Sunday, September 7, 2014

Disney in Pietra Dura

There is much to admire in the soaring lobby of the Grand Floridian, Disney World's outsized hotel that conjures up visions of the palatial architecture of Florida's golden age. Take a look up and you'll get a sense of the scale of this grand hotel. Take a look down and a different sort of treat awaits you.

The lobby of the Grand Floridian

The lobby floor of the Grand Floridian has several remarkable examples of pietra dura. The term, which translates as hard stone, is the art of taking thin slices of colored stone such as marble and arranging them in mosaic designs. It was practiced in the Renaissance in Rome and reached its fruition in Florence, where the Medici Chapels offer perhaps the most dazzling examples. Today pietra dura is crafted primarily in Italy and India. The designs in the Grand Floridian look Italian to my eye, but of course they're more Walt Disney than Lorenzo de Medici.

Grand Floridian monogram

One could almost miss Tinkerbell amid all the flowing design elements.


Peter Pan

The Rose from "Beauty and the Beast" outside the tea room

Mrs. Potts

The Prince and Cinderella

Hidden Mickey

Mickey Mouse (in plain sight)

The same Mickey up close

Minnie Mouse

Donald Duck

Gawrsh, it's Goofy

One last round:
Oh, you know who he is!

Note:  There's lots to see in Disney World and some of it is here on the blog.


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