It’s amazing how good I have been feeling lately. My health – sore left knee, chronic cough, flu – had been a concern since Nepal. Despite my poor physical condition, I trudged on steadily and with purpose. Frankly, I didn’t let it get in the way of seeing and doing wonderful things. The trip was barely impacted because I refused to let any of my ailments get the best of me. The last week in Greece and all of my time in Italy has been fabulous insofar as having the energy to complete this RTW trip with “mucho gusto” (literal translation – Much Pleasure)!
So this morning, I wake up at 6:45am, do my exercises, shower, and have a delicious breakfast before discovering Florence, Italy. Alba, the Hotel owner, suggested that I bypass the Uffizi Museum today due to the Saturday crowds and instead, go visit the Accademia Gallery, which has the original David by Michelangelo. She said there would be a line there as well, but not as long. She suggested that I pay one of the “touts” a 3 Euro premium over the museum price of 12 Euros and that would allow me to bypass the long line. The only pre-requisite being that I had to be in another line at an appointed time (10:45am it turned out to be). So, with this information in tow, I went to the Accademia Gallery.
The information Alba provided was invaluable, as I was inside the Accademia Gallery in no time at all. I was crestfallen though, when I saw the camera icon with a red slash running through it. Hmm. This is where I go into a rant about the stupidity of not being allowed to take photos in museums . . . Let me preface those comments by saying that I completely understand the necessity to not use your camera flash when taking photographs of paintings. The flash will cumulatively damage the paintings over time. That being said, a prohibition on taking photographs is complete nonsense for any reason the museum will state. This is especially ludicrous for statues, especially the David statue, which use to be mounted in a piazza, exposed to rain, snow, sun, and bird crap for hundreds of years, before some bureaucrat recognized what they were doing to this priceless piece of art. Believe me – on the scale of potential damage the statue has been exposed to – cameras are at the bottom.
As you can see, I ignored the camera signs and took some undercover photos, justifying them by saying to myself, “It’s for my blog readership. Freedom of the press is paramount!” 🙂
I also went to the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore or Duomo, a complex of three churches, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. However, I only entered one (again, the lines were insane), Giotto’s Campanile. Oh, I also saw a Salvador Dali statue and visited the Santa Maria Maddalena Convent. These are the photos I took today.