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On December 3rd, 2020 by Jeremy Cotroneo

Homeless Jesus – by Artie Martines

Posted In:
Art | Culture | Florence | Spain | Travelers Tales

This post is guest-written by our traveler Artie Martines.

During one of our on-line presentations, our guide Lior Aviv talked about a modern artist’s statue called "Homeless Jesus," which can be found in Florence.

Travel Community member Artie took a deeper look into this and wrote a nice piece on our Facebook page which we would like to share with all of you:

When Lior showed the slide of the statue of Jesus under the blanket which is commonly called “Homeless Jesus,"  I commented that we had seen the same depiction in Barcelona last year while traveling with Tuscany Tours. I did a little research and found that the sculptor is a Canadian, Timothy Schmalz, and the original installation of the sculpture was in 2013 in Toronto at the Jesuit School of Religion at the University of Toronto. It had originally been offered to a church in Toronto and St Patrick’s in NYC. Both churches turned him down.

 

From Wikipedia:

The statue has been described as a "visual translation" of the Gospel of Matthew passage in which Jesus tells his disciples, "as you did it to one of the least of my brothers, you did it to me." Schmalz intended for the bronze sculpture to be provocative, admitting, "That's essentially what the sculpture is there to do. It's meant to challenge people."

 

There are now installations of this piece in numerous locations throughout the world. You can find it in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The sites where you can find it include the Vatican.

The one we saw in Barcelona is located near Santa Anna church which houses a soup kitchen run by the homeless.  The statue was installed in February 2019 just a few weeks before we saw it.

It is a very powerful piece, and it certainly evokes a reaction as the artist intended.

I was certainly moved by it, and it made me even more grateful for all that Eileen and I have been blessed with over the years. It also affirmed the support we give – and the work we do (mostly Eileen) for – the Elizabeth Coalition To House The Homeless here in NJ (you can read more about the Elizabeth Coalition here).

Attached is the picture I took in April 2019.

On June 20th, 2020 by Karen Embrey

Read Italy: Our Travelers' Favorite Books about Italy

Posted In:
Books | Culture | Italy | Reflections | Travelers Tales

READ ITALY book recommendations

Our travelers are avid readers, and they love to share their personal book recommendations in our Tuscany Tours Travel Community Facebook group.  In these "safer-at-home" times, a good book is just what the doctor ordered to help us escape to another place.  And, what better place than Tuscany, Sicily, Florence, Venice..... or anywhere in Italy?!  Books about Italy

To vicariously travel to Italy, look no further than our community’s recommendations below. History, fiction, art, science… there’s something for everyone.  So, grab your wine, kick back, and relax as we guide you on some armchair travels through Italy!

Help us to grow our Italy book list!  Please leave your recommendations in the comments below.

 

Tuscany Tours Team recommendations:

Pam recommends:
All Sam Hilt books!
All Detective Montalbano books -- set all over Sicily
Love in a Tuscan Kitchen: Savoring Life Through the Romance, Recipes, and Traditions of Italy by Sheryl Ness

Karen recommends:
The Botticelli Secret: A novel of Renaissance Italy  by Marina Fiorato
The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer

Jeremy recommends:
The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe by David I. Kertzer
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Shauna recommends:
The Birth of Venus – Sarah Dunant
The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

 

Travelers' Community recommendations:

Mark B. recommends:
A Vineyard in Tuscany: A Wine Lover’s Dream by Ferenc Máté
A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure by Marlena de Blasi
Hidden Tuscany: Discovering Art, Culture, and Memories in a Well-Known Region's Unknown Places by John Keahey
The Wisdom of Tuscany: Simplicity, Security & the Good Life - Making the Tuscan Lifestyle Your Own by Ferenc Máté

Lauren Y. recommends:
The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen

Judie W. recommends:
One Summer Day in Rome by Mark Lamprell
The Lady in the Palazzo: At Home in Umbria by Marlena de Blasi
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes
I Found Myself in Tuscany by Lisa Condie

Virginia S. recommends:
Dances with Luigi: A Grandson’s Determined Quest to Comprehend Italy and the Italians by Paul Paolicelli

Jeff C. recommends:
Hidden Tuscany: discovering Art, Culture, and Memories in a Well-Known Region’s Unknown Places by John Keahey
The Mountains of Saint Francis: Discovering the Geologic Events that Shaped our Earth

Tarie H. recommends:
The Glassblower of Murano by Mariana Fiorato
A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi

 

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