Monday, October 01, 2012

Florence, Italy - August 21, 2012

Replica of Michelangelo's David
located where the original once stood.


During a school assembly when I was in elementary school, we watched a film about Michelangelo's David. I'd like to believe, in spite of evidence to the contrary, each of us makes decisions, puts together hopes dreams and ambitions, and either consciously or unconsciously fulfills the destinies we carve. By the end of the film, I knew one day I would see that statue up close and personal.

Its position in the Galleria Degli Accedemia is grand. He stands tall at the end of a hall that displays many of Michelangelo's unfinished marble pieces.

However, I may be the only person on earth who begs to differ with those who believe David is perfectly proportioned. I have trouble with his hands and feet because they appear too big for the rest of him.

Most David's are victors, depicted after they have slain Goliath. However, this David readies for battle.  His first home was in front of the Firenze City Hall, where a copy stands today. The city, like David, stands ready to do battle with the larger and more powerful cities of the area. Although, for the life of me, I cannot imagine a Tuscan city more powerful than Florence was during the Renaissance.

A portion of Bascillica de Santa Maria -
Bascillica di Santa Maria del Fiore ( Saint Mary of the Flowers)

Construction of the main cathedral in Florence, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site,  began in 1296. It took 140 years to complete. Architects planned that it should include the world's largest dome. The problem was, no one knew how the build such a dome. The incomplete cathedral remained an embarrassment to Florentinians until Cosimo de' Medici commissioned the work to be complete. The contract was awarded to Brunelleschi, who in designing and undertaking the supervision of building the dome, accomplished what was thought to be impossible. It remains, to this day, the largest brick dome in the world. 

Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio - oldest Florence, Italy
Although flooding almost destroyed the bridge in 1333, it has stretched across the Arno River since Roman times. During the 15th Century fishmongers, butchers and grocers sold their smelly items in shops lining the bridge, but were replaced by goldsmiths. The oldest bridge in Florence, today the shops on the bridge sell jewelry and souvenirs.

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