David

On Sunday of the Florence trip, I walked in to town from the youth hostel and went to the Galleria dell’Accademia to see the David sculpture. The wait wasn’t as long as I had expected, but the museum was disappointingly devoid of the quantity of famous art in other museums. The plaster original of “Rape of the Sabines” was pretty cool – it’s an impressive sculpture because of how it’s carved in an upwards spiral that looks good from all angles, rather than just having a front and a back. Also apparently they only named it that later because they didn’t know what else to call it, and it showed some men fighting over and carrying off women. Some of the other paintings were nice as well, but it didn’t take me long to finish there and go in search of more famous art.

The David was just as impressive as all the hype made it sound. It was definitely worth the wait and the admission price to see it. It’s amazing that you can get a form that beautiful out of a giant chunk of rock.

Detail of Pisano's baptistry door, about a foot square or less, and carved in very deep 3D relief like all the others.

Next I walked to the Florence Cathedral, which from the outside is an incredibly impressive structure (like many cathedrals, I guess). It’s also home to the famous Baptistry with the doors sculpted by several of the region’s most skilled artisans and goldsmiths. Except for the inlaid floor, the inside of the cathedral is actually fairly simple by comparison to the outside. I think this is because of the later taste for whitewashing over the intricate frescoes the Italians liked to paint in their churches.

Later, I went to another famous church in Florence, this one the Santa Maria Novella, right next to the train station. Professor Amy drooled over this one a lot because of the geometrical façade by Alberti, but I kind of liked the architecture around the enclosed lawn where they were selling tickets, it seemed so peaceful.

Most of the rest of the day was spent just wandering around town, since it was my last full day in Italy. Oh, and getting hit on by older Italian men. I guess that just comes with the territory.

Monday morning, when I had to get up and wait at the bus stop for the airport shuttle, it was pouring, which was no fun, but at least I wasn’t staying. I’d also like to say that compared to what I’m used to from American Airlines, Swiss Air has amazing service!

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