David Royale

On June 8, 2013, Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up early at 8:30 am.  Ivan and I had tea on the balcony and a slice of bread on the balcony.

Having breakfast on the balcony

Ivan reminded me that we would be eating a lot on a food tour soon.  Lil Dave went to explore the city more.

We met our guide Karen for the Taste Florence tour at La Norcineria.  Karen had a paper for us with different places we might go on the tour that included a map and space for notes.  I was happy since I always take notes during tours for the blog.

La Norcineria

She talked about the DOC/DOCG regulations for the food products.  This grocery store sells things like meat, wine and biscuits.  You can also buy boar meat here which is an organic meat that is lean.  Ivan and I both got to taste the Provolone Dolce (sweet) and a Picante.  The Picante cheese was better since it was sharper.  I also got a chance to try two Prosciuttos: di Parma and Tuscan.  Di Palma was sweet while Tuscan was salty.

Forno Bruschi Ivana was our next stop.  Ivan and I had a Schiaccata with artichoke and parmesan and a coccoli with mozzarella and tomato.  The Coccoli was delicious.  The breads are made on-site and they even deliver.

Our next stop was at the San Lorenzo Market.  Some stalls have remained traditional while some have become touristy.  The Market is open 7:30 am to 2 pm every day except Sunday.

We stopped at a stall called Nerbone – they’re known for their bollito di manzo (boiled beef brisket).  Ivan and I tasted the salsa verde (parsley, garlic, olive oil, anchovies, and capers) on bread which tasted great.

Eating a bollito di manzo

I got a bollito di manzo which was pretty good.

We got a short break to walk around the market.

San Lorenzo Market

Ivan and I each had an espresso and used the loo… then, we checked out the market.

Karen was very interesting and told us about the market.  They’ve been building a fruit market upstairs for 3 years but it’s still not done.

Ultima Spiaggia (The Last Beach) was our next stop in the market.  It’s a fish and chips shop.  We were served free white wine while waiting in line.

The guys at Ultima Spiaggia

Two of the guys who work there are easy on the eyes – it was term Karen had never heard of, but she understood what it meant even without explaining it.

Seafood mix at Ultima Spiaggia

The fried seafood mix we got here was so very tasty.

Karen led us to Enoteca Alessi.  It was time to have some wine, cheese and balsamic vinegar.  We walked down to the cellar which was filled with hundreds of bottles of wine.  It was really pretty down there.  We got bruschetta and a selection of cheeses to have with the wines.

Ivan with prosecco and bruschetta

Our first wine was a Prosecco.  It’s made with a minimum of 80’% of San Genovese grapes.  The wine was delicious.  The second wine was a Chianti Classico followed by a Carmignano.  The Carmignano was full bodied and tasted lovely.

Karen talking about wines

It was time for our balsamic vinegar tasting which we tried seven different kinds.  It kept making me cough since it’s so strong.  The saba and wine vinegar blend was really good and it’s good to put on ice cream, parmesan cheese and pasta.  Another vinegar was aged 12 years and is used as a medicine for sore throats.  The last vinegar was one of my favorites since it was very sweet since there’s a vanilla pod inside the bottle.

Ivan and I followed Karen to Vestri.  We got to try chocolates and gelato here.  Karen had a tray with 8 different chocolates.

8 different kinds of chocolates

Ivan’s favorite was dark chocolate and coffee and my favorite was a cinnamon chocolate.

Next, we were served up two gelatos: crema custard and raspberry sorbet.  The crema custard was very plain and boring.  The sorbet was simply delicious.

Our last stop was at I Dolci di Patrizio Cosi where we had a macchato which is an espresso with a stain (a small amount) of milk.

The Taste Florence food tour was wonderful.  I would highly recommend going on this tour.  You eats lots of great Italian food and learn a lot as well.

We walked around and I wanted to buy new shoes.  I think wearing my Northface sandals aren’t very good for my feet.  Bought a pair of pink Nike shoes at AW Lab.  Lil Dave joined us since we were going to see a famous statue soon.

We went on The Original David Tour.  Our tour guide told us about Michelangelo’s history.  He was only 20 years old when he created the beautiful Pieta statue.  Michelangelo was an arrogant guy which resulted in a fight that broke his nose and it never really healed right.

The David was supposed to go on the outside of the Duomo on the buttress, but was placed in Palazzo della Signoria.  It was moved to the Accademia Gallery in 1873.

We went to the Accademia Museum to see the David statue.  It’s supposed to be a 15 year old boy, but really it’s the perfect man.

The beautiful David statue

David is about to fight Goliath.  From the front view, he looks ready, determined and confident.  His head, hands and feet are really big compared to the rest of his body.  But, David was going to be on top of the Duomo – so Michelangelo did this on purpose.

On the side view from the right, you notice his thick eyebrows and he looks scared and there’s a  moment of doubt.  I found that he looked rather sad.

The David statue is 14 feet tall.  The group’s next view of the statue was from the back.  The rock in his hand makes it steady.  Michelangelo put a small piece of wood behind the leg that makes the statue steady.  An x-ray found out that where that wood is placed is the weakest point of the statue.  Michelangelo must have been a genius to know that without having advanced technology available to him.

Lil Dave wanted to climb the statue, but that was a big taboo since the museum doesn’t even allow pictures of the David statue.

The last view was from the left side of the front view of the statue.  Our guide pointed out the veins in his arm, forearm and on his neck.  It showed how nervous he was about his upcoming fight with Goliath.

I was really moved by finally seeing the David statue… I actually got tears in my eyes.  I’m a big fan of Michelangelo’s work.  It’s a beautiful statue and our guide thinks that you see something different every time you view it.  I hope I get more chances to see it.

Our guide said that Michelangelo’s friend said “You don’t have to see any other artists if you’ve seen Michelangelo’s work.  This tour is a definite must since you skip the line for the museum and it’s great to hear more about Michelangelo.

Ivan found us a taxi and we got it back to the bed & breakfast.  We grabbed our luggage and headed to the airport.

We flew from Florence to Barcelona, Spain.  We checked in to the Airbnb apartment we stayed at the first time which is right on La Rambla.

Later that night, we had dinner at Tapas Royale with lots of tapas and a glass of red wine.

We went to the back to the bar for dancing.  Unfortunately, the music was too lounge-y to really get into.  We danced for a little bit before heading back.

Source: David picture

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