- Photo Essays
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.
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…
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.
Really? Seeing David is THAT good??
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 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.
And we all know how that worked out.
All this, painstakingly chipped out of a huge slab of marble.
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.