We spent the perfect amount of time in Siena. I was left wanting more, but I was so excited to get to Florence and see all of the art in the city that
birthed (that sounds weird) kicked off (?) the Renaissance. Seriously though, this city has so much art!
On our first day we saw the outside of Il Duomo and the baptistry, the Orsanmichele church, walked down to the Piazza della Signoria, and over to Ponte Vecchio (the old bridge). We went to the Uffizi Gallery, got some gelato, then walked to the Accadamia to see David. As in THE David.
Pictures aren’t allowed inside the actual art galleries (the Uffizi or the Accademia). And I’m generally a rule-follower, so here are some favorites from the internet.Above you see: Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus (I think it’s so cool to observe the observer like in this photo), La Primavera – also Botticelli, The Annuciation by Martini and Memmi complete with raised words coming from the angel Gabriel’s mouth, Da Vinci’s Annunciation, and Michelangelo’s Slaves. Are you glorying in all the art? I was.
Sometimes, after studying works of art and hearing about how big and grand and important they are, when I see the real thing I’m a bit let down. Not so with David. I seriously can’t fathom how Michelangelo created him out of a slab of rock. He (David) was commissioned to go on top of Il Duomo, but authorities thought raising the 6-ton sculpture to the roof would prove less than simple, so he was placed near the entrance of Palazzo Vecchio, the city’s town hall. He stayed there until the 1800’s when he was removed for safety and put in the Accademia gallery underneath a dome built specifically for him.
Before we saw David I thought it was dumb that he wasn’t with all of the other famous art in the Uffizi. But after seeing how the dome frames the statue so perfectly and adds to the effect, I decided it’s best that way. Although that meant more lines, even with advance reservations! I wasn’t super happy about that: On our second day in Florence we hiked to the top of Il Duomo between the two domes (Brunelleschi’s innovation so a dome that large that could support its own weight), went inside the baptistry, wandered to the other side of the river to Basilica Santo Spirito and the market in front of it. Derek is a crazy person and also hiked up the bell tower directly after climbing down from Il Duomo. At least he got some nice pictures.
Understandably, we were pretty tired by this point in our trip, but we had one last stop. Venice!
P.S. If you’re interested in more images of art appreciation/observing the observer, go here. I love all of these photos, but here are my two favorites:Also, this image of David as a fatty makes me snicker a little: