As we approached the city of Florence, we stopped at a scenic overlook. From that height we glimpsed the Duomo of Firenze, the Arno River, and the Pontevecchio, which is among Florence’s top tourist destinations lined with gold and jewelry shops.

When we arrived in the city, we headed to the Academy of Fine Arts where we had a 4:00 pm tour.


The Accademia e Compagnia delle Arti del Disegno, or “academy and company of the arts of drawing,” was founded in 1563 by Cosimo I de’ Medici under the influence of Giorgio Vasari. It was made up of two parts: the Company was a kind of guild for all working artists, while the Academy was for more eminent artistic personalities of Cosimo’s court, and supervised artistic production in Tuscany. It was later called the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno. At first, the Academy met in the cloisters of the Basilica della Santissima Annunciata.

Artists including Michaelangelo Buonarroti, Francesco da Sangallo, Agnolo Bronzino, Benvenuto Cellini, Giorgio Vasari, Bartolomeo Ammannati, and Giambologna were members. Most members of the Accademia were male; Artemisia Gentileschi was the first woman to be admitted.

In 1784 Pietro Leopoldo, Grand Duke of Tuscany, combined all the schools of drawing in Florence into one institution, the new Accademia di Belle Arti, or academy of fine arts. It was housed in a former convent in via Ricasoli, premises which it still occupies. (from Wikipedia)

The rape of the Sabines.

And then there was David by Michaelangelo.  The work speaks for itself. Nonetheless, I had to defend him when “certain people” from the California group were making disparaging comments.

We stayed at the Mediterraneo Hotel on the Arno River.

Mediterraneo in Florence

Tomorrow would be a walking tour of the city, and the Epiphany Parade from the Piazza Signoria to the Piazza del Duomo. We had heard it was a local attraction. Great timing. Yay us!

Rolo B Castillo © 2014