David: one of the most iconic pieces of sculpture in the world. Carved from memory and inspiration alone, Michelangelo was able to embody not just the human figure, but each and every detail of the human body.
The way the muscles are sculpted, capturing each curve and line; the way the blood vessels in each hand is carefully carved such that they emulate the way blood actually flows within the body. The toenails and fingernails, each polished to perfection. David, the naked man, yet posed so eloquently and unafraid; a pose of confidence and strength. On and on about every detail, but words are not enough to capture the perfection that Michelangelo was able to create.
12 euros gets you in to see one of the most amazing pieces of art, plus some other medieval and religious art. The Galleria Dell’Accademia is small, but worth every cent. It is part of what it means to be in Florence, or Firenze, a city of art and culture.
Firenze is a beautiful city, swamped with tourists, but the reason is apparent. The heart of the Tuscan region has several churches trimmed in green marble, and even if you are sick of churches by now, it is worth the walk to see the outside. The duomo of Firenze has a huge orange dome, with a bell tower nearby, and a beautiful facade.
We trekked up some hills on the south side of the river to check out Piazzale Michelangelo, with the most amazing view of the whole city. You have views of the Tuscan trees and hills on one side, and the Orange-roof houses on the over. Walk around some more on the south side and you’ll reach the Boboli gardens and one quite strange museum.
The Specola. Taxidermied animals, insects of all kinds, wax sculptures of the human anatomy, sea specimens, parasites, and so much more. There’s 32 rooms and we spent over 2 hours marveling and gawking at every single exhibit.
On the north side, it’s a bit more touristy. We walked over the Ponte Vecchio and saw the multitudes of gold shops, none which we could afford (or even care to buy from). Looking at the bridge, it’s not the pretty, but in the evening it starts to glimmer gold.
One unique thing we got to experience was the Firenze Opera. It felt a lot more like a symphony with a few soloists (who played the main characters). They would come on at their cue and sing, but do little acting. Seats were 15 euro each, and it was totally worth it, even if we fell asleep a few times. Luckily they had both the English and Italian subtitles written at the top. Even if I knew Italian I doubt I would be able to hear every word they sang. One thing we learned from the show was that Italians love to clap. They just wouldn’t stop. Between songs there’d be a long clap and at the end we left before the clapping even stopped. It probably went on for 10 minutes. Interestingly enough, people only clapped, there wasn’t really any cheering or standing ovations.
We spent a couple hours in Pisa, getting our picks with the leaning tower. Unfortunately it was pouring the whole time, and we got soaked. We saw the Keith Haring mural, but after both of those things we were 100% done and hoped on the next train back.
We didn’t see much of Tuscany, but kind of got a picture about why people are so infatuated with it. The rolling hills with the beautiful tall trees, the art, the culture, the wine, etc. I’ll be back in Tuscany one day, because hey you can’t do it all in one go.