posted on June 15, 2014


Il Duomo di Firenze and western Florence

The city of Florence spreads with its Duomo in the center. Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower, which is familiarly called Il Duomo di Firenze and loved by the local people, is the symbol of Florence. Climbing up to the top of the Duomo or Giotto’s Bell Tower, which stands next to the Duomo, enables us to enjoy a panoramic view of Florence. It’s a superb view! Looking toward the far southeast, the elegant white facade of Basilica of Santa Croce comes into sight. Florence is where Michelangelo, the great sculptor, painter, architect and poet, spent many years and was laid to rest in peace.


Basilica of Santa Croce (left) and eastern Florence


Around the end of 2012, I landed at Florence International Airport with my daughter in high expectation of my trip of following the footsteps of Michelangelo Buonarroti.



San Marco Museum

サンマルコ 回廊

The cloister garth of San Marco

My trip started at San Marco Museum.

San Marco is a religious complex, a part of which is now a museum famous for the fine collection of paintings by Fra Angelico.

It is said that 14-year-old Michelangelo started to study sculpture at the school for young sculptors in San Marco, which had been founded by Lorenzo de’ Medici.

Just when Michelangelo began to walk his path as an artist in Florence, the Renaissance had its first flowering there.




Gallery of the Academy of Florence

Gallery of the Academy: photo by Sailko

Gallery of the Academy: photo by Sailko uploaded on Wikipedia

This art museum houses one of the most famous sculptures by Michelangelo: David.

He started to work on this sculpture after he was asked to complete the unfinished project of creating a colossal marble statue of David.

He completed David, which portrays Florentine freedom and is the symbol of this city, at the age of 29.

With this excellent masterpiece, he established his fame as a sculptor of extraordinary skills and imagination.Originally, the Statue of David had been placed in the Piazza della Signoria from 1504 to 1873, where a replica stands today.

In the museum, Michelangelo’s other sculptures are exhibited such as Bearded slave and Palestrina Pieta, and some of them are left unfinished.


David: photo by Silmaril

David: photo by Silmaril uploaded on Wikipedia


Bearded Slave: public domain in Wikipedia

Bearded Slave: public domain on Wikipedia

Palestrina Pieta: photo by Tetraktys in Wikipedia

Palestrina Pieta: photo by Tetraktys uploaded on Wikipedia













Because of unfinished works, I realized (when seeing them there) all the more the huge effort he devoted in carving his sculptures, and also felt keenly the greatness of his artistic ability. It is said when asked about the way he carved, he answered, “The stone itself tells me how to carve it.” David was really majestic and much larger than I’d imagined. I was amazed at the spiritual strength and superb creativity he kept when working on David. According to recent news, the Statue of David will need to be fixed at the ankles, which art experts say are not large enough to support its extremely heavy weight.



The New Sacristy of Medici Chapels


Medici Chapels: photo by Tubanita uploaded on Wikipedia

The Medici Chapels are the mausoleum and burial place for the Medici family.

In the chapels, the New Sacristy is located, which is the Chapel of the Princes and was designed and built by Michelangelo from 1519.

This chapel houses the tombs of Lorenzo and Giuliano de’ Medici and the two tombs are decorated with Michelangelo’s excellent sculptures; Dusk and Dawn decorate the tomb of Lorenzo de’ Medici and Night and Day decorate the tomb of Giuliano de’ Medici.

In addition, Medici Madonna, which decorates the altar, is also a stunning work by Michelangelo.

It is said that this chapel is the good example of the fusion of his architectural ability and sculptural ability.



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Tomb of Lorenzo with Dusk and Dawn: from “Michelangelo” published by Universe Publishing

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Tomb os Giuliano with Night and Day: from “Michelangelo” published by Universe Publishing















メヂチ 礼拝 マドンナ+child

Madonna and Child: from “Michelangelo” published by Universe Publishing


The chapel was the most inspiring place for me, and I stayed there for a while, thinking, “If I lived in Florence, I’d visit this chapel once a month.”



Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria is a very popular plaza located just in front of Palazzo Vecchio, and is always crowded with tourists from home and abroad. In this piazza, stands a replica of David with its back toward Palazzo Vecchio. It was erected in 1910 after the original David was moved to Gallery of the Academy in 1873.


David in Piazza della Signoria

David in Piazza della Signoria



Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence, which was originally built as a palace in the early14th century.

