Florence, Italy, is no doubt one of the most beautiful cities in the world, filled with culture, history and some of the greatest artistic treasures in the world. It is the capital of Tuscany, and is jam packed with palaces, museums, gardens and architectural genius.
One could spend weeks just exploring this cradle of the Renaissance, and still not
cover all the gems it has to offer. If time is limited, the Galleria in the Pallzo Devi Uffizi and the Galleria del Academia are a must and the latter, situated within walking distance to the Galleria Pallatina, will whet the appetite and make your heart sing. I am partial to one of the greatest sculptures of all time, that of David by Michalangelo, which was to be displayed with a series of prophets alongside the roofline of Florence Cathedral. Yet it was so exquisite and stood out from the rest, thus was placed instead in the public square of the Palazzo Vecchio, seat of civic government in Florence. The unveiling in September of 1504 invoked passionate feelings, and soon became the symbol of the civil liberties in the Florentine Republic. The heroic figure with the warning glare in his eyes, was looking toward Rome, representing heroic resistance to powerful rival states.
Michelangelo, only twenty six at the time, (1501) was commissioned to create one of the most magnificent masterpieces of all time, the gigantic marble statue of the young David. He is depicted pre the battle with Goliath, facial expression determined, his muscles and sinews youthfully and breathtakingly alive, 17 feet tall, standing with graceful ease, his physical perfection in harmony with the thoughtful determination and courage on his face. In 1873, the statue was moved indoors at the Accademia Gallery, to protect and preserve it.
Now, it must be said that the city of Florence is all about art. It has 60 art museums and galleries, housing some of the greatest art in the world. The city’s top museums undoubtedly have the most monumental collections of famous and important pieces, on constant display. It is impossible to cover all the glory Florence has to offer, but I’ll mention the ‘must see’ ones. If you stop in Florence for a day, make certain to visit The Uffizi (huge museum, with the best of Botticelli and Titian) and the Galleria Del’Academia (home of the famous David ) both of which cover every art movement in Europe, from Tuscan primitives, Florentine Gothic, Renaissance , Baroque, Impressionism and even more modern works. The Palazzo Pitti, located on Piazza Pitti has a concentration of the best museums, allowing museum hopping on foot, including the the abovementioned Galleria del Academia and the Galleria Pallatina, which houses the second most important art collection in Florence, with over 500 pieces of Renaissance art among others, collected by the Medici family and Lorraine dynasties. World famous pieces by Titian, Rubens, Rafael and more can be seen there.
image credit: paradoxplace.com
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