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Italy: Florence and Michelangelo's David

Italy: Florence and Michelangelo's David

After 3 beautiful days in Venice, we hopped on a train to Firenze (Florence). We got into the city during the "dead zone" time of day when almost all of the restaurants are closed. It's a cultural thing, but the restaurants are mostly all closed between 3pm-7pm. After dumping our bags, we made our way out in an effort to find food and get our first glimpse of the city. We stood on a bridge over the River Arno and saw the beautiful view in the above photo.

After walking and walking we eventually found an open restaurant, Borgo Antico, and we had no idea how amazing this meal would be. It may be a meal we remember in detail for decades. It was THAT GOOD. Bruschetta. Mixed Salami. Then Theresa's grilled pork.. OMG THE GRILLED PORK. I don't know that I've EVER had a piece of pork that good. No exaggeration. I had a yummy, yummy calzone bigger than your head. 

Bruschetta

Salami

Dinner

Dinner

Dessert

Us

 

There was also a Lindt Chocolatier!

Food

 

 

Santa Maria del Fiore

The main church of Florence is the Basilica Santa Maria del Fiore also known as the Duomo di Firenze.

Santa Maria del Fiore

 

The Campanile (belltower) del Fiore:

Campanile

 

The square also contains the Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistry of Saint John).

Baptistry

Ceiling of Baptistry

 

The Cathedral has a giant, very tall Dome which you can see below. Take note of the tiny people on the tippy top.

Duomo

Duomo

 

The reason I wanted you to note the tiny people because there are 463 steps from the ground floor up to that tippy top level.. and we climbed them.

Duomo

Duomo

Duomo

Duomo

 

 

Many people had climbed these steps, including Ezio Auditore (are you tired of hearing Assassin's Creed references yet?). Many of them decided to leave their mark. This sign is clearly effective.

Signs

Signs

 

 

Piazza del Signoria 

This square was and is the central political hub of Florence. It was also the original location of The David. The political powers of the time had arranged for several blocks of marble to be delivered to the square with the intention of commisionning artists to make some sculptures. Those plans were eventually scrapped and one of the giant blocks of marble just sat there in the square until Michelangelo came along and asked if he could work with it. The statue stood in this square for a several hundred years! The weather was taking a toll on the marble though, so David was moved into a museum and replaced with a replica. The square also contains an open-air museum (protected from rain) which boasts several other sculptures.

Palazzo Vecchio

Statues

Statues

Statues

Statues

 

The David

The highlight of the trip to Florence was Michelangelo's David. We've all seen a thousand photos of David. I've never really understood the big deal with David. When you look at the photos, it's obviously a really good work of art, but it just seemed to me that the attention it received was larger than expected.

I get it now.

I don't think it's possible to get it unless you're standing in front of it. The photos don't show the magnificence of the sculpture. When I stood in front of it, I finally understood. The David isn't great, it's perfect. After seeing David, I went over to other statues in the museum for comparison and then back to David. The other statues of men have big muscle bulges on their arms and chests, but they aren't right. David is perfect. The muscles on David aren't just sculpted nicely, they match human musculature perfectly. David even has correct vasculature. There are veins and arteries on David which match the actual human body. It's breathtaking. 

We weren't supposed to take any photos of David, but there was a moment where Theresa was enthralled by David and happened to be standing in just the right spot, so I couldn't help myself and took this photo. It's my favorite of the trip.

David

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