Leather, fur, and fingers

Today we visited the Scuola del Cuoio, the leather school of Florence. It was really cool to be able to walk through the old dormitories of the school where the workshops of the masters are today. When we arrived there, we got to see the “last guilder”, Francesco, press gold leaf onto a leather coaster. He is one of the few people in Florence who knows the proper gold leaf technique. Then, we were given the opportunity to feel the difference between different leathers that came from different animals. Lamb was very soft, while cow could be cured many different ways. Also, I learned that each animal skin has a different price and is measured by different standards; cow is about 6-8 euro per square meter while alligator can be up to 40 euro per centimeter strip of its belly. After today, I think I can say that I am an expert in leather!

After lunch we went to the Gucci Garden and the Galileo Museum. The Gucci museum was very interesting and not like anything I’ve ever seen before. All of the outfits and accessories on display are very extravagant and definitely nothing that any normal person would ever wear, but still cool to look at. As you can see above, Ryan stood next to a shawl made from two foxes, and that was probably the most simple thing there. Also, we watched this 12 minute video of a man in a car attached to a dumpster, trying to drive away but all that’s happening on screen is the buildup of tire smoke. It was very weird, but I guess it was art as it apparently won an award. And if anyone asks, the motif of the garden was monkeys, not sloths.

The Galileo museum was very informative and I learned so much more about him and science in general from his time period. This was the first time that I got to see the instruments he used to discovery that we were not living in a geocentric universe and discovered that the planets were not perfect spheres but instead had mountains and craters like earth. However, the most important exhibit was Galileo’s fingers and tooth. Back in the 1700s, some fans of Galileo tore off these bones from his dead body for some reason, so now they are on display in this museum while the rest of his body is buried in the Florentine Duomo across from Michelangelo.

Now off to eat some good gelato!

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