As we’d arrived in the late afternoon, we had a short break in the apartment before going off to see one of Florence’s most famous residents — Michelangelo’s curly-haired, sling-wielding David.
This 17 foot tall marble man towers over all in the Galleria dell’Accademia. The best time to see him may be just before the gallery’s closing hours of 6.50pm. We were there at 4.30pm and it wasn’t very crowded at all. If you can look without blushing, notice how his manhood is uncircumcised. Why? He’s Jewish, right? It seems that this was in line with conventional Renaissance art. Of course, it’s not all about David; there are other notable works of art here to see, including Giambologna’s original plaster of the Rape of the Sabine Women and paintings by Botticelli.
Near the gallery is a good spot for gelato, Carabé, founded by a Sicilian couple and known for its granita, which is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and flavouring. Reminds me of Asian shaved ice desserts. Here’s a post on all the gelaterias where we pigged out.
The woman behind the counter acted as if she’d swallowed a lemon, she wasn’t the friendliest. That didn’t stop us from getting our usual cup of two (or three) flavours: Sicilian something and lemon. Very refreshing.
If you’re after some groceries, load up at supermarket chain Il Centro across the street and a lot closer than I expected! There we got our supply of pasta, sauce, bread, cheese, fruit, milk and yoghurt.
Call me easily amused. One thing of note: parking here seems as crazy as in Paris. The spots are tight and many of the cars and scooters are scratched, banged up or have broken mirrors.
That evening we walked around Piazza della Signoria, the L-shaped square in front of Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace), the town hall of Florence. The arched structure you see to teh right is the Loggia dei Lanzi, effectively an open-air gallery of sculptures, including yet another copy of Michelangelo’s David.
Around the corner is the Gucci Museum, a small but well put together museum, great if you’re a fashion lover and have time to spare. For €6 you have three floors of fashion design to explore. No photography is allowed and security is pretty tight, but you’re given a booklet in which you can collect exhibit cards with photos. Then there’s the gift shop with very expensive items as you would expect from a high-end brand.
For dinner we went to Brown Sugar, a modern lounge bar on Via della Condotta. The atmosphere was chilled out but the food was just average. I had traditional spaghetti carbonara and the hubby had grilled veggies. At the time I checked TripAdvisor it was ranked 14th but now it’s dropped to 50th, and I can’t say I’m surprised.
For dessert we went to yet another gelateria, Perché No! When you’re in Florence, what else would you have if not gelato? Whilst we enjoyed the ice-cream we watched street performers: an elderly non-mute Charlie Chaplin and jazz musicians. The latter group were wonderful and really livened things up with Django Reinhardt’s “Minor Swing”. Oddly, I hadn’t heard that in years but we heard it again on the radio just a few days after we’d returned to England.
That night we also went to a rock bar called Il Trip Per Te that I’d found via the Metal Travel Guide. A Thin Lizzy music video was playing, and there were rock n’ roll and various memorabilia on the wall. We sat in the back room, where you could barely hear the music and there was a TV playing Fail clips. Alright for drinking and hanging out if you like rock music.
Read about the second day of our trip in Florence.