But I didn't despair, dear reader. Oh no. Instead, I made a delicious breakfast omelette and freshly squeezed lemonade, and then went on an adventure to see a printmaking gallery. However, on the way, I got sidetracked by a paper store, because I am a little obsessed with paper. I went in, and examined all the beautiful marbled paper until the store owner stopped by and offered to show me around. I asked a few questions about the marbleization process, and he showed me a demo at the little marbling station he had set up in the front of the store. Then he showed me how they used the paper in bookbinding. I told him that I loved bookbinding and did it in my printmaking classes, and he got really excited and told me that he would teach me how to marble paper myself. So he took me to the marbling station, handed me an apron and set me to work. I made three different types of marbled paper: vortex, peacock, and flames. It was a lot of fun and apparently I was halfway decent at it, because he had me run the next demo by myself, and when I brought friends back later, he let me teach them how to do it, and even left the store in my care when he had to run a quick errand elsewhere in town. He also let me package customers' purchases. I have become his unofficial apprentice.
I finally made my way to the print gallery, which was wonderful. All the prints in the show were intaglios and etchings, and some were well-known artists, like Rubens, Rembrandt, Piranesi, and and even Manet. However, I was disappointed by the presentation of the works. The gallery walls were painted a bright red, making it hard to view the works without a haze clouding your vision and forcing you to look away. Also, the frames were poorly constructed and the mats were cut with little regard for the size of the print, which meant that the print either hung out of the mat or if the piece was float mounted, it was not properly centered (and it was quite obviously not centered). I was sad that such beautiful prints were displayed so poorly.
This weekend is also Tuscany's wine celebration, so I visited another gallery that was displaying the best wines of the decade as well as beautiful photos of all the Tuscan vineyards.
Emily, Megan, and I also visited a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit. It was mostly his inventions, although there was a small exhibit of anatomy, describing da Vinci's obsession with the human form, as well as a History Channel documentary playing in a room. It was incredible to see mechanisms we still use today with little deviation of design, even though they were invented centuries ago.
Then I went to dinner with some of the international students. We had Brazil, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Mexico and America represented at our table at the pizzeria. We were able to make our own pizzas, which was fun, although we didn't learn much, because the pizza guy did most of it for us and didn't explain any of it. The pizza was good and reasonably priced, so I'll probably venture back there again. They also had wine on tap!
After dinner, Megan and I went to the Piazza de Santa Croce, where an international festival was being held. We walked through to see all the food from different countries, and picked up a few Belgian chocolates to eat for our dessert. They were assorted truffles, so we had no idea what we had, but knew they would all be delicious. So we went through them, enjoying all the chocolate thoroughly. We were right, in that there were no bad chocolates in the bunch.