This entry is from June 1st. I’m having trouble getting pictures to upload but I’ll try again tomorrow. I’m going to go ahead and post the entries and see if I can get the pictures to upload later on.:
Don’t worry – it’s not as bad as it sounds. Beth and I split up today (“split pants”) so that I could take the theatre students to Vicenza to see the Teatro Olimpico. (This was mistakenly left off of the itinerary by the travel agent, so we had to rearrange things to make it happen.) Beth will have to update you on the goings on of the students in Florence – I know they went to the Pitti palace and the Academia plus a few other spots but I’ll have to get someone else to post the details on that.
As for us theatre folks, we had a very rough travel day – we all got up around 5AM to make it to the train station. I won’t go into all the details but all the theatre students were real troopers through many delays and setbacks including missed trains, changing departure tracks, sold out trains, misprinted tickets and many other challenges! We ended up having a two-hour layover in Bologna, so we decided to explore that town for a little while. We found this fabulous local market where you could buy all kinds of food (meat, cheese, breads, nuts, candy, etc.) and other goods. I got some tea and some wonderful homemade soap.
We did eventually make it to Vicenza around 1:30PM and headed straight to the theatre. It was well worth the trip. Andrew commented that it had only taken us 3 days and seven hours to get there! The Teatro Olimpico is one of the most important theatres in the world in terms of theatre history. It was built during the Renaissance and is truly an embodiment of that time period. It is the oldest surviving indoor Renaissance theatre in Europe. The space echoes the importance placed on classical works during the Renaissance as the architect Andrea Palladio wanted to build a Greek/Roman style theatre indoors. So the seating is laid out like the Greek and Roman theatres but the theatre has an amazing and elaborate proscenium and also is a wonderful example of the “street scene” perspective. I could go on and on about this wonderful theatre! I was really glad that the students got to see it.
We also got to see a falconer hunting pigeons – the falcon swept down and got a pigeon just a few feet in front of us while we were standing outside of the theater. Talk about drama!
After the theatre we had some lunch in a park and then explored the town a little more. It’s a beautiful town (aren’t they all!) Palladio designed many of the structures in the town and it’s pretty impressive.
The trip home was thankfully uneventful. The rail system in Europe is amazing. I wish that we had something like it in the USA. We were all exhausted from all the travel, but it was a good day. A very good day.