Tuesday, 23 September 2008


We had a 6:30AM wakeup call as we wanted to get to the Accademia as early as possible to see Michelangelo Buonarotti's "David." We got there at 7:30AM to a line of a dozen people and got in right at 8AM.

The first entrance was to the House of Colossus, but we went straight to David to avoid the crowd. Now, I've seen the greatest artworks in the world up close and personal, such as the "Mona Lisa" and "Starry, Starry Night," and each time, I have been highly disappointed for a variety of reasons. However, once I turned the corner, David was absolutely GORGEOUS!

Standing seventeen feet high, the Renaissance marble statue by Michaelangelo Bonaratti powerfully peered over any individual in its presence. The Biblical David stands in thinking pose before his arduous fight with Goliath. David is truly a magnificent piece of work - simply breathtaking!

David...this picture doesn't even come close to doing him justice!

Other works, such as Milano's gruesome works and student works were interesting as well. Although we felt terribly tired, we were quite happy to have gotten there so early and be blown away in aweness of David!

The Bell Tower of Florence at sunrise

Off we went to the Uffizi Gallery to a sight of various lines; however, the normal line without reservations was a two-hour wait! At the moment of finding out this news during our already limited time in Florence, a large Asian tour group was let through the line. Thus, I looked at Julia and simply said, "Wanna go?" We walked in through security and off to the Uffizi Gallery we went!

Tip: Make reservations for the museums in Florence as you will have a substantially shorter wait! Be prepared to wake up early as well.

We spent a good hour and a half exploring scultures on the top floor. With its collection of Primitive and Renaissance paintings, the Uffizi holds works from Raphael to da Vinci. This is a must-see for any visitor to Florence. A definite highlight is also the beautiful view of the Arno River!

View of the city from the Uffize Gallery

Julia and I then grabbed gelato from Festival - it was so creamy!

Tip: For tourists, the best gelato place is Festival. For locals, it is arguably Vivoli. However, all gelato in Italy is arguably delicious! Make sure to ask for samples to satisfy your curious tastebuds!

We took a small stop to Casa di Dante in which the building's three floors describe Dante Alighieri's life. Note to self: read Dante's Inferno! We then headed off to Pitti Palace to see the Pitti Gallery of the modern palace. Although not as many Raphael's as I would have prefered, it was still good.

Note: Four museums in a day is exhausting! And I personally recommend the Number 2 ticket of the Pitti Palace as you can then see the gardens and the special exhibitions.

We enjoyed some delicious pizza magarita beore a bit of shopping at the flea markets. Since my sunglasses broke in Pitti Palace, I bargained for 5euros for new ones. By mistake, I also tried on a 340euro leather jacket! At least we know Florence is known for its leather!

After taking a thirteen euro bus, we arrived at Piazza Michaelangelo right at sunset. Of course, we held another photoshoot!

Piazza Michaelangelo at sunset

Tip: Make sure to take care when others ask "Can you take a picture for us?" This means watch your fingers and please frame appropriately as this is a once-in-a-lifetime moment (i.e. how would you want the picture taken?)! See my point below.

Results of giving another tourist my camera...after setting it up exactly how I wanted it to be framed. Sigh...

We went back to the hotel and planned out the rest of the trip. I was still so sick, so it was great that we were actually in bed by 10PM for the first time while backpacking! We will wake up early again for the Duomo tomorrow!

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