Friday, January 10, 2014

Bolzano 18.12.2013: Last Suppers and Braying Goats

Pass-Through in Medieval Arcade, Bolzano, 16 Dec. 2013

On the train in Bolzano, waiting for it to depart for Bologna, where we'll switch to a train to Florence. We whiled away time this morning going to the cathedral museum in Bolzano, where a very nice docent gave us a guided tour, all in German we both easily understood.

Last Supper Painting, Cathedral Museum, 18 Dec. 2013
I liked her. We talked about Pope Francis, and she said she very much likes him, because he's simple, and places himself on a human level with the rest of us. She had sharp things to say about how a Last Supper painting of Jesus and the apostles in the museum collection clearly has, to her eye, Mary Magdalene kneeling next to Jesus, but tradition has required that we call this figure John the Baptist Beloved Disciple. And when I said this means Mary Magdalene was an apostle and so women can be ordained, she nodded and said, "Yes--but not in my lifetime."

Jet lag still lingering. We both went to bed exhausted at around 8 P.M., then awoke in an hour and lay awake tossing, turning. I put earplugs in to try to drown out the cathedral bells, reminding me it was 9, 10, 11, but could still hear them through the foam--the downside of charming hotels in old European cities: bells clanging the hours all night long, as one lies maddeningly sleepless.

Didn't help that a group of girls in the room below us kept up a bacchanalian cacophony for hours, as one brayed with the laugh of a goat being strangled. Still, two blessed cups of delicious cappuccino this morning, and all was set to rights.

Old Carving from over Cathedral Door, with Medallion Showing Prophet Daniel Below

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