Sunday, January 28, 2007

My Days in Firenze

We almost finished up printing the latest issue of Visionaire (12 giant size puzzles) on Friday at a plant in Marostica, a gorgeous little walled medieval town at the base of the Alps about 50 km north of Vicenza. After spending three nights in Verona proofing, I was based for two nights in Vicenza. The issue looks amazing--Italians simply know how to print, never showing you anything that isn't almost dead on before bringing you out to the press to sign off. There's an understood craftsmanship about printing in Italy, a certain pride that the pressmen take in their work that doesn't seem to exist in North America printers. My boys in Montreal who do V and V Man have also gotten there, but it took nearly nine months of kicking and screaming about quality and changing every component of the printed page (paper, inks, varnish, tension on the rollers and more) to make it happen.

As I sat in an office at the plant on Friday waiting on sheets, I had this amazing view of the snow covered Alps and contrasted that view with what I usually see at work: the rusty old back of a building on Greene Street. Really not such a bad deal.

Florence is simply gorgeous, and I like it best out of the five cities I've been in on this trip. It's a real, thriving city and when the sun is coming down, the golden tones shining up and down the streets are not to be believed. Obviously, I'm not the first person to realize this. There's good food on every block, not to mention yet another picture of the Virgin Mary or Jesus. Damn. Religous overload. I'm getting a little case of Stendahl's Syndrome (a term coined by a Florentine psychiatrist to describe the overwhelming dizziness that besets tourists when visiting this city from taking in so much art) and am not sure how much more aI can see and absorb. Tomorrow is the day of churches (Duomo, Santa Croche) plus fun at the giant food market and dinner at Sostanza, sort of the Luger's of Florence, and then back to NYC on Tuesday. One thing to note about Michaelangelo's truly stunning in person David: he put some big balls on that fella. Guess that's what helped him defeat Golaith.

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