David in Florence

Wednesday morning found us scrambling to the Venice Bus to get to the Santa Lucia train station for our return to Vicenza to retrieve our car and continue with our driving tour of Italy.  Grabbing a quick cappacino and croissant we found our reserved seat on the high speed train back to the mainland.  The city bus took us from the train station back to the base where we left our car.  We shipped our ceramics that we purchased on Monday in Nove then ate at Burger King for a break in the great italian food we’d been eating.  This made us appreciate the meals we had eaten even more!


Having reclaimed space in the car by shipping the ceramics, we set out for Florence (Firenze if you are trying to follow road signs.). We arrived in time to get checked into the Marriott and make it over to the Uffizi gallery to purchase our Firenze Card giving us “skip the line” access to a dozen sites in Florence.  We toured the Uffuzi seeing works by Botticelli, Mantegna, Correggio, Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo, Caravaggio,  We left the gallery seeking a place for dinner.  This is where having a smart phone is such a help.  We search nearby restaurants for high ratings and made our decision to dine at Gusto Leo. Russ, Andrea, and I had their ravioli and Liz had the pizza.  img_3846

We continued on to Ponte Vecchio (old bridge) which is one of the most famous sites in Florence.  Very high end shopping, jewelry, watches.  What looks very old from the outside, is quite modern in their products and businesses on the bridge itself.


However, the ultimate site to see in Florence is Michelangelo’s David.  Housed in the Galleria Dell’Accademia, the sculpture was moved to a galleria built just for the 17 foot work carved from an extra piece of marble.  It was moved inside in 1873 to protect it from the elements and a copy was placed in its stead outside the Medici home in the Piazza della Signoria in 1910.  I’m including carefully edited photos here of David since Michelangelo chose to sculpt him sans clothing.  The sculpture took two years to complete and contains so much detail, including even the veins in his arms and the furrowed brow as David contemplates his battle with Goliath.



We toured the areas around the Florence Duomo (Cathedral) on Thursday morning.  Such detail in these buildings.  The Baptistry was located outside the church in the courtyard in front of it.  Started in 1296 and completed in Filippo Brunelleschi’s dome in 1436.  For many years this church sat incomplete without the dome.  No one could figure out how to build it until Brunelleschi came forward with his design.  Although doubted by most, he was able to build the world’s first octagonal dome constructed without timber scaffolding underneath.  He is buried in the crypt within the cathedral. Below, you can see the Baptistry and the Cathedral with its dome in the background.  Below that, the internal view of the dome.