Thursday, March 7, 2013

In Search of David...

By this time next week, we will have been able to book our excursions for the 2nd portion of our back-to-back cruises.  The most important one for us is the Florence and Michelangelo excursion that is offered only on this cruise and not the one before because it goes to the Accademia Museum which is closed on Mondays; the 2nd itinerary will port in La Spezia on a Saturday.

The tour description from DCL is:

  • Take a scenic 2.5-hour drive (approximate) through Tuscany to Florence.
  • Take a 2.5-hour walking tour including Piazza Santa Croce with its classic Franciscan Basilica and Piazza della Signoria, dominated by the crenellated towers of the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery (external visit only).
  • Stroll across the Ponte Vecchio Bridge with its built-in shops and reach the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, the iconic cathedral, famous for its Brunelleschi cupola known as "Il Duomo" and its ornate bronze doors called "The Gates of Paradise."
  • Enter the Accademia di Belle Arti Museum with its multitude of priceless works. On one floor find the original plaster model for the "Ratto delle Sabine" by Giambologna. In a separate hall, observe incomplete works by Michelangelo, which give invaluable insight into the artist's process, and experience the masterpiece, "David."
  • Have approximately 2 hours of free time for shopping, independent sightseeing and lunch on your own.
  • Take the approximate 2.5-hour drive back to the pier.

We didn't make the trip to Florence in 2007 because we were in Rome for a full day just before our stop in La Spezia and we knew we would be exhausted at that point.  But I always said if we were ever to cruise in the Mediterranean again, I wanted to spend some time in Florence.  This excursion is a full day but I am looking forward to not only seeing the sites included, but having some free time as well.  Because Florence is 2 1/2 hours away from La Spezia, we feel like it's better for us to use a ship-sponsored tour than going it on our own.  Rome is quite a bit closer to Civitavecchia so we are more comfortable with a private excursion there.

When we were in Copenhagen in 2010, we saw a replica of David outside the city on the edge of the waterway.  I told DH then that I wanted to see the real deal, so if all goes according to plan, that will happen for us this summer.

As an aside, when I googled for an image of The David to use for this blog post, this was one of the top images.

Gratuitous Photo of David Beckam
Ladies, you're welcome!


  1. WOW. I really have to get to Italy to see "The David". Looks like DCL is really going the extra mile to make sure their passengers get the full (monty) treatment. Thanks for the gratuitous photo.

    On a serious note, I've really, really enjoyed reading your blog every morning. I can't wait to read more!