Today we are doing something different and taking a food tour, “nude & food” so called ‘cos we meet at the Galleria dell’ Accademia which houses “David”.
Everyone’s seen pictures of Michelangelo’s statue of a nude David, slingshot ready to slay Goliath, but until you see him in the flesh, or should I say ‘marble’, it’s not hard to see why everyone loves this iconic piece of art.
He is 17 feet tall, standing on a platform 6ft high, so he is very imposing.
The girls seem to be quite enamoured by his…um, his….
The tour group comprises 12 intrepid souls from Canada, USA, Russia, England and Australia, plus our wonderful guide, Sam.
Sam is a native Florentine married to a Kiwi, so there goes half the joke package!
As long as we don’t have to try any Sauv Blanc!
The tour was terrific, lots of laughs, good conversation, and plenty of great food and wine.
We started at David, then headed off for coffee and pastries in a local cafe. Next was the food markets for early lunch, then we moved around trying different meats and cheeses, then balsamic tastings, olive oil tastings, more cheese and wine etc, etc, etc.
Our second last stop was at a local wine store for more wine tastings, and what is called the ‘full immersion’ test. Mario, the owner, using spray bottles of grappa covered you in a mist of pure alcohol all over.
Eau de grappa!
Good fun, but in 35 degree heat a bit on the sticky side!
Last stop was a tasting of gelato at “Gelateria Perche No!” This place is regarded as one of the top 10 ice cream places in the world, coming in at no.2 and endorsed by none other than Nigella Lawson herself.
Great way to finish the tour.
By now it was 3.30 and we had been on the go since 8am, so back to our apartment for a bit of down time before hitting the streets again.
A quiet drink, then off to explore and have a quick meal.
Back over the Ponte Vecchio bridge, with its gaudy jewellery shops, dodging tourists like Pele, and into the heart of town we go.
We settle on a cafe in Piazza della Signoria from which we could see a copy of the statue of David, as it was deemed too unsafe to leave the original there, so back in 1873 it was moved to the Accademia and the copy put here in its place.
Dinner was just ok, but the wine….the wine! Because we only wanted a cheap feed we got a 1/2 litre of the carafe red, which in the past has been ok. Not here…..battery acid!
Oh well, will only buy the good stuff from now on…..such hardship.
The Piazza is quite beautiful, with the Palazzo Vecchio on one side, and plenty of statues surrounding the square.
The big plus was the free concert on the piazza for the Florence Youth Orchestra Festival, which runs for a couple of months.
Tonight was the Youth Symphony Orchestra Bochum, playing Beethoven and Dvorak amongst others.
It was outstanding, the atmosphere perfect sitting on the warm cobblestones, and the acoustics within the square excellent.
We listened till about 10.30, then headed slowly home after another full day.