Florence, Italy (Click picture for larger view)
"This is the fairest picture on our planet, the most enchanting to look upon, the most satisfying to the eye and spirit. To see the sun sink down, drowned in his pink and purple and golden floods, and overwhelm Florence with tides of color that make all the sharp lines dim and faint and turn the solid city to a city of dreams, is a sight to stir the coldest nature, and make a sympathetic one drunk with ecstasy." ~ Mark Twain (1835-1910)The town is filled with priceless art, history, beautiful cathedrals and wonderful food. To stand in front of a larger than life size painting by Botticelli and be able to see the individual brush strokes on the canvas is amazing. To see Michelangelo sculpture of David and realize how massive it is and how detailed with the branching veins that course over his hands and the muscle definition in his arms and legs. You just can't get that in a picture book!
Of course our trip was scheduled around my brother's opera performance. To see fine opera here in the US you must travel to New York, Atlanta, or San Francisco. In Europe, many smaller towns have their own opera companies. Everyone goes to the opera; adults, teenagers and even children. They know the stories and the music. Each opera is performed in the language it was first written; Italian, German, French and even English. During this trip, Stephen was performing as the lead in Othello. This was a trip of a lifetime.
Submission for LensDay topic "travel". (end of post)