understanding, of things I had never cared about before but was now not only interested in but wanting more of:

The Rubens in the Palatine Gallery that got me interested, the Juno in Accademia that blew my mind, the painting of the Sabines in the Palazzo Vecchio that got me hooked. The stories in the Capelle Medicee that painted mythology, theology, and history together as one surreal reality. And of course, “that beautiful Vasari” of Lorenzo the Magnificent in the Uffizi, the epitome of what I learned that week, the peak of my experience.

These are untranslatable, untranscribable experiences that only those around me saw transpire within me and even they couldn’t feel the overwhelming amazement and gratefulness and shocked disbelief at the things I was saying, recognizing, feeling. A week’s worth of moments and a city’s worth of history and art had just changed my life.

And while newspapers will tell you that Culture Week was not as successful as was hoped, and that attendance in Florence was actually much lower than expected, I can tell you from my personal experience that Settimana della Cultura works, if only because I’ll never need to attend it again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *