No trip to Florence is complete without a trip to the Accadmia to see the David (and other Renaissance work)(but really, who are we kidding? The David.)
We had a really amazing and passionate local guide for this. Angelo launched into an impassioned lecture about what people don't understand about the politics of art, and specifically what this piece really meant. I loved it. People understand that Michelangelo's David is beautiful, but don't truly know why - the relaxed stance, the realistic proportions, the turned head, all a throwback to the Greeks who celebrated human form in a way that wasn't seen again for centuries. And the David and Goliath theme speaks to the Medici, patrons of the arts who created the atmosphere for the Renaissance but also tyrants who destroyed the republic that was Florence.
Angelo also explained that David was supposed to be one of many statues to adorn the buttresses of the Duomo - thus it was designed to be viewed from a distance, and from below. The outsized hands make perfect sense from that perspective.