Venerdi, November 21 – 2am.

The pigeons warble in their roosts in the brick sized holes in the wall opposite Hotel La Perla’s window. Life must be rough for a pigeon. I’m still waking at Western Australian time.

The 8am radio in the lavenderia self service is pleasant enough. The same format as 60s Perth Radio; a single male announcer, the occasional jingle and Abba, Knowing Me Knowing You. The sun picks out some walls in Banchi Di Sotto while most are in deep shadow. The late November sun is low in the sky all day, morning, mid day and afternoon.

With the Duoma full of Carabinieri it’s straight to the Museo dell’ Opera del Duoma. Duccio Di Buoninsegna’s Madonna of The Maesta, sits enthroned surrounded by saints and angels on panels 5 metres wide. I’m enjoying the stillness of Siena’s 14th century painting. Although Terre Verte (Green Earth), the Medieval and early Renaissance under painting colour for human flesh is unsettling. The use of green enhances the warmth of the over painted red Cinabrese skin colour but when I see green flesh I see putrescence. Duccio’s, The Maesta was painted for Siena’s Cathedral in 1311, 7 years before his death and 37 years before the arrival of The Black Death. 

Room 406
Day 8 November 22 (Sabato)

We leave Siena on the 8.47 for Florence.
A woman shakes a rug over a balcony.
On the horizon a snow-capped mountain.

After a not too long walk, arriving at 6 via Medici, a family stands by the entrance, the parents are crying. We are given the key to room 406. What a hotel room! Hotel Medici must be a 2 star hotel. There is room to walk around the bed and there is a writing desk. The bathroom is small but not as small as in Rome and Siena where you could shower while sitting on the toilet. We meet Ivan in the street near the Duomo; he’s a little grey now. He travelled to Florence from Bern. It’s good to be together again. It’s been 8 years. We find a bar that sells expensive beer. Ivan asks what the photo project is about. It’s about The End of Everything I say.

We visit; The Duomo, a market, buying Remi a leather belt, San Lorenzo, the oldest church in Florence, the church of Santa Maria Novella, with Giotto’s Crucifix at the centre of the central nave.