Day 7 - morning
This morning we had a guided tour which took us inside Florence's Academy Gallery to see the one and only……Michelangelo's original statue of David. Ask me how excited I was to come face to face with the famous statue! Yeahhh!
Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed inside the Gallery. This was a huge disappointment especially knowing that they sold photos of the statue in their souvenir shops! What a rip-off! They just wanted us to buy their pictures in which case, I did not!
You’ll be happy to know that I was a good little girl and didn’t take any photos as instructed even though I did consider taking one or two on several instances! Ha, ha, ha! Security guards and cameras were everywhere watching our every move! I just didn’t want my camera to be confiscated if you know what I mean! However, I should also mention that when there’s a will, there’s a way!
The statue of David, a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture, was created between 1501 and 1504. Standing at 5.17 meters – 17 feet high, the marble statue of a nude male was quite something. So, you can be sure that I took all the time required to admire it from top to bottom, from side to side and by walking all around it. Nothing was missed! Ha, ha, ha!
From reading a sign posted right next to it, I learned that at one point the statue of David had gold on it. Hmmmm…..interesting! Gold leaf was lightly put on the tree stump and also on the figure’s head garland once Michelangelo completed the sculpture in 1504! I’m sure that David must have looked quite cute with this precious metal shining endlessly under the rays of the sun centuries ago however I was quite sad to learn that these adornments or golden leaves had since been lost! Interesting facts! Well in my opinion, at the price of gold selling today in this day and age, no wonder this precious metal disappeared a long time ago! Someone stole it!
The Gallery’s guided tour now being over and finished, we were allowed some time inside the building to simply walk around and browse at the souvenirs before heading out. I didn’t stay too long since I was boycotting their boutique! Ha, ha, ha!
Back on the streets, the weather was warmer as we followed Ernesta down narrow paved alleys before coming face to face with a Cathedral with its Giotto’s bell tower and the "Gates of Paradise" adorning the Baptistery.
We must have stayed admiring these for a good half an hour before continuing our sightseeing of Florence through winding streets where little cafes, markets and shops were seen along the way before arriving in a center square.
Well, this center square going by the name of “Signoria Square” was filled with works of art. It also had an exact replica of David’s statue and this one, standing in its original location where it stood centuries ago. You see, apparently this was David’s original location right in front of the Palazzo Vecchio but had to be moved to the Accademia Gallery (Academy Gallery) in 1873 for conservation purposes. David’s marble was deteriorating outside! Interesting facts!
You can be certain that tons of pictures were taken of this one! Other statues also stood nearby such as the Fountain of Neptune amongst so many other interesting ones!
Florence, Florence, Florence, I was starting to fall in love with this city. It had amazing designer stores in renovated medieval buildings giving the whole area a wonderful décor of the old and the new!
Continuing on, we visited the political stage of Florence before ending at the Santa Croce square where a demonstration of leather works was given to us at the famous Italian “Peruzzi Leather” store. As much as I love leather because I have tons of leather clothing at home, no, none was purchased here! So, after listening interestingly to the demo and browsing briefly throughout the store, once finding the door, we exited and made it back to the Santa Croce square! Here, we had a one hour of leisure time to do whatever we wanted to! A beautiful basilica overlooked the square!
Well, since it was lunchtime, that’s exactly what we did, we ate right here at the center square before walking all around admiring the ancient buildings painted with frescos and exquisite jewelry stores! Hmmmmm! You guessed right, I had to check the jewelry out! It was here that I bought a Pandora bead for my silver bracelet! Unfortunately, they didn’t have in stock any Pandora gold bracelets in which case Michel was quite happy about it!
It was now 12:30pm and since we had paid for the afternoon’s optional excursion to visit San Gimignano, a medieval town built in the country roads of Tuscany, we excitedly boarded the motor coach while wondering what our next escapade held for us!Monique :-)