Bike street art in FlorenceThere is no question I loved seeing David. I even got a butt shot. David butt shotAfter gelato and wine, crusty columns and Sistine ceilings the butt shot was the theme of my Italy trip. Not quite in a literal way.  As we strolled the Roman forum and were herded IKEA like through the Vatican Museum I was noticing the little acts of expression that added their visual voice to history. If the Ufizzi is the full frontal art scene of Florence, the graffiti in the corner is the butt shot. And I like butts. The street art took me from the past to the present in a way that made each city and the whole trip come alive. We were not just tourists to the past, but participants in the every day art of a country full of masterpieces.

Some of the magic of Italy is how the past and present merge. A cobbled lane opens to a vast cathedral populated by revelers in jeans and flip flops. Backyards share Weber grills and 15th century columns. I imagine evening (who am I kidding no one in Italy eats in the evening) nighttime beers with butts planted on the column like a bench. So while my family marveled over chubby angels and the millionth crucifixion this was the kind of crucifixion that caught my eye.

Street art crucifixion In a country of ruins an act that feels ruinous to America is a celebration of self expression and a modern art form in Italy. So when you walk the cobbled streets looking down at the grooves worn by centuries of travelers before you and gaze up at incredible architecture that reaches closer to god don’t forget to look straight ahead at the small personal expression waiting at almost every corner.

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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