Florence - August 3: Of David and the Duomo
Breakfast this morning was capuccino, rolls, cereal, and yogurt. We had 10:00 reservations at the Galleria dell' Accadmia which was only a ten minute walk. The museum is not as large as we expected, but had large open galleries. We saw many sacred paintings and unfinished Michelangelo statues. One of my favorite exhibits was a musical instrument display which includes Stradivari violins and instruments shaped like animals.
I rounded the corner out of the exhibit and there it was, the statue of David in all its glory. Michelangelo sculpted the David between 1501-1504 from an abandonded marble block left in front of the duomo that no one wanted to use because it was full of defects. David has a sling in his left hand and a stone in his right one. Behind his leg is a small marble bush placed there to support his leg. The staute itself is over 4 meters tall. It was originally placed in a piazza, but has since been replaced by a replica. It has been at the Accademia since. Looking at the statue took my breath away because I couldn't believe I was actually seeing it.
There was a brief downpour, the only one today, but when it was over we climbed to the top of Giotto's bell tower which was 400 steps. By the time we got to the top my little bear legs were very tired. The tower is located next to the Duomo and has wonderful views of the Duomo's dome and of people on the Duomo's dome admiring the view.
In the afternoon we visited the Duomo Museum. Inside are original sculptured masterpieces once at the Duomo. You can also see the original Ghiberti's bronze doors. Highlights from the museum include sketches and wooden carvings from a design competition for the outside of the duomo in the 1800's, Brunelleschi's Death Mask, Michelangelo's Pieta, and Donatello's Magdalena. She is carved out of white poplar.
In the evening we attended a wonderful classical music concert at a church, and had dinner at the Golden View, a jazz bar overlooking the Ponte Vecchio. My owners and I had pizza with Tuscan salami and a salad with tuna. I also had a sip or two of white wine from San Gimignano. What a great day for a bear!
"A Statue of Madonna Con Bambino"
She sits in quiet contemplation
Her serene glass eyes look, but do not see
the view from the Duomo once before her
is now a museum.