Florence Studio 2008 Update

As part of the fall semester’s studio experience, the Florence students recently sought out the high altitudes and apparition-inducing marble dust of Northern Italy’s Apuane Mountains. The daytrip included visits to the small mining town of Carrera and the surrounding “white” mountains. Often mistaken for snowcaps, the exposed white marble job-sites are immense in visual, olfactory, and sonic scale.

While the most notable export from this geology is no doubt Michelangelo’s David, a tastier treat was also experienced: Lardo di Colonnata — a local (um, earthy?) specialty whose flavor is acquired, in part, by storing the porcine belly fat inside marble vats for months at a time — was enjoyed both on-site and while trekking through the mountain trails to a remote mining camp. A stop to explore a marble mine and a drop down the hillside to Carrera’s marble cathedral rounded out the day’s fight with gravity. Friends are warned. The chances of you receiving pig fat as a holiday gift are pretty good.