Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 190 - Michelangelo's David at the Galleria dell'Accademia

I left the hostel at check out time and headed to Alessandro's place to drop all my luggage off before heading out to explore Florence. Heading to the city center was easy, but when I got to the Duomo, I could see and hear the marathon, as participants ran through and around all the historical buildings. I think it would be really cool and motivating to run through a city like Florence, with so much ancient history around. I already thought it would be cool to run through Los Angeles, getting a good dose of the city through the 26 miles you run, but there is something extra special running through such old cities like Florence, or any other famous European city. It was the first time I was really near the action of the marathon. I once found my friend at the finish line after she finished, but I never saw how exhilarating it was to be a spectator or especially a runner, with so many people yelling and shouting and cheering you on. It must make such a difference to the moral of each runner to know everyone is there to support you.

After walking through the maze of detours to get from one side of the running track to the other, I found the Galleria dell'Accademia, which is the gallery where Michelangelo's famous David statue is located. Alessandro recommended that I see it because it was so much better in person compared to the pictures you see, and he was right. Throughout my life, I've glanced at a picture of the statue at various times, not really admiring it or paying attention to how important such an art piece was, but it was such a magnificent sight to see when I saw it in person, standing below his feet while he towered over the entire room. I couldn't believe the details throughout the statue, and how painstakingly he must have worked at making such a "perfect man." There were definitely imperfections in the proportions, as I noticed that the hands looked way too big for the rest of the statue, but that was easily forgiven when I saw the details in the hands, and the muscles around the legs, especially the calves. You take a look at the muscles on your calves and you see how it curves slightly at different parts to form the muscle. All of this was taken into consideration when Michelangelo carved this statue out of a single piece of marble. It's called the "perfect man" and I wouldn't mind it if I looked even remotely like David, or had the muscles he had.

I headed for lunch after the museum visit, when the marathon was winding down with the few remaining runners, opting to have a pizza with olives, artichokes, mushrooms, and ham, all in different sections of the pizza and not mixed together.

The last stop today was the Piazzale Michelangelo, which was an area on the other side of the Arno River and away from the city center, high above the rest of the city with great views of Florence, especially while the sun was setting. There was a musician at the bottom of the stairs, performing popular songs in Italian, English, and French. Locals and tourists alike congregated in the area, taking in the views, or even just sitting on the stairs to relax as the sun set. A perfect transition from day to night.

Sneaking a picture of Michelangelo's David at the Galleria dell'Accademia

Firenze Marathon

One of Michelangelo's uncomplete works

Perseus Killing Medusa - Piazza della Signora

Piazzale Michelangelo

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