Visit Florence and the captivating Statue of David in one day on a Florence small group walking tour with Livitaly in Florence Italy
Our second tour in Tuscany was to visit Florence on the Florence Small Group Walking Tour, David and Duomo with Livitaly. In the morning we had been on the Private food tour and gelato making class the afternoon was all about the culture of Florence. If you want to visit Florence and Michelangelo’s David and Duomo there’s no better place to start than with Livitaly.
So I started writing my posts about Florence and soon realised this would take more time than I thought! How can you break down a whole city in to one morning and one afternoon? Or how can you put Florence in one post?
Vincenzo our tour guide from Livitaly did just this! To be were whisked in to a world of Romans and the Medici’s is Captivating. Listening to stories of hidden corridors and art is utterly enthralling. I am amazed by how much knowledge and enthusiasm Vincenzi has. All of a sudden something interesting would pop into his head and he could not wait to tell us.
We learnt the history of the city from medieval times up to the present with rich images in our minds.
Snippets of History
As we walked through the city in the pouring rain there was not a sight that was not pointed out or explained.
In the Piazza Della Signora we saw the different cobbles dictating when they were laid as well as the replica David. The Uffizi Gallery was remarkable, Vincenzo showed us the statues of some of Florence’s most influential people adorning its structure.
A hidden Medieval door in Florence at the Ponte Vecchio bridge
Our next stop was for a view of the Ponte Vecchio bridge from the waterside. Just off of the waterside we found the alley called via dei Georgofili. Down here is the top of a medieval door showing where the water line would have been many years ago. This shows where the banks of the river have slowly been raised to protect from flooding.
The via dei Georgofili is however not best known for this, the alleyway also tells a tale of destruction.
The Bombing of the via dei Georgofili in Florence
Further down the road we were showed the area of the Vasari corridor that was bombed by the Italian Mafia. This area has been heavily damaged when a car bomb was detonated killing five innocent people and wounding more. Parts of the tower and buildings were destroyed including part of the Uffizi Gallery as were many paintings.
A memorial called l Passi d’Oro ( the golden steps) by Tuscan artist Roberto Barni has been erected here for all to see.
Further more in 2004 five olive trees were planted with plaques to remember the horrific attack that took place on the 27th of May 1993.
If you look closely at the buildings you can see where they have been pieced together and made to look old again. We would never have seen this piece of recent history if Vincenzo had not shown us. This made it really special to be guided by someone who really knew what they were talking about.
Visit Florence Cathedral
Your penultimate stop was to visit Florence Cathedral on the livitaly tour. ( Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore ) Unfortunately due to the horrendous rain they had stopped letting people in, I guess due to the wet floors. However it was an amazing sight to behold extraordinary in its design with Gothic design built between 1296 and 1436.
Opposite Vincenzo also pointed out the Gates of Heaven which is the main gate of the Florence Baptistry. Vincenzo described how artists such as Michelangelo were once were amazed by their beauty that portrays scenes from the Old Testament. They were Sculpted by Lorenzo Ghiberti between 1425 and 1452 and installed in Baptistery.
Perhaps one of the most famous works of art is in Florence this makes so if you are visiting this can also be a good excuse to check it out. We were very keen to escape the rain and got back on our route to the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze in search of Michelangelo,s David.
Florence and Michelangelo’s David a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture
We all knew who Michelangelo was and we were all familiar with the statue that had been copied many a time. Nothing prepared me for actually seeing it for the first time. After heading to the front of the queue ( a perk with being on a Livitaly tour) we succeeded in working our way to the corridor of prisoners. Here stand five of Michelangelo’s unfinished works of prisoners with the “pièce de résistance” David at the end.
In a domed galleried ceiling made just for him, David stands heroically observing his crowd. David was created in between 1501 and 1504 by Michelangelo. He stands at 5.17-metres tall and is made of solid marble. David is the biblical figure from the story of David and Goliath and is seen as Florence’s saviour and hero.
I just took one look and said wow! I stood still for a very long time taking it in. In fact it brought tears to my eyes, I felt afraid to go closer for fear of losing the spell it had cast over me.
I could not be more wrong, as I approached David I was amazed at his beauty, the detail with the smooth white perfect marble.
It is hard to believe that a man as young as 26 could carve such an amazing work of art out of a piece of rock. It is no wonder it had been moved from it original home of the Palazzo Vecchio, it would be a shame for it to deteriorate with more years.
The statue of David in Florence is breathtaking
The attention to detail was amazing, the gaze in his eyes, the veins in his hands so intricately detailed. I could have stood there for ages admiring him. This is a must see for all art lovers who visit Florence as it is simply breathtaking. The unfinished Prisoners along the gallery gave us an insight into how much work went into carving David, it is astonishing. It is so worth going to must visit Florence and Michelangelo’s David at least once in your lifetime.
Vincenzo was so passionate about Florence and therefore wanted us to know everything! As a result we will have to visit Florence again one day soon to fit more in!
After we headed back to our beautiful Tuscan Villa we were we had a well deserved glass of prosecco. I hope you enjoyed reading about my visit Florence trip? You could also check out the rest of our Tuscany stay in Volterra too.