David’s hand and Galileo’s finger

Much as we like walking, it was nice to start the day without really needing to do much. We did have a 10am appointment with David though.

Michaelangelo’s David is an enormous hunk of beauty that’s widely regarded as one of the best sculptures of all time. But it’s right hand is too big: There’s simply no getting away from that fact. There are lots of theories why this is so, but the simplest seems to be that the statue was originally intended to be placed on top of the cathedral dome and so Michaelangelo crafted it to be looked at from below.

Every time I visit David I’m reminded of the sculptures I like even more: the Prisoners. These are unfinished sculptures by Michaelangelo and give the sense of people struggling to free themselves from the white marble in which they are entrapped.


In the afternoon we went to the Museo Galileo. It is a treasure-trove of beautifully crafted ancient scientific instruments. And it also features his finger preserved like a saintly relic.

Galileo’s finger

The Palazzo Vecchio has been the seat of Florentine power since the 1400s and remains so today. The rooms are stunningly decorated.

Palazzo ceiling

Our favourite one was the map room with the whole of the known World as of the mid-1400s depicted on the walls, and an enormous globe in the centre of the floor. I was also quite taken with Machiavelli’s office, although it was by far the starkest room in the building.

Map Room

This evening we sat on a nearby square for an appero with Jennifer and Paul and then had a very pleasant meal which lent heavily into truffles for most people.

1 thought on “David’s hand and Galileo’s finger

  1. Buongiorno Evan e Jennifer, e grazie mille Evan per il tuo splendido blog!
    If you have time, I recommend a visit to the Convent of San Marco – il convento di San Marco – where Fra Angelico decorated the monks cells with beautiful frescos. It’s also not on the main tourist map;)

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