It was the same main square with its Duomo, Santa Maria del Fiore, the smooth white and dark marble stripes constantly beckoning, inviting you to steep yourself in its intimate structure. Florence, rounded arches and columns stretching out along the valley towards Peretola, Sesto Fiorentino, and the sea. The city famous for the most beautiful dresses and shoes, fabulous jewels, and ceramics; the place where she thought she would find that longedfor happiness. So much had changed within her since then…. Nowadays she wouldn’t dream of wasting time to even glance at Doctor Schnabl’s books: she has lost her patience – and her confidence.
She was walking on the pavement of Palazzo Strozzi, having ignored the eastern door of the Baptistery, which depicted scenes from the Old Testament, its prophets and sibyls, and the northern one, which represented evangelists and scholars of the early Latin church. She did not know which of the two Michelangelo had judged worthy of being the gate to paradise and regretted not having Jacques’s learned comments, his archaeological competence. A long time had passed since that night when, after a bottle of rosé, they had made love in a cheap pensione by the Arno. Her mind fixed on the Apollonian trunk of the David seen a few hours before in the Accademia: the narrow hips and muscled calves of a dancer, not at all like Donatello’s pensive shepherd. A famished and effeminate figure in bronze, resting the immovable weight of his sword on the ground.
She had come back to Florence, oblivious of everything but Michelangelo’s impetuous David, whose copy in front of the