Tuscany Day Four: Pitti Palace, Uffizi, Accademia

Published Date Author: , July 6th, 2012

Once again, we slept in and got a bit of a late start, setitng out after breakfast at Pioggiolo delle Rose at about 10:15 AM. We were running a little late because someone (not me) lost the little card that gives us access to and from the property via the main gate, and of course, today – unlike yesterday – the bus into Florence was apparently right on time, and we missed it by about 3 minutes.

On the Bus in FirenzeSo we waited, and about 35 minutes later the next one arrived, and we were on our way into Florence.

Unlike the day before, the bus was almost empty, so we managed to get seats at the front of the bus for the ten minute ride to Palazzo Pitti.

That bus really speeds down the narrow streets once we reach the centro storico.

Pitti Palace StatueAt Pitti Palace, I was keen to find the rooms with the beautiful murals – painted to look like there were other terraces annd walkways and peiple up aboe – that I’d seen the last tome we were here. But first, we took a walk through the Boboli Gardens behind the palace.

The skies were a leaden grey, so we hurried through the gardens to beat the rain. I miss the blue skies of a few days ago.

Duomo View from Boboli GardensWe did take a few pictures on the way through, including some nice ones of central Florence.

From here, we went to the Costume Gallery, displaying historic costumes and clothing. With our 50 Euro pass, all of these Museums are included, and we get to skip the longer lines in most places. But you can only enter each museum once.

Pitti PalaceMost interesting to me here were the costumes of the Medici family, dating back more than 100 years. One dress, in particular, was so devastated by the sands of time that only the thicker border and a few bits of the orignal fabric remain.

I wish I could bring you some pics of these places, but no photos were allowed. I did take some courtyard pics, which I’ll include here.

Here are some pics of the Costume Gallery from another site:

http://www.museumsinflorence.com
/musei/costume_gallery.html

Pitti Palace GardenNext we visited the Palatine Gallery, thinking this was where the murals were, but instead we found a museum full of beautiful paintings and murals, many of a religous theme. This museum’s works include paintings by Raphael and Tiziano.

Again, you can see photos and some more info here:

http://www.museumsinflorence.com/
musei/palatine_gallery.html

As we left the Palatine Gallery, we came across a museum gift shop, and I finally found the museum I was looking for in a book that was for sale there – The Museo degli Argenti. We’ll try to get by there tomorrow or Tuesday.

After the Pitti Palace, we stopped at a little pizza place for an entirely forgettable lunch, and then made our way once again across the Ponte Vecchio, this time turning right to reach the Uffizi.

The walkway between the two wings of the Uffizi is lined with alcoves holding statues of some of the most famous Italians, including Michelangelo, Dante, Machiavelli, and a number of others. Β It’s a little intimidating to walk below their stony gazes.

The Uffizi, FlorenceThe Uffizi themselves (literally offices) was originally built as the site of the administrative offices for the Medici Family under the auspices of Cosimo I de’ Medici, and the last of the Medici heirs opened it by request in the mid 1600’s, making it one of the first modern museums.

David (Replica) From the Steps of the UffiziWe entered the museum and wantered around the display rooms and halls, which are lined with hundreds of beautiful statues, again longing for a camera (none of the museums here seem to allow photography inside).

We finally ended up in front of Boticelli’s Venus di Milo… a painting so overused comercially that it’s become a a bit of a cliche, but it was amazing to actually see the real thing.

Also of note here, a number of Michelangelo’s paintings, some of them exceptionally colorful and vivid.

More info and pics here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uffizi

Cosimo Medici at the National Gallery

After departing the Uffizi, we decided to see Michelangelo’s David at the Accadema before heading back home. By now, it was raining steadily, and we stumbled across a window showing the beautiful backsides of marble statue of a man and a woman.

Intrigued, we entered, and found that we had stumbled across the National Museum of Bargello, mostly dedicated to sculpture. Though the museum had some truly gaudy art upstairs, we were able to photograph some of the beautiful statuary in the courtyard downstairs.

National Museum, Florence

We also have that shot taken through the window from the street outside. πŸ™‚

More info here: http://www.museumsinflorence.com/
musei/museum_of_bargello.html

The Other DavidFinally, we reached the Accademia. There were two lines, one for reservations/pass holders like us, and one for drop-ins. Our line moved quickly, and in minutes we were inside.

There was really just one thing we came here to see – Michelangelo’s David.Β (No, that’s not it – just a pop-art replica in the courtyard).

The statue is simply breathtaking, presented under a simple dome of white and grey. He’s just beautiful to look at.

We sat down on a bench below the statue and just enjoyed this amazing work of art.

The history of the statue is fascinating. The sculptor Donatello was originally commissioned in 1410 to start on a series of large statues from the Old Testament by the Office of Works of the Duomo. He and another sculptor named Augustino, completed two statues. In 1464, Augustino was provided with a block of marble from Cararra to create the statue of David.

His association with the project didn’t last long – he probably roughed out the legs and some of the drapery, and in 1476, another artist, Antonio Rossellino, took it up, but he, too, soon left the project.

So the block of marble languished in the yard of a cathedral.

David at the AccademiaIn 1500, an inventory of the cathedral turned up the huge block of unfinished marble, and a young artist named Michelangelo, only twenty six at the time, was commissioned to finish it in 1501.

It took Michelangelo more than two years to complete the sculpture, and when it was done, it took four days to move it from his workshop to the Piazza della Signoria, where it stood for more than 350 years.

It was finally moved into the Accademia in 1873, and in 1910 a replica was erected in the Piazza della Signoria.

Dinner by Fabry, Basil by MarcoThere’s no photography allowed in the Accademia, but many people ignored the ban, including one particularly brazen woman who took four or fine shots from her ipad held in front of her in the air. The authorities here were lax about the restriction, so we managed to sneak a few photos ourselves.

Afterwards, we stopped at a market across the street for a few things, and then grabbed a taxi back to the B&B to spend the evening inside.

Marco and Fabry prepared a wonderful dinner of spaghetti, bread, salad, and sliced meats, and we enjoyed a companionable meal together before heading off to sleep.

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[…] Tuscany Day Four: Pitti Palace, Uffizi, Accademia Once again, we slept in and got a bit of a late start, setting out after breakfast at Pioggiolo delle Rose at about 10:15 AM. We were running a little late because someone (not me) lost the little card that gives us access to and from the property via the main gate, and of course, today – unlike yesterday – the bus into Florence was apparently right on time, and we missed it by about 3 minutes. http://purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/2012/07/tuscany-day-four-pitti-palace-uffizi-accademia.html […]

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