Frediano, an Irish monk, was bishop of Lucca in the early 6th century. At one point, Lucca was plundered by Odoacer, the first Germanic King of Italy. Lucca was an important city and fortress even in the 6th century, when Narses besieged it for several months in 553. Under the Lombards, it was the seat of a duke who minted his own coins. The Holy Face of Lucca (or Volto Santo), a major relic supposedly carved by Nicodemus, arrived in 742. During the 8th – 10th centuries Lucca was a center of Jewish life, the Jewish community being led by the Kalonymos family (which at some point during this time migrated to Germany to become a major component of proto-Ashkenazic Jewry). Lucca became prosperous through the silk trade that began in the 11th century, and came to rival the silks of Byzantium. During the 10–11th centuries Lucca was the capital of the feudal margraviate of Tuscany, more or less independent but owing nominal allegiance to the Holy Roman Emperor.
Prato (fino al 1931 Prato in Toscana) è un comune italiano di 187.159 abitanti, capoluogo dell’omonima provincia in Toscana. È il secondo comune della regione per popolazione e il terzo dell’Italia Centrale. La piana pratese fu abitata fin dall’epoca etrusca, ma la nascita della città vera e propria si fa risalire, generalmente, al X secolo, quando si hanno notizie di due centri abitati contigui ma distinti, Borgo al Cornio e Castrum Prati, che si fusero durante il secolo successivo.
The futuristic movement was an artistic and social movement that started in the early 20th century and originated in Italy. The founder of the movement was an Italian writer, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. The movement started when he published “Futurists Manifesto” in 1909 on the front page of the French Newspaper Le Fiagro. In the article Marinetti showed a strong dislike of the past and despised anything that wasn’t completely new. He embraced everything modern and announced the creation of new tradition. Four particular people were highly attracted to this article, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carra, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini, who became known as the founding members of the futuristic movement. Boccioni represented technology, movement and speed in his paintings and sculptures. The futuristic movement inspired him to paint ‘The City Rises.’ Carlo Carra was a futurist painter who was known for his 1911 futuristic work, ‘The Funeral of the Anarchist Galli.’ Balla’s paintings were based on the concept of capturing figures and objects in motion. Severini was interested in the depiction of human bodies in motion, his painting ‘Blue Dancer’ showed his interest in this concept.
Futurists were interested in concepts such as speed, technology, youth and violence, change, automobiles and the industrial cities. Futurism grew quickly and spread all over europe, most significantly to Russia. The Futurists explored every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, poetry, theatre, music, architecture and even gastronomy. Publishing manifestos was part of the futurism movement. They were typically about painting, architecture and clothing.
Printed word was very important to the futurist movement. The movement started with poetry and literature that were published in newspapers and books. Marinetti founded the international magazine Poesia in 1905. He used this magazine to launch his ideas about releasing poetry and literature from the traditional punctuation and syntax. His manifesto Destruction of Syntax – Imagination without Strings – Words-in-Freedom spread quickly around europe and ensured a strong influence on typography internationally.
“I call for a typographic revolution directed against the idiotic and nauseating concepts of the outdated and conventional book, with its handmade paper and seventeenth century ornamentation of garlands and goddesses, huge initials and mythological vegetation, its missal ribbons and epigraphs and roman numerals. The book must be the Futurist expression of our futurist ideas..even more: My revolution is directed against what is known as the typographic harmony of the page, which is contrary to the flux and movement of style.” 
Marinetti is highly known for his masterpiece work, Zang Tumb, Tumb. Zang Tumb, Tumb first appeared as excerpts in journals between 1912 and 1914, and then finally as an artists book. The book is about the battle of Adrianopolis in 1912. The poetic descriptions of explosions of grenades and shots of weapons are represented with the use of “words-in-freedom,” having different typefaces and different sizes. The text uses onomatopoeia to describe these variety of sounds.
Today a group of us went to this local market in the Piazza Mercato Nuovo. The market is there every Monday and starts early in the morning and ends around 1pm. There are a ton of vendors that sell all different kinds of goods, all the way from fish to clothes! There’s this one vendor, that i suggest you go to if you like cheese, that has all different types of cheeses for only a few euros. There are also vendors who sell fruit, fish, deli meats, vegetables, bread and more! Everything at the market is sold very cheap and very tasty!
On the other side of the market, there are a bunch of vendors that are selling clothes, bags, shoes, and houseware items. This part of the market reminded me of flea markets back at home. This part of the market also felt like it went on forever!
The first day of class we were told about this beautiful waterfall called Rio Buti. Our teacher said it was in Prato and was quite a hike but not too bad and very easy to get too. Well, that was the exact opposite. I would love to write about how we hiked up this mountain with great views and found this amazing waterfall, but I can’t. When we started this adventure we definitely should have gotten more directions other then “just go left at the bridge, take the road along the river and follow the signs to Rio Buti.”
The road to get there was very confusing because it would always split into two directions and we never knew which way to take. One time the road led to a dead end and we had to turn back around, but luckily we didn’t go too far. As we kept walking we never saw any signs for Rio Botti so we asked a few people and they said we were going in the right direction. After going up a huge mountain (that had chains you had to hold on to because it was so steep) and going over a rock wall, there was no waterfall. No Rio Botti. There were only a bunch of Gypsies who just stared at us.
Unfortunately, the waterfall that we were looking for had dried up. Since we were only in Italy for a few days we had no idea that it hadn’t rained in quite a while.
Even though we didn’t find the waterfall, it was a nice hike with pretty views and also great exercise!