Sunday, July 17, 2011

Finding Nemo sequel to be set in Florence?

One of the most loved family flicks from Pixar, Finding Nemo, may have its next sequel set in Florence according to The Florentine.  I doubt the Arno can be as intriguing as the Pacific Ocean.  Cars 2 recently went European, maybe Italophilia has captured the creative team at Pixar.  Who can blame them?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Jervis Bay, Southern New South Wales

Kangaroo at the beach, Jervis Bay, NSW
Cove, Jervis Bay
A totally non Europe-related daydream.  Jervis Bay, Australia.  We visited Sydney, Jervis Bay, and stayed on Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef about 10 years ago.  Jervis Bay, with its squeaky white talcum powder sand, parrots that sit on your shoulders, and kangaroos (my favorite animal, with sea otter being a close 2nd) peeking out from the forest, is a strong contender for a possible retirement spot.  Pristine would be the word I'd use, with fully intact sea shells the size of your palm dotting the surfline and dolphins frolicking nearby.  Small town Huskisson is a good place to stay, with friendly people and pleasant eateries.  The other side of the park has great surf.  We went in April and had the whole place practically to ourselves.  Photos courtesy of Jervis Bay Tourism Board.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Do you know Filippo Brunelleschi?

Da Vinci and Columbus get a lot of respect. But, both drew inspiration from Brunelleschi’s designs.   

One of history’s greatest architects and inventors, Brunelleschi is best known for Santa Maria del Fiore’s soaring dome in Florence, better known as “the duomo.”  Finished in 1436, it took 16 years to build and still holds the title of the largest brick and mortar dome in the world.   

Da Vinci sketched hoists and cranes that Brunelleschi designed to build the duomo, while Columbus used navigation technology gleaned from sun experiments atop the duomo.  Filippo is also credited with the first patent and the invention of one-point linear perspective. He is fittingly laid to rest in Santa Maria del Fiore.  This short, homely, unmarried, paranoid man is well described in Ross King’s Brunelleschi’s Dome.  A quick and entertaining read for anyone that has climbed between the dome’s shells and emerged atop the cupola with all of Florence spread out below them.  King does a bang up job describing the intricacies of his inventions without causing your eyes to glaze over.  

Other significant Brunelleschi designs:
Oespedale degli Innocenti
Pazzi Chapel, Santa Croce
Basilicas of Santo Spirito and San Lorenzo