Experiencing Italy’s Renaissance

Feb 08, 2019 322

BY: Rick Steves' Europe

Among the many things I love about Italy is how the Renaissance can be spliced into your travels. Imagine: In Florence you can sleep in a converted 16th-century monastery that’s just a block from Michelangelo’s David, around the corner from Brunelleschi’s famous cathedral dome, and down the street from the tombs of the great Medici art patrons — and that’s just for starters.

Before the Renaissance, Europeans spent about 1,000 years in a cultural slumber. Most art was made to serve the Church, and man played only a bit part — typically as a sinner. But around 1400, everything began changing. The new “Renaissance Man” shaped his own destiny and was no longer a mere plaything of the supernatural. Belief in the importance of the individual skyrocketed, and life became much more than a preparation for the hereafter. This new “humanism” wasn’t a repudiation of God; it was an understanding that the best way to glorify God was not to bow down in church all day long but to recognize the talents God gave you and use them.

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SOURCE: https://www.seattletimes.com/

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