no matter where you go, there you are

Sunday, June 20, 2010

when the bright angel dominates, out comes a great work of art, a michelangelo david or a beethoven symphony - madeleine l'engle

We descended the tower after soaking in the city and headed to the Galleria dell'Accademia. As I said before, everything in Florence had an admission price on the higher end and this museum was no different. Though the Ufizi Museum in Florence is better known and actually looked more interesting, the Accademia was the home of Michaelangelo's David and so if we could only choose one over the other, Accademia it was. David made the admission worth it. My only recollection of the other artwork was "eh." What stuck out most was that I first noticed the faces of the people in Renaissance art were all the same. Men's faces, unless there was facial hair, looked the same as women's. There was also a special photography exhibit which included nude photographs highlighting the greatness of the human body. Between them and David, the museum really had an ode to the gorgeousness of the human body going on.

Before seeing David, I only knew a couple things about him. 1) There was a copy in a piazza somewhere else in Florence and 2) He is the David from the David vs. Goliath story. As I turned the bend leading to his location, I was in shock by how tall he was. Almost 8 feet tall, David stands strong, contemplating life. He's absolutely astounding. Not only is his body close to perfection, but the detail carved into the model is pitch-perfect. Somehow, Michaelangelo was able to carve the veins the run down David's outer forearm. It's magical. He looks so real. I walk around him a couple times and stare and stare and stare. And I swear I see a movement from his arm or leg. If he wasn't gray, I might have thought it was a real life model standing before me. David is so indescribably beautiful. Sad to leave, I knew I couldn't spend all day drooling so we parted ways and I bought a couple of postcards in memory of the perfect man.

The Medici Chapels were next but at this point I don't think anything in Florence could top David. The admission price here was also on the high end, and more expensive than Fodors had led us to believe so it was a little depressing for me when we bought our tickets. I don't like being fed false information so it was from this point on where I knew to not trust the guidebooks completely. Not only was the admission on the high end, but there wasn't that much to see. As we got there only 10 minutes before it closed, we thought that maybe we had missed a section or something because the ticket price was so high for such a small thing, but I don't think we did. The main chapel was pretty neat and different than other churches because it was all round and not rectangular in shape. However, it was under restoration so scaffolding was covering about 1/3 of the place and a few statues and pieces of artwork were missing from their homes. The most interesting part of the Medici Chapels was the side room that had tombs carved by Michaelangelo. We weren't allowed pictures so I don't remember the details of them well but I remember really enjoying them. According to my notes, there was a statue of half a man that I thought was really cool.

From the Medici Chapels we wondered through the Piazza della Repubblica with its carousel all lit up and then onto the Piazza della Signoria (home of Palazza Vecchio) where I finally got a picture with David as it's the location of the replica statue.

There were some other very interesting sculptures in the piazza as well and we spent a bit of time admiring them.

By the time we reached Ponte Vecchio it was almost completely dark and the covered bridge filled with small stores was lit up and reflecting beautifully in the still river. Dinner was had at a restaurant on the early side (which was nice as no one was there) and I had the most delicious Pasta Bolgonese ever. My first, true real meal...ahh, delicious! As we made our way back to the hotel, we passed through the Mercato and were almost plowed over by 2 men who were trying to sell knock-off bags which is VERY illegal. Anne suggested they were running from the cops but I thought that was a little absurd. Nope, a few feet in front of us they mentioned the word police...haha.

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