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May, 1908 "The Perils of Cupid"

May, 1908 - Florence

[Titled "Florence, May, 1908" in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, the episode went unaired in the United States, though it was released in Sweden and other territories on October 17, 1993. It was paired with "Vienna, November 1908" to become The Perils of Cupid, released September 19, 2000 as the third episode of The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones.]

  • Following Tangiers, the Jones family travels to Florence, Italy where they soon attend an opera written and conducted by Giacomo Puccini. Following the performance the Jones family goes backstage to meet Puccini, who is immediately drawn to the beauty of Anna, Indiana’s mother.

  • Indiana explains to Puccini that as his father is traveling to Rome for the next week on his lecture tour, the rest of the family would be remaining in Florence, while also traveling further to Pisa so he could learn about the laws of physics, specially the laws of attraction. Puccini jumps at the opportunity to chauffeur Indiana, Anna, and Miss Seymour on their trip to Pisa, as he once grew up there and could be their personal guide.

  • En route to Pisa, Puccini teaches Indiana that it was Leonardo Da Vinci who invented the first self propelled car - not Henry Ford as he’d thought. Indiana and Miss Seymour then climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa with two irons of different weights, and they experiment Galileo’s theory that they would hit the ground at the same time due to sharing the same density, disregarding weight as Aristotle once believed would be the deciding factor. The two irons do indeed hit at the same time thus proving Galileo’s theory.

  • During this time Puccini starts to aggressively court Anna by sending flowers and inviting the family to a rehearsal of his latest opera, Madame Butterfly. After the screening Puccini gives Anna a signed piece of sheet music that reads “to Senora Jones, who feels the music”

  • The next day Puccini gives the family a guided tour of Florence, and he confesses his love to Anna who is evidently fighting off similar feelings of her own. Anna begins to feel awkward around Indiana and Miss Seymour, and Puccini is relentless in his desire to take her away from her family so they can live happily ever after.

  • Later that evening Puccini meets Anna in the botanical gardens and they embrace in a passionate kiss, followed by a romantic evening out in Florence which draws the suspicion of Miss Seymour, who graciously asks Anna if she plans to leave Italy once Mr. Jones arrives back from Rome. She replies yes, but is clearly torn with emotion.

  • The next day Indiana is at a science museum and see’s his mother philandering with Puccini in the streets through a telescope, confirming his suspicions and leaving him very disappointed. Meanwhile Puccini gives Anna an ultimatum to meet him at the train station at midnight.

  • That same evening Anna gets an inquest from both Indiana and Miss Seymour, the latter of whom she confides in; admitting her love for Puccini yet unsure of her next move, in which case Miss Seymour reminds her that passion and love are not one in the same.

  • Sure enough at midnight Anna does go to the train station, however, walks right by Puccini to embrace her arriving husband, leaving Puccini heartbroken for likely the rest of his life.

  • Thus during his first visit to Italy, Indiana studies the work of:

  • Leonardo Da Vinci - known as the “Universal Genius” and “Renaissance Man,” he is widely considered the greatest painter of all time (Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, etc.), as well as the most diversely talented individuals to have ever lived.

  • Aristotle - an ancient Greek philosopher who was the pupil of Plato and the teacher of Alexander The Great, and whose views on physical science and natural science were widely accepted until the age of Enlightenment.

  • Galileo Galilei - Considered the “father of… observational astronomy, modern physics, scientific method, and general science”, he played a significant role in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. Along with his discovery of “equations for a falling body” from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, he also discovered the phases of Venus, the four largest satellites of Jupiter, and significant qualities of the Moon, Sun, and the Milky Way, amongst many others.

He also has many close encounters with:

  • Giacomo Puccini - Italian opera composer known as the “greatest composer of Italian opera (after Giuseppe Verdi)” who is most remembered for his renowned works that include La bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), and Madama Butterfly (1904), all of which are among the most celebrated opera compositions of all time.


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