I still have the cold that I think I picked up here in Florence.  Figuring that a cold takes a few days to become symptomatic, I probably got it from this lovely city.  I took another whirlwind tour excursion of the city.  We docked in Livorno and took a bus to Florence.  Then we walked around the old city.

In the center of the old city is this square full of small shops and venders.  A legend says that anyone who touches the nose of this boar will someday return to Florence.  I thought about the flu as I swiped his snout.  I should have just settled for a picture, it would have lasted longer (barely)

Florence was the home of the Medici family, who ruled here for over 300 years.  As a family, they were popes, barristers, bankers, rulers, merchants and patrons of the arts.  They left an indelible mark on every part of the city.  As you might expect, they were cruel, enlightened, ruthless, and kind… suppressing opposing views while commissioning the finest works of art at the same time.

We came to this bronze copy of Michelangelo’s David first thing in the morning, so I was forced to take a picture right into the sun.  It’s the nature of quick city visits that we can’t pick the light.  We didn’t get to see the orginal, either.  Lines at the museum are too long for a 4 hour walking tour.  Michelangelo was a remarkably astute observer of the human form.  Anatamists studying the statue have commented that David stands in a moment of relaxed anticipation, perfectly mimicing someone in the instant before combat.  From the slightly flared nostrils to the tension in his legs, David is forever ready to cast his sling at Goliath.  I wish I could have come to this place in the late afternoon, and lingered longer than a few minutes.

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