Yeah, well. You see, Florence is full of statues and stuff. Hence the title of this post!
They are everywhere. If it’s not statues, it’s … well, stuff. Stuff like medieval ironwork randomly stuck in the sides of buildings, ancient wooden doors a mile high, frescoes, paintings, and, of course, architecture.
But on our first evening in Florence, when we went for a little walk near our hotel, we came across a piazza positively bursting at the seams with statuary.
It was the Piazza Della Signoria, which turned out to be quite famous and has a copy of David in it, and everything. Actually, this is where the original David once stood, so it’s kind of fitting to find him (or one of him) there now.
Oddly, I didn’t take a picture of David, or of the Rape of the Sabine Women which is also in the piazza and is, in fact, the original statue and not a copy at all. I don’t know why I omitted these, but it was possibly because we were only passing through on our first evening and I was kind of fascinated by Neptune and his extensive entourage of mythical beings.
Incidentally, the Neptune statue was done by a chap called Bartolomeo Ammannati. Michaelangelo, a contemporary of his, was said to have been totally unimpressed and to have said “Ammannati, Ammanato, che bell’ marmo hai rovinato!” which roughly translated means “Oh dear, Ammannati, what a beautiful piece of marble you’ve gone and ruined’.
I’m not sure I entirely agree with S. Buonarotti*. I mean, just look at the work in those horses up there! And the beautiful way the different types of marble are used there to make them appear different colours. I rather like the ‘dapple grey’ effect, myself.
There’s an enormous guy on a horse in the piazza, too, which I didn’t photograph – I think he’s Cosimo I, one of the Medici. As it happens, it’s a real shame that I didn’t photograph ‘Copy David’ since you are not allowed to photograph the real thing in Galleria Dell’Academie.
Still, I did get a few nice pictures from the Ponte Vecchio. It’s a lovely, old bridge, lined with buildings which I imagine were little houses at one time, but are sadly now – almost all of them – tourist-trap jewellers. It was fun to walk over it and back, though, and take some pictures of the river Arno.
As to Cosimo, Copy David and the Rapine of the Sabine Women .. oh well. I suppose it means we’ll just have to go back!
* Signor Michaelangelo Buonarotti