Culture & Cake

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Today we went to the Galleria dell'Accademia to stare unashamedly at the naked figure of Michelangelo's David.

Sculptured in marble during the years 1501-1504 it then apparently took 4 days to move it from his "studio" to where it was first displayed. 

In 1991 some one attacked the left foot with a hammer, damaging the toes.  Since then the accademia has been extra vigilant including metal detectors at the entrance, a protective shield, higher than the base, around the statue and some eagle eyed attendants shouting out "no photos" at anyone looking like they might raise a camera. 

I'm sure I was being scrutinized because of the walking stick.  It was very carefully examined at the x-ray machine and I detected more than a few glances from attendants as perhaps they suspected I was not really "crippled".

I have never done a tour in a museum before and I was really quite impressed. Our tour group was only 6 people and the guide was really informative about the gallery and its most important art works as well as the sculptures.   She spoke for over an hour and then we stayed to explore the art more fully.   Because of the no-photo rule I have taken a photo of a postcard: 


I did a lot of walking and standing this morning -  the gallery was a 25 minute walk from our hotel to start with.  After the gallery we walked back and past the hotel to have some light lunch and then it was an afternoon of reading for me – some of the things I would've liked to have had for lunch:

 

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34 responses

  1. You had a far more informative tour than we did. We were dumped at the entrance to old Florence, and told to be back by a certain time. I was determined to see David, and it took us ages to find him. It was worth it, but there was a lot that we missed. A tour like yours would have been much better.

  2. I can see how it would be easy to miss the Gallery – it is not very impressive from the outside – I expected banners proclaiming "David is here" or something but there is nothing except two nondescript doorways. The guide explained the history of Florence and a lot about Michelangelo and then we stood in front of half a dozen different paintings where she talked about the painter and the subject. It was worth the euros – and it included the price of admission so we didnt have to queue for tickets.

  3. I think they have security reasons now for not allowing photos – like you might actually photograph the security cameras and doors instead of David! But it is disappointing.

  4. I still think when on holidays enjoy the surrounds snd sample all food and wine :)Then work hard later to get rid of it..I haven't seen the statue of David but it is on my list of things to go and see !!The tour sounds great !

  5. Don't shot photos Don't look strangely at the art Don't stop keep moving! lots of don'ts anymore but there are ways around that! The same with the walking stick, I have had to use a cane in the late year or so and anytime someone thinks they can take it from me I always ask two questions 1). who is coming alone to pick me up 2). who do I send the bill for any added medical attention! usually they shut the hell up but unless your missing a leg or your foot is on backwards they do not take it as you might just have a small problem at this point in life! the other is how did you get by all those lovely eats' MMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmm!Enjoy

  6. Such fine travels you are enjoying! And thanks for the information about "David." I'd no idea the iconic artwork had been damaged. A few decades ago someone, trying to make a point, severely damaged an outdoor copy of "The Thinker" on the grounds of the Cleveland Museum of Art. I cannot understand why anyone would do such things — to be a despised name behind an asterisk in the history of an artwork. The small size of your tour group must have been a pleasure leading, I hope, to more personal treatment. Was the smaller group created so that tour guides could keep a close eye on the "cripple" with the "weapon"? Thanks for sharing your experiences with us stay-at-homes! — JG

  7. There are way too many good things here to eat. I have resorted to photographing instead of eating – at least later in the day LOL. The walking stick has to go through the x-ray machine everywhere – I think they just assume that you can hobble the few metres through the metal detector – luckily I can do that.

  8. Galleries/museums with popular items like David have either huge lines to buy tickets or are "sold out" for the timeslots on the day you want to go. Then the only way to get in is to go with a tour. We went with the tour because I did not think my foot could stand to wait in a queue for a ticket. It was a good idea. I think we will have to do the same to get into the Vatican when we go back to Rome. There are very few billboards in Florence – actually we saw a few today down near the River Arno advertising the Uffizi Museum and what exhibits are on there. (Unfortunately it is just too massive for me to consider doing with my foot how it is – just means we will have to come back!)

  9. The marzipan fruit looked too beautiful to eat! I am not really a marzipan fan – I'm enjoying the biscuits (in the "true" sense of the word – ie; not with gravy LOL).

  10. Thank you Jillie – I am using a point & shoot camera and have no editing capability at the moment. Tomorrow we are off to Milan – more fashion than culture I expect.

  11. LOL … we booked through the hotel – I suspect the group was small because it is the low season here at the moment and also Italy is very much affected by America's financial woes. The "Pisa" guide was telling us that American tourist numbers are way down leading to a loss of billions to the Italian economy. (I would say 20% and 5b but I'm not sure of that number now). There were no Americans in either of the tours we have done here…. the other English speakers were English and some Europeans.

  12. LOL – we are eating a lot of pizza! Last night we had a "real" meal and today's lunch was also "real". The cakes and sweets just appeal to me more – they make wonderful window displays.

  13. LOL – I agree with that! I had one from an El Salvadorian place and it was not nice at all! There were 4 or 5 eggs on the top and it just looked totally wrong and didn't taste good at all.

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