Michelangelo's David in the Piazza della Signoria is a replica. The original was moved to the Galleria dell'Academia
to protect it from wind and weather...
Think of Florence, and Michelangelo Buonarotti immediately comes to mind.
Although born in the small village of Caprese, Michelangelo chose to live in Florence, the Silicon Valley of the Italian Renaissance period, where today you can visit not only the house in which he lived but tomb in which he was buried.
Probably best known for painting the Sistine Chapel, the famous artist lived and worked in the Florence during the height of the Renaissance, leaving an unmistakable trace on the historic city.
And if his Pieta sculpture in Rome may be a bit more famous, Michelangelo's David in Florence continues to draw in the crowds not only for its sheer size but for its revolutionary depiction of the male form.
Just up ahead, take a tour of the city that Michelangelo called home. You could easily spend your entire vacation trying to see all of his work that remains in Florence, but these highlights can be seen over the course of a few days.
Seeing the original David
Copies of Michelangelo's David, hailed as one of the masterpieces of the Renaissance, are scattered throughout Florence, but none come close to the real thing. Impeccably preserved and bathed in natural light, the original white marble David, displayed prominently in the Galleria dell'Accademia, literally takes your breath away. The museum also offers other several unfinished works by Michelangelo, including a statue of Saint Matthew, a Pieta discovered in Palestrina and four Prisoners, originally intended for the tomb of Pope Julius II.
Via Ricasoli 58-60
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission: full € 6,50, reduced € 3,25 (valid for European citizens between 18 and 25 years), free (valid for European citizens under 18 and over 65; groups of students on reservation)
The Medici Chapels feature work by several famous Florentine sculptors, but Michelangelo fans will take particular interest in the New
Sacristy, intended as a funerary chapel for the Medici but left unfinished after their fall from power. Two of the tombs - the Tomb of Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino, and the Tomb of Giuliano de'Nemours - were completed and are on display along with the unfinished ones.
Visiting the Medici Chapels:
Piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini, 6
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: full € 6,00, booking (optional) € 3,00; 50% reduction for European citizens between 18 and 25 years
For more information:http://www.firenzemusei.it/
Michelangelo's House - The Casa
This small museum offers an inside look at the Buonarroti family
and features a large collection of Michelangelo's early work, papers, drawings and correspondence. Highlights include the "Madonna of the Stairs" and the "Battle of the Centaurs."
Visiting Casa Buonarroti:
Via Ghibellina 70
Hours: Wednesday-Monday, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (until 4 p.m. during temporary exhibitions). Closed Tuesdays.
Closed on Tuesday and on the following holidays: January the 1st, Easter Sunday, May the 1st, August the 15th, December the 25th.
Admission: full € 6,50, reduced € 4,00
For more information: http://www.museumsinflorence.com/musei/Michelangelo_house.html
Visiting Michelangelo's Tomb
Pay your respects to Michelangelo's tomb, which lays in the magnificent Basilica di Santa Croce. Constructed in 1294 by architect Arnolfo di Cambio, the basilica also contains funerary monuments to Dante, Galileo Galilei, Niccolò Machiavelli and other Italian luminaries.
Visiting Basilica di Santa Croce:
Piazza Santa Croce
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sundays 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Admission: full € 5, reduced € 3 (valid for children between 11 and 18 years and groups over 15 people), free (valid for children under 11 years and others). For more information: http://www.santacroceopera.it/en/default.aspx
Room with a View - Piazzale Michelangelo This piazza, built during the 15th century but reconstructed in the late 19th century, honors Michelangelo with a monument to the artist surrounded by bronze reconstructions of some his most famous works. Set in the hills, away from the bustle of the city, the piazza also offers one of the most celebrated views of Florence.