jd_venegas Did I mention that the gorgeous San Gimignano has a torture museum? And that they used to perform torture in the fortress? BECAUSE THERE'S THE GODDAMN TORTURE RACK. 1w

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jd_venegas This is the view from San Gimignano. You can look in any direction from the edge of the town and fucking see this. Yeah. 2w

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jd_venegas This is the beautiful town of San Gimignano. It is a former fortress and monastery converted into a quaint tourist stop. It feels very much like the Italy we see in movies. A tad cliche, sure, but rarely have I been to such a peaceful place. 2w

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jd_venegas The Arno, as it cuts through Firenze (Florence). The cities of Italy have their more modern architecture built in and around their historical sites. Literally turning around can transport you in time. Incidentally, or perhaps because of it, this arrangement is what makes the country work efficiently as a tourism region. 2w

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jd_venegas The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. It was impossible to take a picture that would capture how utterly massive the structure was. It seriously took ten minutes just to walk around the whole thing. So I present the incredibly intricate center of the front facing. 2w

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jd_venegas Dante Algihieri, an amazing and (for his time) surprisingly progressive author. His works provide much of the imagery Catholics use to convey their ideas about the afterlife. Not sure of the truth of this, but I was told he had a major influence on the modern Italian language. 2w

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jd_venegas We've all seen pictures of this statue, but seeing it in person is a totally different experience. It's twenty feet tall and standing on a five foot plinth. Its proportions are completely realistic. It's like standing before a demi-god. I kept expecting the head to turn and look at me. 3w

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jd_venegas Atlas, unfinished. You hear about Michelangelo growing up, but it's not until you see how even his unfinished side projects are amazing that you realize how good he was. I've seen it for myself now. He is, in my opinion, the greatest classical artist. 3w

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jd_venegas You see this amazing statue? Do you see the beauty and anatomical detail? Yeah, it's celebrating the rape of a town's worth of women. I find it a poignant reminder how our history can be really, really fucked up and then polished for mass consumption. 3w
  •   littlejsmommy I love your daily posts and reflections on your trip. Keep them coming. 3w
  •   cali_golightly Is that a sculpted version of "Rape of the Sabines" it is beautiful. 3w

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jd_venegas Do you see this man? He cooks at Villa Machiavelli in Tuscany. If you have the opportunity, get your ass to Tuscany and have him cook you a meal and bring you some wine. Holy shit. I'm sweating and twitching thinking about that meal. 3w

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jd_venegas The interior of the Basilica. Beneath this beautiful church is the tomb of St. Francis. Ignore the creepy photobomber on the bottom right. 3w

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jd_venegas On the way from Roma to Firenze, we stopped in Assisi. This is the Basilica of St. Francis, shrouded in fog. Freezing cold there, but beautiful. 3w

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jd_venegas This is the interior of St. Agnes. The woman on the left is playing Bach's Prelude to Cello Suite No. 1. I sat down in a pew and got a little teary at the whole experience. 4w

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jd_venegas St. Agnes Basilica, in Rome. The most beautiful church I've ever seen. The spear in front of it is an ancient Egyptian obelisk, stolen centuries ago. 4w

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jd_venegas The Pantheon. A former temple to the Greco-Roman gods, converted into a church. I hope the picture provides some sense of scale. This building was massive and imposing, threatening almost. You can feel your worthiness being judged as you approach the temple doors. 4w

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jd_venegas The Trevi Fountain. The damn thing is majestic and powerful and pagan and newly cleaned. I had gelato and watched people toss coins to ensure their return. I need no such offering to guarantee I will see it again. 4w

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jd_venegas Marcus Aurelius. Called "The Wise" and "The Philosopher". Probably a flattering oversimplification by historians. One wonders if my boy Donny-T will be remembered with such posthumous glory. 4w

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jd_venegas Another Coliseum picture, to provide a sense of scale. The terraced seating used to be covered in marble, but that was all pillaged by later Emperors and Popes. 4w

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jd_venegas This is what was the floor of the Coliseum. This space used to be covered with wood and sand, and the space you see now is where they kept animals and slaves, underground. 1mon

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jd_venegas I don't know this cat's name. He lives in the Coliseum, not giving a fuck about you or your problems. 1mon

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