From Uffizi and as we still had plenty of time, we headed to Galleria Dell’ Accademia, not without stopping to have a chilled water and a coffee with cream and take a time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings (have I told you Florence is beautiful? Yes I did, and will keep saying!!!)
We left Piazza della Signora and headed to Piazza Firenze, located behind Palazzo Vecchio and close to Bargello. It is located in front of Palazzo Gondi, from the 15th century. The piazza holds the church of the S. Filippo Neri, a baroque style buildings that dates back from the 17th century. From there we took via Proconsolo, one of the most ancient streets in Florence that marks the east limit of the first entourage of the city.
The present name of the road is derived from the charge of the proconsul, the head of the Art of Judges and Notaries.
On the corner with Borgo Albizi is Palazzo Nonfinito (Unfinished palace) , now home to the National Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology .
At number 10 is the Palazzo Pazzi designed between 1458 and 1469, with a beautiful arcaded courtyard with columns.
After a nice coffee at Piazza del Duomo we finally headed to Galleria Della Accademia via Via Ricasole, where the famous David from Michelangelo is. Again the Firenze Card proved invaluable in saving us time on cues. Hall of the Colossus welcomes visitors to the academy. Galleria dell’Accademia is a building that originally housed the “Hospital of St. Matthew”, The hall hosts presently a plaster model for the Rape of the Sabine Women by Gianbologna.
Surrounding it there are panel paintings on the four walls, with works from Perugino, Lippi, Ghirlandaio and Bronzino. Next to the entrance on your right side there is a front panel of a wedding chest belonging to the Adimari family that depicts a typical Florentine Renaissance wedding feast. Left to it its Botticelli’s Madonna of the Sea.
The Hall of the Prisoners, displaying Michelangelo “Slaves” is the most famous of the galleria showing the Prisoners along the corridor that leads to the climax – David, exposed under a circular skylight. I had read and seen David’s statue in pictures and websites, books and newspapers but NOTHING prepared me for the magnificent anatomical work by Michelangelo. Every single detail on the statue is an anatomical work of art. It is all and much more people say about it, and honestly not to be missed. Next to the David’s Tribuna there are paintings by Allori and next to them the antic roots of the museum from the ancient hospital now part of the Galleria. In the Gipsoteca Bartolini there are traces of plaster casts of Bartolini a professor of the Academy and one of the greatest sculptors of the time.
The last section of the gallery downstairs is dedicated to Florentine Gothic painting. Gold backed altarpieces by Giotto and his followers like Bernardo Daddi and Orcagna.
I did not take as much pictures from the galleria as I did from the previous museums and decided to take more time seeing and admiring instead of being a photo maniac (which I am). From the Galleria we went to Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, a beautiful square that has in the center a statue of Ferdinando I by Giambologna and two fountains by Pietro Taccá. The present design of the square dates from the 1400’s and is from the famous Brunelleschi – the founder of Italian Renaissance architecture. The square is lined by the church of Santissima Annunziata, Loggia dei Servi di Maria, Palazzo Budini Gattai, National Archeological Museum,Ospedale degli Innocenti and Palazzo delle Due Fontane.
From here we decided to go to do just some sightseeing as a slow pace (gheez my feet were hurting badly) and leave the remaining monuments to next day. So we went to Piazza della Repubblica, a huge and lively square where you can find the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II. It hosts the historical Caffé Gilli, Caffé delle Giubbe Rosse (both were reunion venues for city’s artists and writers in the past), and from there to Loggia del Mercato Nuovo (Loggia del Porcellino) and finally to relax, watching sunset on Ponte Vecchio.
And so our day ended walking around Ponte Vecchio and deciding where to have dinner. We did remember seeing a nice looking Trattoria on Piazza de San Lourenzo, so we walked all way back there, and again (boring I am) I had a fantastic antipasto while Ruth had a pizza senza gluten (gluten free pizza).
Day 3…lots of walking and one of the most amazing views in Florence, as well as the thing that gave me the most negative energy ever. Stay tuned