Italy, UK & Transatlantic Cruise 2019 travel blog


Oltrarno & The Accademia

We had a wonderful walk this morning exploring the Oltrarno area around our apartment. The streets and "sidewalks" were for the most part quiet and empty which was wonderful. We came upon a small outdoor market, what we call a farmer's market. There was produce. Clothing, pottery & various other things. We continued wandering and came upon a pastry shop, there are many here! We decided to walk along the river on our way back home and to our surprise we found a wonderful park that soon became a playground. We picked a bench and enjoyed our pastries as well as the fun around us. What a wonderful morning.

After lunch we headed to the long awaited Accademia & the sculpture of David. We purchased our tickets and time to enter the museum so we were able to skip the ticket buying line and just had a short wait in the security line. The sculpture of David is breathtaking. Michelangelo was beyond gifted. He did the sculpture of David at the age of 26. He came from a very poor family and had an interest in art from a very young age. His father would not let him enjoy this love because art was not good enough for an aristocrat, which he wanted his son to be. At the age of 13 a teacher took him under his wings and just 10 years later he created David from a piece of marble other sculpturs rejected because it was too tall and narrow. Michelangelo never worked from drawings he just started carving! He started David by cutting out a knot in the marble, this became David's heart.

We also saw several sculptures that he did first. None of them were completed. They were called the prisoners because they were still somewhat encased in the block of marble. To the left of David, which sits in the very center of the center hall, is a room filled with the final grade sculptures by the students of the academy. We would have given all of them an "A". Many of them had lines of dots. We were told they were used for measuring. We don't know if by the student or the professor.

Down the hall was another surprise-The Musical Instrument museum. It showed instruments from the beginning. There were pianos, cellos, violins, clarinets, trumpets, trombones, & even a tympani. The first upright piano was quite interesting. It was much taller than it was wide. This was enough history for us for one day We did see the Duomo, Baptistry & Bell Tower on our way home. What an impressive complex-but that's for another day.

We walked to Piazza Santo Spirito, 5 minutes from our apartment, to go to a place recommeded by our hostess. Ha! It was 9:00 & the first outdoor opening was at 10:30! Restaurants lined the perimeter of the piazza and they were all filled so we headed towards home & stopped at the trattoria down the street from us and ordered a pizza to go. We enjoyed it on our balcony. The end to another wonderful day.

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