Il Duomo

“Gather ye rosebuds while you may,
old time is still a flying;
For this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.”
–To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time by Robert Herrick

I’m usually pretty immune to FOMO (my fear of missing out usually gets shut out by my desire to curl up in the fetal position and rot into the couch) but I let all of that Dead Poets Society, seize the day, Gather Ye Rosebuds, go-into-the-woods-to-live-deliberately stuff, infect me and I was beginning to feel like I haven’t done a very good job of gathering my rosebuds since coming to Italy, so I decided to wake up early one morning to rectify that. 

I’ve been outside the duomo almost everyday since coming here to the point where I was almost getting used to seeing it. It’s just a massive centuries old cathedral that has hundreds of tourists churning around it 24/7. How could a person not get used to that? I had, however, never once been inside it. 

The only way to see the duomo for free is to attend Sunday church service, during which time, you are not allowed to actually walk into the dome, but since every other instance requires a reservation and money, I chose not to go that route quite yet. So, gripped by FOMO, I pulled out my Sunday best and went to mass. 

I doubt Fomo has ever had this effect on anyone else, let me tell you. 

I hadn’t given any thought to what the inside of the cathedral would look like. Immaculate is the word that comes to mind, of course, but it also does not even begin to cover it. It is an all expanding cathedral with a fresco on the ceiling and whenever my mind would wander off, I would look up at the dome and suddenly notice something different in it. The skeleton was a pretty cool find when I finally noticed it. Yes, you read that right.

Tell me when you spot the skeleton

I went to church, hoping to test my Italian comprehension, only for most of the service to be in Latin. In hindsight, that should have been obvious. They played the hits: In Excelsis Deo, Dona Nobis Pacem, and Sanctus. I fit right in. 

Being raised Catholic, I knew how the church service was going to go. I might not have always known what was being said, but I always knew when to stand and kneel. Membership has its privileges. 

I sang all of the psalms. The lady next to me and I had a pretty good harmony going for a while there. 

The statue of Dante at the Piazza Di Santa Croce

I took a hit of eucharist, only for it not to be washed down with any wine, which is tragic when you consider how good the wine has been on this trip. COVID strikes again.

Me at the statue of Dante at the Pizza Di Santa Croce. Notice the raincoat?

After church, I wanted to see the statue of David. Il museo accademico, where the statue of David resides, is also free to the public on the first and third Sunday of every month. In a perfect world, the plan would be to go to the duomo for free and then walk down the street to see the statue of David, also for free. It’d be easy like Sunday morning. 

However, this does not account for the two hour long line that wraps around the building at any given moment. I stuck it out for about ten minutes before deciding that this was a rosebud to gather another day. 

Instead, I had a picnic by myself in La Piazza Di Santa Croce, while reading A Room With A View. 

Never fear.

All is well in the court of the tragic queen.

The Tragic Queen,


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