If You Would Like To See Michelangelo's David...

Know that there are three (not including this one in Sarasota) …

Yes, there are three David statues in Florence. There is a replica in a garden overlooking all of Firenze. That square that had the hot, nasty water a.k.a. Palazzo Vecchio, has a replica in the real David's original place. If you want to see the actual one that was removed from there you will have to pay. When you pay you will have access to several galleries of other art as well as access to the real David. However, if you have been much of anywhere you have probably seen David a million times already. I personally would love to have a wedding reception right under his reproduced and bronzed ass at The Ringling in Sarasota. So seeing David was nothing but overkill for me especially when I knew you could see a carbon copy of the same thing in Firenze for free. However, I decided to use the change and few bills I had to go see the real thing.

Again, I'd been one upped by the person who in my opinion knows nothing of art. We'd traveled over to the palazzo and I'd seen no David. I was instead fascinated with the Neptune Fountain, finding her and all the people! So nope my opportunity to see world's first replica of David for free was lost. I'd read about the garden one but had no freaking clue where it was. I'd summed up that it was nearest to the museum that held the real David. I expected a structured admission where I could opt out of temporary exhibits and possibly the real David. All I wanted was to maybe see the garden David. However, "Garden David" is clear across the Arno River on the other side of Firenze. It was probably just a few miles from where we wondered off too after seeing the bridge of nothing. She insisted that we had seen David at the palazzo. Maybe she did but I didn't! She had no clue about the garden even when I mentioned it she was a deer in headlights. She also had no idea about how the price to see the real David had been inflated because of the Summer season. 

The next morning we got dressed, had breakfast and set out to the Galleria dell' Accademia. Now I knew exactly how much admission should have cost and what options I should have had. I anticipated a long line just like any other popular museum but not a pilgrimage to Mecca. I'd read about this and the strong possibility of being price gouged and forced into buying tickets to see really horrible loaned art and temporary exhibits. At the time the "Red Violin" was supposed to be on display and I thought well at least I'll get something out of it. I basically knew seeing David up close and intimately would not happen. I knew it would be much like the Mona Lisa experience and the Stradivarius collection would be a consolation prize. I'd mentioned it but she had no idea what those were either. So I walked with her to the gun show to not only see an uncovered and possibly three hour long line alongside a changed admission cost sign. What was about 10 Euros last week was almost 20 - nearly double to maybe see something I'd seen before.

So she lead the way as usual because knowing where we were going was like a sixth sense for her. She then delicately sauntered near the line and I stood in the street looking at that sign. I guess she noticed I wasn't keeping up as per usual. So she turned and said something dumb with a smirk. I verbally blacked out because her reaction was very pissy. She gave me the "don't disrespect me and yourself like this" reaction. I know I was ranting about the ploy of upping the ticket costs and how much money I had. In the end I was like "I'm leaving!" and she went back to the line. Now as I walked away I felt like I should go back and apologize for my outburst. There was really no excuse for having a one sided spat like that in front of like 1,000 people. She didn't hike up the price herself and she probably had no clue. I also never expected for her to be so-called generous and spot me the difference as she had been thoroughly irritated about money four countries ago. However, she of all people had zero appreciation for David, whatever lackluster art lined the walls near him and especially the red violin. However, her perception and stance on it all was I'd seen David yesterday in that square and to get glad. I couldn't bring myself to explain that all I saw was Neptune. I know I tried but I wasn't trying to get into an intellectual debate about any of it. So I walked off and roamed Florence for what seemed like three hours. In that time I hoped she had passed out, melted and never got an opportunity to see real David's chipped toe.

The extreme irony of the entire thing is as I walked away on my own adventure people eyed me. I found an open air market and I was serenaded with broken English greetings. I would thumb things like little embroidered fans and leather coin purses and be treated like royalty. Perception wise I looked like someone who could not only afford to see the real David but things. I could afford all the things. So I played the part of not being irritated and chalked things up to not missing anything at all. I just told myself she was risking sunstroke to see a statue she could see for less or free. It was way better talking up the locals, grabbing a grapefruit soda and going back to the hotel for my day old sub. I even took it up a notch requesting room service for ice. I sat on the bed with my spared loose change, a high ball full of fancy ice cubes & dollar soda and ate fallen jalapeños. The next day I got a large postcard of David clear of weirdos with hammers, tourists and bad iPhone focus. I think it was 1.50 Euros in a supermarket of all places.

So there I saw one of them. The real one. On paper. I get to see him forever too. 

The replica of David is just to the right of Neptune. It was so crowded with people I didn't even see the top of its head. She probably did see it and that is why I couldn't find her. At least she overcame her fear of crowds and I was content in my zero sense of direction. If you would like free yet warm water it is just behind Neptune's butt. 

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