gardens for Cornwall


in florence


David and Florence
Autumn wasn't a 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' but a glorious encore of warm, mature sun that compensated for the lacklustre performance of summer. It was a wrench to leave as we spent a few days not living In Cornwall but in Florence, celebrating a 'significant' birthday.

I booked a hotel near the Ponte Vecchio to radiate sightseeing from a central point; now I know I'm a country bumpkin by assimilation and if I see one other person while walking Woody I feel resentful at the intrusion...but the crowds!!!! The bridge over the Arno was a slow shuffle of jewellery- shop- browsing, indecision- making humanity from every corner of the earth; men nonchalantly whistling and taking an unnatural interest in crumbling statues, while women pressed against the windows, avariciously ogling at the glittering, glinting displays. I'm not totally innocent here, I still lust over the beautiful, mauve suede shoes common sense told me I didn't need!

Ponte Vecchio view David sculpture Florence street doggy in the window large face sculpture

We gave up on the queue for the Uffizzi and the Duomo. However, the focus of our visit was to see Michelangelo's David in the Accademia and I had the sense to book our slot on-line before leaving home. We queued again to exchange our vouchers for tickets! Why? It wasn't as if they didn't know we were expected. And even more irritating, Americans! We've been to the US many times and never had anything but good manners and courtesy, maybe some just don't travel too well.

Eventually, vouchers exchanged and we were through the barrier, walked down a gallery of partially carved sculptures.... and there he was! It's not easy to put into words the significance of that moment: David on his pedestal, quite simply lit from above, such beauty, such perfection; the crowds vaporised and it was just me and him.

The writer in me knows how to put a spin on how the small, but brave, if you have God on your side, can overcome might and size and that's why David was commissioned to be symbolic of the Florentine republic, the Renaissance and Medici power. But this true icon of youth, beauty and strength is more than that. I'm writing this a few months later and I still shudder knowing I had been touched by genius and that a human hand created such wonder.

And to really lower the tone, if AC Milan's temporary signing is any indication, Florence isn't the only Italian city with a David who is statuesque, homo-erotic with an unimpressive tackle!

email to a friend Email this page to a friend

Home | About Us | Previous | Ramblings | Contact | What You Say | Calligraphy | Links | Copywriting | Sitemap