Today we visited two attractions: David (Steve’s favourite) and the Duomo (Jessica’s Favourite) 🙂
We had pre-booked our tickets to see David, which I highly recommend! You pay a small service fee (I think 2 or 3 Euros) to book ahead, but it is totally worth it. We just picked our tickets up at the Museo Archaelogico a few days ahead of time. I’m sure you can also buy them online, but not having access to a printer or a smartphone limits our ability to do this. To make a long story short you avoid an enormous, gigantic, ridiculous line by buying your tickets ahead of time.
When you pre-buy your tickets you have a set time to enter. You walk right by all the poor people standing in the big line and get into the reserved line. Then they let you in, screen your bags and you are in.
David is the main attraction of this museum, but there are also other displays. We started out in a room with a lot of paintings. Jessi and I were attempting to find the oldest one we could. I can’t remember the exact year, but it was painted in the 1400’s! The paintings were big and beautiful. I could have sat for hours looking at each one because there was so much going on in them, but you just don’t have time. Jessi and I decided if we were rich we would just sit all day and look at one painting, because we would have plenty of days to do it if we didn’t have to go to work 🙂
There was also a display of old musical instruments. This was quite fascinating, and Steve was wishing we could have a chance to play them!
At last we entered the main hall where you will see David. Steve and I had seen it before, but it still took my breath away when I saw it. I can’t explain why, but it is really quite magnificent!
David was sculpted by Michelangelo between 1502 and 1504. He took a previously discarded piece of marble (that a previous sculptor had declared “unworkable”) and created an undeniable masterpiece.
The first time we visited David (5 years ago) you weren’t allowed to take photos, so Steve didn’t bring the good camera, jus this cell phone. He regretted that.
The room is absolutely packed with people, but the way they have the statue displayed allows everybody to take a long careful look. Some people were even sitting and sketching. The statue is so big and life-like that it actually brings tears to your eyes.
Side note: The other thing that brought tears to my eyes was watching two little boys (perhaps about 10 years old) sitting on a bench, right beside this masterpiece, playing a handheld video game. Unbelievable.
We all admired David, for quite some time and then moved on to look at more displays. We found the room containing many statues and busts, but you could only peek in the door. I am certain that last time we were here we were able to walk around and take a closer look. That was a bit disappointing.
Gary did manage to snap a photo of the room, when he was looking in the small area they let us see!
Next, we headed into another painting gallery that had some REALLY old paintings, one I think, was from around 1240! It’s amazing to look at things and imagine someone creating it 800 years ago!
This painting was particularly interesting. I think all the little circles were for different saints. It almost looked like a family tree.
Finally, we headed to look at my second favourite thing in this museum… the unfinished statues. There is something about them that makes them look like the subject is trying to escape from the marble! It is also quite fascinating to look at the chip marks and scrapes the sculptor made as he was trying to create the piece.
Before we left, we took one last look at David, and then headed out for lunch.
We ate in the little piazza close to our apartment. This is where we heard some terrific musicians playing for us…
… and where Mom decided to blow her nose with 800 Euros!
After lunch, Mom and Gary went shopping (Mom was NOT climbing up 463 steps!) and Steve, Jessica and I headed to walk up the Duomo. You can not buy tickets inside, so make sure you have your tickets before you get in line if you would like to walk to the top of the Duomo. Jess and I waited in line and Steve went back to the “yellow building” (someone in line told us to do this) to buy the tickets. They were 15 Euros each, but also included entrance into some other museums (which we didn’t do). I think the ticket was worth it just to see the view from the top of the Duomo 🙂
We waited in line about 45 minutes (not bad for such a long line). They let you enter in groups, and then you start the climb up 463 steps. I’m not going to lie, it was not easy… but I still did it. I did have to stop for a few rests 🙂
Some of the stairs looked like this…
… and some of the stairs looked like this!
When you get part way up, you get to stop for a little rest at the inside of the bottom part of the Duomo. It is a close up look at the frescoes…
… and a rather frightening look down to the Cathedral!
It was worth it when we got to the top though and saw this!
Jessica liked it so much she decided to settle in and stay for awhile!
Here is a view pretty much straight down from the top…
… and here are some more view shots because they were just so pretty 🙂
Just one more, because these two are so cute 🙂
After quite a long time admiring the view, we headed back down the steep stairs to the bottom.
After a good long rest we headed out for dinner at Alfredo’s. We visited twice on our hostesses recommendation, and it was terrific both times. Then we got some gelato at Perche No!, and sat in the loggia with the statues and listened to the guitar player entertain us.
It was a fantastic final day in Florence. Next we are off to Roma!