Friday, 30th September, Florence

We slept late because of the Conrad trial, which shows the defense as bumbling and pointless, and the doctor as grossly negligent. The Accademia was not too far from the Duomo and once we gained entry, we moved into a hall of paintings and on to a nearby stairway which eventually led to a wide hall – around which stood David (almost with no warning.)

He was lit effectively, standing twelve feet on a podium that was already about five feet tall, and gazing off to the distance, way over our heads and seeming a little bothered by the attention? The marble sculpture was just a triumph of detail – veins, muscle, smooth, smooth skin, powerful, all that suspended grace standing with a mix of casualness and pride.

It was probably the best piece of art we saw in Italy – repeating the word ‘masterpiece’ here doesn’t seem like much, but looking up at David, he strikes you that way. We circled the statue, noting wear on his toes, the piece of cloth and the counterweight tree-branch at his leg, ultimately hesitant to leave.

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