Sharp Monica

An honest voice in Italian paradise.

Firenze: The Hands of the Medici/Le Mani dei Medici

Yesterday, Victor, Flavia, and I went out to see the Bill Viola exhibit that just opened this past week in the Palazzo Strozzi.

Incredibly, we were able to take the 19 and the C1, which made the day pretty much perfect for Victor. I was surprised the schedules lined up on a Saturday.

The tiny C1 makes its way down Via Cavour but then detours through San Lorenzo on the way to Piazza del Duomo. I love how the drivers patiently nose their way through hoardes of tourists and locals.

In Piazza San Lorenzo, I asked Victor, “Do you know where we are?”

I often ask him questions of orientation when we are in town in case he gets lost, but also, like his mama, Victor likes to know things.

“No,” he said.
“This is San Lorenzo,” I said.
“San Lorenzo,” he repeated.
“We almost named you Lorenzo,” I said. “Do you wish you were named Lorenzo?”
“No,” he said. Well, that’s a relief.
“Do you know why this church is important?” I continued, hoping I did not sound too pedantic. “It’s a very important church.”
“Why?” he said.
“The Medici are here.”
“They’re HERE?”
“Well, what’s left of them.”
“They’re buried here.”
“Like, super horsey times.”
Vic looked out the window as the bus curved around the Cappella Medicea.
“I want to see them,” he said.
“You can’t see them, because they’re buried. You can see what’s left of them,” I said, with a half chuckle. Now an Italian woman to my left was laughing and glancing back at us as we discussed this topic.
“What’s left of them?” Victor asked.
“Not much,” I said. “They’ve been there a really, really long time. What do YOU think is left of them?”
Victor really put this question to some thought. The lady bus driver gently beeped at a tour group gawking at leather items hanging out of a store. “I don’t know,” he said. “Their… hands?”
I laughed, picturing the phalanges of the Medici in the great stone vaults, cast like some augury. “Hopefully it’s more than their hands,” I said. “It’s their bones. Le ossa.”
“Ossa,” Victor repeated, looking out the window.
The hands of the Medici.

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