It is worth taking the Walks of Italy walking tour of Florence for the entrance to The Galleria Dell Accademia alone. This tour catapults you to the front of a very long line to see the famous statue of Michelangelo’s David.
He sneaks up on you! Just like my David, Michelangelo’s David is surprising. My Dave always catches me off guard, even after 20 years together I am always surprised and awed by Dave, and Mike’s Dave is no different. We entered the museum and listened to our guide Anika talk about the sculptures and the artwork of the building while standing in the main foyer. As we walked on, I expected a long drawn out process of looking at different statues and works of art before ever getting the chance to see David. Unbeknownst to me however, as soon as we turned the corner, there he was!
David was larger than I expected. It was fascinating to see in real life. As we walked down a long hallway towards Michelangelo’s masterpiece we witnessed the work in progress. He sculpted many unfinished David’s before finally settling on his final sculpture. Michelangelo considered David one of his greatest masterpieces. Wanting the challenge of working on a piece of marble that was said to have been of inferior quality, Michelangelo decided to show off just how great of an artist he was.
Thought of as the greatest artist of his time during the Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo was one of the few artists who saw fame and fortune during his lifetime. He even lived to see the day that a biography was written about his life.
My David loves a great challenge as well and although he has yet to have his biography written about him, I am working on one and it is due to come out in a couple of years. Whether it will be published or not remains a mystery, but the biography will be finished indeed.
David was originally sculpted between the years of 1501 and 1504 and was to be placed high on the roof of the Florence cathedral. However the people of Florence revered it so greatly it was decided to move it to a public square. Over time, it was moved to the The Galleria Dell Accademia to preserve this great masterpiece.
My David, born between 1970 and 1975 is also revered by many. But he has chosen to live a life of obscurity well away from the public eye. With many offers pouring in daily, he settles on sitting in my parents basement working on his art and photography rather than having all his adoring fans falling at his feet.
Beware when entering the Accademia, you are not allowed to take any photographs of David. The minute your camera comes out, a stampede of little old ladies come over to yell at you to put it away. I managed to be very sneaky with my iphone and snap shots while I rested my phone on my David’s shoulder. I waited until the women started yelling at other unsuspecting tourists. While they were distracted, I made my move to grab as many shots as I could.
It helps to have your own David to run interference for you while you make a break for the statue of David.
Just be sure not to use a flash!
David in Plaza Vecchio
The strange thing about Florence is that there are a couple of other Davids around town. I don’t know why Florence feels the need to have replicas all around town, but they do and they’re fun to look at.
During our walking tour, we stopped at the Plaza Vecchio to take in its glorious splendour and our companions thought that this was the original David. We couldn’t understand why they were taking so many photos of the statue until we arrived at the Accademia and they were aghast. “Oh, this is the real David” they cried!
I grabbed my David by his arm and shrieked, no he’s mine!
David Overlooking Florence at the Piazzale Michelangelo
It was time to see yet another David after our tour finished and we made our way up the long hike to overlook the city of Florence as the sun set. It is here that you find another David gazing over the Renaissance city. It is a beautiful walk along the river and up a peaceful trail to catch a panoramic glimpse of the area.
While My David snapped photos of the city, I snapped photos of the Statue of David and then grabbed my Dave to spar with David. Whose more fierce? I’m going with the David that’s alive today.
To book your own walking tour of Florence, check out Walks of Italy to see what they have to suit your needs.