Yesterday, Sunday, we rose to have breakfast in the little lounge here in the villa, having lovely artsy conversation over coffee, hard-boiled eggs, fruit and yogurt. We deliberated where the perfect artist commune should be. A little before 9:00 we opened the squealing iron gated door onto the gray drizzly streets for a guided tour to the Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze. We crossed the Arno River via the Ponte alle Grazie, just a couple of blocks from our place, with a view of the adjacent Ponte Vecchio, made our way to the Basilica of Santa Croce (Holy Cross), passed the childhood home of Michelangelo and the Piazza del Duomo and the Florence Cathedral. We made it through the drizzle and the crowds to the Accademia and got to see Michaelangelo's "David" and many of his other sculptures but had to back at the studio for our model, who was scheduled to arrive at 2:00.
Margherita was escorted to our villa by a manager from the Florence Academy of Art; she was relatively new at modeling for artists, and I guess the Academy wanted to make sure she was in good hands. She was. She posed for photos for the first half hour, then assumed longer poses for us to paint live. She had a great time with us and was extremely grateful for the tips we all stuffed into a cup for her. She left us at 7:00.
We had just enough time to scrub the pastels out from our fingernails and then walked a block down the road to our seafood dinner in Piazza at Bocca d'arno. We had sardines, octopus, some yummy broccoli soufle muffin thingies, wine and finished it all off with limoncello and laughter. We continued planning our artist commune.