Ifs, Ands, and so many Butts: Lessons Learned in Italy #3


If you consider yourself a bit of  a prude, or are offended by nudity, or have small children reading over your shoulder, STOP READING RIGHT NOW. STEP AWAY FROM THE BLOG AND CLICK OFF THIS PAGE

OK, with that said, enter at your own risk.

As a citizen of the U.S., I’ve come to realize that we aren’t exposed to a lot of public nudity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for nude beaches and pornography. But something about my sheltered experience did not prepare me for Florence, Italy.

IF I had been born Italian I would have been brought up to appreciate all the great artists all around Italy.

AND I would have been taken to the local beaches with the rest of my family and routinely exposed to topless women and very small speedos on men. You see, a lot of Italians love the sun and become bronzed to perfection in it. They are definitely a people of the Mediterranean; golden skin, white teeth, and passion.

BUT, alas, I was not. So arriving in Florence, Italy with my camera ready to capture beauty and grace, I found myself surrounded by….butts.  Everywhere. I didn’t need to pay an entrance fee to a museum to see these extraordinary features.

the view from our bridge

the view from our bridge

I just had to walk down most any touristy street, bridge, or alleyway.

Now I’m aware that in ancient times warriors and sports stars did their thing without the confines of clothing. And many of the statues I observed were of such scenes.

the spoils of war

the spoils of war

Disco King

Disco King

Family Man

Family Man

The Rape of Sabine

The Rape of Sabine

Not too bad.A very nice specimen

There also seemed to be a bit of gender discrimination. In most cases of nudity it is usually of the female variety but here in Florence there is definitely more male nudity in sculture and paintings! And I’m not just referring to butts. Yeah, you know. So I was impressed by the balancing of the scales, so to speak, from the universal norm.

And the most famous of all butts in Florence is the David. Bigger than life and standing in all his glory.



Then there was this Satyr and woman.  

She probably was pushing him away due to his less than perfect behind.

But when I thought I’d found the perfect female version of the perfect butt…

it turned out to be Hermaphrodite!

And I must add that I thought it odd that there weren’t more fig leaves being modestly displayed. No, the male form was exposed in all it’s maleness, except for the dwarf.

the dwarf

the dwarf

where's the glory?

He should protest discrimination!

the moth

the moth

I mean, a moth?  Really?!

All in all I embraced the human body in all it’s beauty. But I never did get used to seeing the bodiless angel heads with wings, flying around some of the paintings.    Weird.

Winged baby angel head?!

Winged baby angel head?!

5 responses to “Ifs, Ands, and so many Butts: Lessons Learned in Italy #3

  1. Well, Kathi, you certainly used your camera to good advantage! I’ve known you long enough to picture you drooling over these muscular behinds! You ain’t dead yet, girl!!

    • Well SOMEONE had to put them there! I tried to find the souvenir Davids with a fig leaf to hide his family jewels but there were none to be found.

  2. Oh my goodness–Thanks for morning laugh even if I did struggle with the Moth myself.

    I have a mess of boxes and containers all over my apt. here in the mission house and will have even more by the weekend since I am going down to Iowa to get some of my things out of storage there. I start work at my new job next Tuesday (the library is closed on Sunday and Monday) and I will hopefully be in my new apt. though that is still up in the air. It still has to be repainted and the guy wasn’t sure it would be ready for me by that time or not. Both the Juhl’s and Quam’s live in Fergus Falls though (did you know either of them? Juhls’ were Kenya and Quams were Ecuador) and that is only 20 minutes away so they said they could put me up for a few days.

    Apt. hunting was an adventure even for a small town. First place was a dump, second place was adorable but no pets and even if I don’t get something immediately, I will get something so that was out. Third place was a real possibility but then I talked with the ladies at the library and one of them said she delivered meals on wheels to that building and that it was not a good situation. Finally got one at the 4th place and even though it looks like immigrant housing on the outside (as in 17 Spanish speaking factory workers living next door) it was cute inside and it turns out my neighbors are a nurse from Fargo on one side and a postal worker on the other. It is the middle one of the 3-plex type place which people assure me means it will be warmer and it is only 2 blocks from the library. It has a stove and Ref and a washing machine and dryer (bonus) but nothing else so I am scrounging for furniture. I have been offered a mattress but it may be too big for the room so I will be looking for something else but it is fine for starters. Pat H. also found me a table and chairs and Deb R. offered me a small flat screen TV. I did find out that there is a community wide garage sale that goes on the Saturday after I arrive and that if I beat “the man with the truck who buys up all the furniture” I may be able to get some deals so I will figure out which side of town he is starting on and start at the other and we can meet up in the middle.

    And the library is small but cute. Get this though–I walked in and saw beanbags in the children’s section that were shaped like PENGUINS! Is that a sign or what? I will be the branch librarian which means I will be in charge of the smear with one or two volunteers showing up to do shelving and such which of course I am used to. They are getting new computer software so I had to be there on Monday for training in that which was good since that meant they paid me and I had to go to look for an apt. anyway.

    And now I need to get to Amazon for some book buying. I still have workfunds and Jeff said if I don’t spend it now it will be sent to some other ministry so I want to get rid of it for the library. I called the little Filipino man yesterday and he still does balikbayan so he will drop off some boxes for me and pick them up here at the mission house when it is full! Woo Hoo!

    Have a Blessed Day!


    Sent from Windows Mail

    • Wow Carol! How fun! I love garage sales and I really miss being able to do that kind of thing. Hey, if you have any books on space, can you send them my way through John Gronseth?
      What a new adventure for you! A small town, huh. That ought to be different. Are you sure you can handle the peace and quiet?
      Wish you had taken a job here in China, though.
      Blessings on your new life! Whenever we’re in MPLS again we’ll check in with you!

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