I am not very much into art, especially modern art, but I have always wanted to see David with my own eyes. The museum is very easy to miss, it blends in with all of the other buildings around it and has a small sign next to the door. It is not like museums in the United States. No parking lot, no huge signs singling it out, no freestanding building. We went in December 2009, so there was no line going in. At first I wasn't sure we were in the right area, the building appeared run down from the outside, but it's almost 200 years old, so what would I have expected? We purchased our tickets, and put our camera away since they request no photos be taken. I admit, I bypassed most of the museum to find David right away. There was a lot of modern artwork throughout, which I wasn't interested in and found to ruin the atmosphere of the ancient pieces of work. As I rushed through a doorway, I turned and there he was. David is under a high ceilinged dome surrounded by ropes, so you can't get too close and touch him. There were also modern photographs of a naked man around David, which I again felt that it took away from the beauty of David. They were at eye level, so they were easy to ignore as you stared up at 17ft tall David. I was able to walk all around him and memorize every line and detail. He is so massive in person, vs the photographs and portraits that are around of him. I chose to adhere to the rules of no photographs so that future generations may be able to enjoy David as I have. He is made of a porous marble that deteriorates quicker than other marbles, especially under bright lights and flashes from cameras.
Spend at least one day getting...
Spend at least one day getting lost in the streets of Florence, peeking into its many hidden nooks, and stopping to check out the little monuments and plaques scattered around the city. I spotted this picturesque sight in the courtyard of a residential building.
Ospedale degli Innocenti
The hospital of the innocent was designed by Brunelleschi and shows the continued development of his architectural style. Here the arched façade features perfect squares at the base of each arch. The babies located above the arches signify the purpose of this building, as it was an orphanage for unwanted babies. If you look at the building on one end of the covered archway you will see an object built in the wall. This is where parents/mothers of unwanted children would place their babies. The structure would then turn and bring the baby inside. Thus, allowing the parents to drop of the baby without being identified.
Tuesday Morning Shopping
Probably the biggest (and cheapest) market in town! Here you can find almost everything you need: fruits, vegetables, clothing, general groceries, houseware stands, antiquities, telephone cards...everything!!
Only one problem: it's open exclusively on Tuesday morning
Delicious Tuscan/Italian Food
After visiting Palazzo Vecchio, we wandered down a small street and passed by this restaurant. It had nice seating outside so we decided to stop in for lunch. The food - especially the pasta(!) - was delicious, the portions were very large, and the service was great. It was a perfect spot to relax, have some wine, and watch the people go by. Would definitely recommend having a meal here.
We were there a little before the "season" and it was busy then so it may be a good idea to make reservations during the season, especially for dinner.
Main courses run between $8 and $18, which considering the portion sizes was a great deal. Credit Cards Accepted.
March - October 12-3:00 p.m. and 7-10 p.m.
Off season: Thursday-Tuesday 12-3:00 p.m., Thursday-Monday 7-10:30 p.m.