European Adventure

Under the Tuscan Sun in Firenze – Day 2

This (yesterday, wednesday) was our museum and sightseeing day. We began by visiting Florence’s most famous bridge, Ponte Vecchio Nearby was the Uffizi Museum. Getting tickets was bit of a hassle… First we stood in the ‘reservations’ line thinking we could reserve our tickets. No, that line was for those who already made online reservations. We found the right line to get tickets, but I would be at least an hour long wait just to get them. And then once we obtained our tickets we would need to wait in another line to go through security and get entrance inside. For an extra €6, we joined some ‘friends of Firenze art preservation’ association. So not only can we add this excellent organization to our resumes, we were able to skip the ticket lines and go straight to the entrance line. Three cheers for art preservation!!!

Uffuzi was a pretty good museum – most of the art was statues and religious paintings. The museum was huge. There were so many different rooms. Tammy and I both wish we had taken an art history class so that we could understand and appreciate the art better. The only exhibit I was really familiar with was Botticelli. I was very eager to see Birth of Venus. As with most things in this country, it was MUCH larger than I had expected. At first when I rolled into the room I didn’t notice it due to the crowd blocking the view. But then once the people dissipated, and it was finally in sight, my eyes grew wide and I felt that sudden shock of “OH! There it IS!!!” that’s a good way to describe most of the things we’ve seen here. That sudden, excited, unexpected shock of seeing something famous and familiar in front of you with your real eyes. Such a good feeling. Like being an adrenaline junkie.

Uffuzi was great, but we were pretty exhausted and a lot of the art was lost on us. After this museum, I want to read up more about religious art.

Our next stop was the Accademia, known for housing the famous statue of David. The entrance was much less complex and and faster compared to Uffizi. We started by looking and art in a smaller room, walked through an entrance, looked to the right, and there he was: THE David. Tammy described it very well… He startled us. He was strategically placed at the end of the hallway in a dome-shaped space. He was completely illuminated and towered over everything in sight. He was grand and perfect and colossal. Once again, I was blown away by his sheer size and careful details of the carving. You could even see the veins in his hands and arms. His rock and sling were only slightly visible. He even had a monitor attached to him to detect any slight seismic activity so he could be protected in case of an earthquake. It is incredible to ponder how Michelangelo created such a masterpiece. As Tammy said, art by subtraction seems so impressive.

The Accademia was a lot smaller than I figured it would be. There was a room of mostly statues with some paintings on the walls, a musical instruments exhibit, a room of religious art, a modern art exhibit and the long hallway that held David. It didn’t take us long to breeze through the few rooms. In the modern art exhibit we viewed a Picasso and Andy Warhol original. Even in the historic and religious art there were a few random pieces of art scattered within. Tammy liked it. I found it unbalanced and disconcerting. But yes, I would recommend the Accademia.

After our museum tours we browsed around the market, returned to our hostel, gathered our belongings and headed to the train station to begin our journey to France.

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