Jun 09, 2018

Galleria dell’Accademia, Gallerie degli Uffizi and another fall

Sunday, May 27th was our first full day in Florence and it was a full day indeed.  We figured out how to get to the Accademia Gallery with transit saving me many steps.  We had prebookded our tickets online @ 29 euros each, the extra 4 euros each allowed us to skip the line which was a good thing due to the length of the line.

My eye was going to get worse before it got better.

Everyone goes to the Accademia to see David.

David is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created in marble between 1501 and 1504 by the Italian artist Michelangelo.

We spent a good deal of time touring each exhibit  but no other photos are being posted.  This is one of Michelangelo’s called prisoners or slaves. This one is called ‘The Atlas”, 1530 – 1534,

This is a description taken from the internet…

All the unfinished statues at the Accademia reveal Michelangelo’s approach and concept of carving. Michelangelo believed the sculptor was a tool of God, not creating but simply revealing the powerful figures already contained in the marble. Michelangelo’s task was only to chip away the excess, to reveal. He worked often for days on end without sleep, keeping for days his boots and clothes, as reported in Vasari’s chronicles about Michelangelo’s passion and talent. One can clearly recognize the grooves from mallet and pointed chisel on the marble surface used in this initial stage. Unlike most sculptors, who prepared a plaster cast model and then marked up their block of marble to know where to chip, Michelangelo mostly worked free hand, starting from the front and working back. These figures emerged from the marble “as though surfacing from a pool of water”, as described in Vasari’s “Lives of the Artists”.

In particular the sculpture shown above…..

Down the corridor on the left is the “Atlas Slave.” The male nude seems to be carrying a huge weight on his head. Hence he is named after Atlas, the primordial Titan who held up the entire world on his shoulders. His head has not emerged from the stone, leading the slave to support and push such a heavy weight, which threatens to compress him. The force of weight pushing down, and that pushing back up, create a vigorous tension. There is no feeling of equilibrium here, only an eternal battle of forces threatening to explode in both directions. This pressure generates a power which perhaps more than the other Slaves, expresses the energy of the figure struggling to emerge from marble.

We went for a walk afterwards.  Just a typical street scene.

The Duomo.

Another angle.  Spectacular colors.

The Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence, Italy. It overlooks the Piazza della Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo’s David statue as well as the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi.  This is where we listened to the music the prior evening.

We also checked out some leather tote bags at the San Lorenzo Market but nothing caught my eye.  As I would walk away a few vendors just kept dropping the price and when I still said no, they said ‘Oh my God’.  I tried to explain that no matter the price I was not interested.

We toured the fabulous Mercado Centrale.  Naturally pizza and wine were on the menu for lunch.

Next on the agenda was our prebooked skip the line visit to the not to be missed Uffizi.

It is a large museum and we walked through all of it. This is a view of the Vecchio Bridge and the Arno River taken through an upper window.

Again I am not showing a lot of the photos we took.  This is one of the four paintings that Michelangelo ever painted.   ‘The Holy Family with the Infant St. John the Baptist (Doni Tondo)’, ?? 1504 – 1507.

Another special painting, Madonna of the Goldfinch.  Painted by Raphael in 1505-1506.  Jesus pets the goldfinch that John the Baptist holds.

Just before we left the Uffizi I went to the bathroom.  Colin had been holding onto me up and down steps and while out walking on the street.  He let me to to the toilet on my own.  There was a corridor and then around the corner, a long staircase. Just as I had come down the long strange staircase and started walking towards the bathroom I had a flash thought of falling.  Next thing I knew, someone was calling ‘senora, senora’ !  I came to, flat on my face.  I was flat on my face ( again my eyeglasses did not break )  and I had a small lump on my forehead and my nose hurt ( it would later turn yellow purple ).  What the heck!!  The couple who found me helped me up, it was not easy and I saw that there was only one tiny 1/4 inch ridge on a stone and of course I tripped over it.

I was stunned but proceeded to the toilet, did my business and was astounded that l looked much the same.  As I headed back to the stairs Colin appeared as he was worried that I was gone so long.  I finally had to ask him to stop scolding me ( in concern of course ) telling me that I should have come back to him and ask for assistance with the stairs and walk to the bathroom as he knew I was tired but at that moment I just needed to sit and get my head back together.  We eventually took a taxi back to the apartment and later Colin went out to the nearest place to get take out pizza which was best described as a four letter word.

Totally amazing that I was still in one piece after three falls, two on face.  The next morning we headed out on yet another adventure.



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13 responses so far

13 Responses to “Galleria dell’Accademia, Gallerie degli Uffizi and another fall”

  1. Sandie says:

    You have got to stop being so independent. Concerned scolding from me. I fell stepping off the curb about a week ago. Sure glad I was holding on to Jim because he kept me from falling too hard. I always hold onto him when it’s stairs or curbs. Unless there are railings I can hang on to. You are seeing some beautiful sights.

  2. Croft Randle says:

    Contessa, this falling is a concern. After spending so much time in Mexico I know about the uneven pavement and floors but you have to stay aware of the surface you are walking on. OK, that is all the scolding from me! 🙂

  3. SandyM says:

    Contessa, I am so sorry for the latest spill – I am hurting for you, too. Things happen in threes so “they” say – last fall for you, my dear, now you will stay on your feet. Really like the Arno River photo.

  4. Barbara says:

    Some people might scoff at tripping over 1/4″ ridge, but as you’ve unfortunately found, it easily can and does happen. Since moving to Mexico I’ve yet to be in a casa, restaurant, or tienda that doesn’t have tile floors, and virtually all have such subtle ridges, even in my own home. When I moved here I quickly learned to walk a different way than I was used to – I pick up my feet so they don’t drag across the edges. It’s not a noticeable difference in my gate, but I’m sure it has saved me from falls as knock on wood I’ve not fallen since being here.

    I’m sorry you had the experience of falls while on this delightful trip yet so glad they weren’t worse. I adore Italy, and am revisiting through your glorious posts and photos. Enjoy the remainder of your trip and have a safe journey home. Mil gracias for taking time to share the glory with us!

  5. George Yates says:

    Oh my falls on one vacation sure not fun and luckily your glasses did not break again.
    You must try to be more careful and not push yourself so much.

  6. I understand completely. I have been paid as a consultant to find uneven surfaces. I have lots of experience.

    I think it’s all about the eye issue. It will get better and you’ll have only good memories from this trip. We’re enjoying the pictures.

    • Dee Tillotson says:

      Chris, “I have been paid as a consultant to find uneven surfaces. I have lots of experience.” LOL!! So funny.

  7. Lynn in Kingston NY says:

    Contessa–I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now and really enjoy it. I can totally relate to your falls because I tend to trip also. Like you, I am always wearing open-toed shoes like sandals. The doctors tell me that these are the least safe shoes to wear if one tends to trip. I hate shoes — but now mostly wear crocs even though they’re ugly. That has helped. Keep enjoying your trip and stay upright –lol.

    • contessa says:

      I can’t wear closed toe shoes even though I keep trying. I try wearing runners and keep increasing the time by 5 minutes before I have to tear then off my feet. I find crocs clumsy for me but I do wear them in the garden.

      Thank you so much for commenting.

  8. Rod & Sylvia says:

    You really are trying to make this an Adventure to Remember, aren’t you?
    We hope the rest of the trip is fun and safe.

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