Palazzo Vecchio literally means the old palace and the person who gave this name was Duke CosimoⅠde’ Medici.

It was when he moved to his new palace, Palazzo Pitti, from the former palace (which is today’s Palazzo Vecchio).
On the second floor, there is a famous chamber, Salone dei Cinquecento. This 52m-by-23m large chamber was built in 1494 for the Grand Council consisting of 500 members.

It is said that at the beginning of the 16th century, Michelangelo and Da Vinci competed with each other for the excellence of their works by painting pictures on the walls of this chamber, though unfortunately, their works were unfinished and lost soon after the event.

However, in the central niche on the south side of the chamber is Michelangelo’s famous marble statue, The Genius of Victory, which was originally intended for the tomb of Julius Ⅱ.


Salone dei Cinquecento: photo by Bradly Grzesiak uploaded on Wikipedia

Salone dei Cinquecento: photo by Bradly Grzesiak uploaded on Wikipedia

Genius of Victory: photo by Yair Haklai uploaded on Wikipedia

Genius of Victory: photo by Yair Haklai uploaded on Wikipedia












Though the chamber was a very large hall with a high ceiling and there were many wonderful art works, Michelangelo’s sculpture stood out among them and had a stunning power to attract visitors to it.




Uffizi Gallery

Uffizi Gallery: photo by Avala uploaded on Wikipedia

Uffizi Gallery: photo by Avala uploaded on Wikipedia

The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of Europe.

It houses many masterpieces such as “Birth of Venus” and “LaPrimavera” by Botticelli, “Annunciation” by Leonardo da Vinci, “Venus of Urbino” by Titian, “Madonna of the Goldfinch” by Raphael, “Medusa” by Caravaggio and “Madonna and Child” by Lippi.

Along with these excellent works, Doni Tondo, or The Holy Family, is exhibited.

This is one of the three remaining paintings by Michelangelo, and is the only one completed painting. The three people in the center represent Christ, Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph, and John the Baptist(the patron saint of Florence) is painted just behind them on the right.

“Tondo” is a Renaissance term which refers to a circular work of art, and this Doni Tondo is painted in the form of a tondo, or in a round form. This painting is still in its original frame, which is said to have been the frame created with the help of Michelangelo.


Tondo Doni: public domain

Tondo Doni: public domain on Wikipedia


Michelangelo’s paintings are like his sculptures and very humane. This one was not exceptional either and made me feel the warm family relationship among the three people.



Bargello National Museum

Inner Courtyard of Bargello National Museum: photo by Shakko uploaded on Wikipedia

Inner Courtyard of Bargello National Museum

This museum houses a superb collection of sculptures from the Florentine Renaissance including Michelangelo, Donatello, and Cellini.

There is a special room for masterpieces by Michelangelo, where “Madonna and Child,” “Bacchus,” and many other mythological sculptures are displayed.

This museum is not as familiar with tourists as the Gallery of Academy or Uffizi Gallery, so it’s not so crowded. In addition, it has a good collection of Michelangelo’s works.

I think it’s a great spot for people who want to take time in appreciating Michelangelo’s art works.




Madonna and Child: photo by Shakko uploaded on Wikipedia

Bacchus: public domain

Bacchus: public domain on Wikipedia















Basillica of Santa Croce

Santa Croce

Basillica of Santa Croce

Basilica of Santa Croce is the principal Franciscan church in Florence, where Michelangelo was laid to rest in eternal peace. This church is his chosen place for burial.

In addition to him, Galileo, Machiavelli, Rossini and other famous Italians are buried here.

This church is known as the Temple of the Italian Glories. Indeed!

Michelangelo died in Rome in 1564 at the age of 88.


His body was carried to Florence, where he was revered by people in Florence as the father and master of all the arts.
Standing in front of his tomb in silence, I was again overwhelmed by his greatness. It was really good for me to have a chance to visit there.



Tomb of Michelangelo

Tomb of Michelangelo

三毛 墓














Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo is a famous square situated on a low hill on the opposite bank of the River Arno. From there, you can enjoy a superb panoramic view of Florence. In the center, stands a replica of David.
Overlooking the center of Florence and remembering the places I visited in my trip, I felt really happy to be there and appreciated my great opportunity to see his many masterpieces there.

Piazzale Michelangelo

View from Piazzale Michelangelo



David in Piazzale Michelangelo

David in Piazzale Michelangelo




スクリーンショット 2014-06-12 21.00.13



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