Renaissance Art in Florence and a Naked Man


Florence is easy to fall in love with. As the birthplace of the Renaissance, it oozes culture, art and architecture; the food and wine is to die for; and the city is small enough that you can walk everywhere meaning you can easily break off from the masses and discover the secret niches that make this place extraordinary.

All this makes Florence the magical place that it is.



Ponte Vecchio, Florence.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence.



But for me, there was one particularly special highlight…the hour I spent with one of the world’s most famous naked men.  Not a real man, regrettably, and not even a real Italian one.


At the risk of sounding clichéd, Michelangelo’s David really does have to be seen to be believed. All unclothed-jokes aside, this a true masterpiece.


The collection of Renaissance art in Florence is like something out of a storybook. I had spent the morning wandering through the Galleria degli Uffizi which houses the greatest collection of Italian painting with works by some of the most famous Renaissance artists: Da Vinci, Botticelli, Raphael…



'Copy' of Michaelangelo's David in Piazza della Signoria, Florence.

‘Copy’ of Michelangelo’s David in Piazza della Signoria, Florence.


Exhausted from hours in the Ufizzi Gallery, by the end of the cold and wet afternoon my eyes had started to glaze over and I was ready for a break.


I had already seen the two of the copies of the statue of David in the Piazza del Signoria and the Piazzale Michelangelo and debated whether I really needed to see the ‘real’ one.


But I had a ticket already reserved at the Galleria dell’Accademia so I trudged over to the north side of city under my crappy umbrella passing the colossal line of people waiting to buy tickets. The line was so long I couldn’t actually see where it ended.



'Copy' of David at the Piazzale del Michaelangelo. Amazing view over Florence.

‘Copy’ of David at the Piazzale Michelangelo AND the most amazing views over Florence.


Really? Seeing David is THAT good??

Well, yes actually….it turns out it is. This cold, marble Renaissance man took my breath away.


I am only 5’2. David is a massive 17 feet tall and is raised on an altar so you are literally looking up at him – way up at him – in all his pale, muscular glory. It’s completely mesmerising.



The real deal.

The real deal at Galleria dell’Accademia



The 16th century sculpture is inspired by the biblical story of David and Goliath: when Goliath the giant threatens the Israelites, David is the only soul brave enough to face him, armed only with a slingshot. David slays the giant and saves the day.


David’s stance and the look in his eyes, seems to be one of confidence and it is believed that Michelangelo intended to immortalize David in the moment before he goes head to head with Goliath.



The real deal at Galleria Academia

David: Galleria dell’Accademia



He seems relaxed, unfazed and has a look as if to say: “Dude, I am so taking you down.”


And we all know how that worked out.

All this, painstakingly chipped out of a huge slab of marble.



Galleria dell’Accademia

Galleria dell’Accademia



I fell in love with much of the Renaissance art in Florence (I gave in pretty quickly) and David certainly stole my heart (more of a challenge), but I don’t feel my week here has even touched the surface. Florence, I will be back again to turn you and your art inside out ….sometime soon I hope.



Galleria dell’Accademia

Galleria dell’Accademia


Essential Info: If you are visiting Florence, reserve your tickets to the galleries and museums a day or two in advance – you will walk straight in! It sure beats standing in those silly lines.



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Comments (7)
  • Avatar

    Trish Jun 26 2012 - 11:45 am Reply

    Brillant post. I lived in Florence in 2006 and agree with everything you thought. I too love the naked men. Well, all of them in Florence :)

    • Avatar

      Quiet Wanderings Jun 26 2012 - 1:44 pm Reply

      Trish, Florence would be an amazing place to live! I’m not going to deny my extreme jealously. Haha, yes the naked men in Florence are easy to love – not so good with conversation though 😉

  • Avatar

    Natasha von Geldern Jun 26 2012 - 12:24 pm Reply

    I agree, the real statue in the Accademia is so worth seeing. Can’t visit Florence without seeing David (and his sack).
    Natasha von Geldern recently posted..Adventures in Livingstone, ZambiaMy Profile

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      Quiet Wanderings Jun 26 2012 - 1:47 pm Reply

      Ah, sling even?? I’m sure you mean ‘sling shot’, Natasha :) Yep, the Accademia is a must for sure!

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    A Cook Not Mad (Nat) Jul 1 2012 - 8:05 pm Reply

    Florence is one of our favorite Italian cities and seeing David was a highlight, absolutely mesmerizing but I found the security guards constantly screaming “no photos” distracting. They should just let people do it, they’re going to anyway.
    A Cook Not Mad (Nat) recently posted..Happy 145th Birthday!My Profile

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      Quiet Wanderings Jul 1 2012 - 8:17 pm Reply

      Oh my gosh, I know!! Don’t even get me started…I get so frustrated with the ridiculous restrictions on photography in places like that. And you’re right, everyone does it anyway. My post is a case in point. Those photos didn’t come out of thin air 😉 And yes, the ambiance was definitely altered by the reprimanding voices. Sigh…

  • Avatar

    A Cook Not Mad (Nat) Jul 1 2012 - 9:46 pm Reply

    Although I did enjoy seeing how creative people are at getting a picture. Hiding behind columns, behind other people, hip shots etc… Pretty funny.

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