Written by Catherine Vogt (Hamilton College), Student Correspondent for CET Florence, Spring 2023
While I am in the midst of planning trips throughout Europe with my new CET friends and friends from home, I decided to take the weekend to explore my home for the next three months.
On Friday, I went to the Accademia Gallery to see the one and only, Statue of David. As I turned the corner of the museum, I stood in awe of the seventeen foot marble statue in front of me. While two other men worked on the statue prior to Michelangelo’s commission, it is quite remarkable how detailed and realistic the statue is. In that moment of viewing one of the most famous sculptures, it really hit me just how much Florence has to offer within its city lines. Influenced by my trip to the Accademia Gallery, I booked tickets for the Uffizi Gallery and Galileo Museum.
The Statue of David in all his glory at the Accademia Galleria. I purchased tickets the day before and was able to skip the ticket line to make the visit smooth.
The following day, I made the short two minute trek from my apartment and embarked on my two hour long journey through the Uffizi Gallery. The hallways and rooms of the gallery were filled with copious amounts of sculptures and paintings dating hundreds of years, yet, given their pristine condition, you would have thought that they were created yesterday. As cliché as it is, the painting that struck me the most was Sandro Botticelli’s 15th century The Birth of Venus. The large canvas beautifully captures the scene in which the mythological goddess Venus emerges from the sea, taking the breath away from any visitor.
Sandro Boticelli’s The Birth of Venus in the Uffizi Gallery. This painting of course attracted a large crowd.
After my late lunch of a mozzarella, basil, tomato, and prosciutto panini at the nearby sandwich shop, All’Antico Vinao, I went to the Galileo Museum. I got to see Galileo’s original telescopes, microscopes, sketches, as well as other artifacts of Italian astronomers including Antonio Santucci. There were also texts on the walls describing how the Medici Family supported the development of science in Italy. It was fascinating to see the tools and research used to develop our knowledge of astronomy and science today.
A giant armillary sphere built by Italian astronomer, Antonio Santucci. An armillary sphere is designed to showcase the objects in the sky with spherical rings that are centered on the earth or sun.
This weekend made me realize why I chose Florence. I could have gone to any other city in Europe and visited Florence for the weekend; however, I would not have gotten the whole Florentine experience. Being able to live in the city center and explore the museums, shops, and restaurants at my leisure has not only made me feel more acquainted with my new home, but has also made me feel more like a resident of Florence rather than just a tourist.