by Melinda Gallo

Blocks of marble from Massa

On my walk up the viale (large avenue) to Piazzale Michelangiolo this morning, I was happy to see more leaves of all different colors: brown, yellow, orange, and even red. I love seeing autumn at its peak. While I hiked up the viale, cars and motorini (scooters) passed me by in both directions and a few leaves fell from the trees quietly. I kicked up some of the leaves on the path even though the sidewalk was rather tidy.

Living in Florence :: Blocks of marble from Massa

I brought my macchina fotografica (camera) with me because Il Festival della Creatività put on display around 16 huge blocks of marble at the Piazzale Michelangiolo to show the raw material that was used in building the Duomo. I had gone the night before and walked next to and under them, but this morning I arrived too late and they were loading them back onto trucks to take them away.

I stood on the steps under the statue of David in awe at the blocks of marble and couldn’t believe that hundreds, if not thousands, of them were brought to Florence to build the Duomo. In the twenty minutes that I was there, I watched how one block was loaded onto a truck. The process was slow, even with the modern inventions, like cranes, that we have today.

Since the scale (stairs) are still closed while they’re being repaired, I had to walk toward via del Monte alle Croci, a winding residential street. Before I reached the street, I took a long glance at San Miniato, one of my favorite churches.

With the grey skies above threatening rain, I scurried back down the low hillside to San Niccolò. On the way down, I kept thinking of the marble blocks and how I wished that I could’ve seen them the way they were last night. I enjoyed my walk up to Piazzale Michelangiolo to see the city and smell the autumn air--what could be better?

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