Florence without David

Why We Missed Michelangelo’s Masterpiece

Images of Florence © 2014 Mufidah Kassalias

Despite his disproportionately large head and hands, Michelangelo’s David is one of the main attractions in Florence and, for some, a major reason to visit the capital city of Tuscany. Sure, his rear view is rather attractive, but after seeing the 1910 replica outside the Palazzo Vecchio, David’s original home — if not his intended one on the roofline of the Cathedral — neither of us felt moved to pay to see the real thing in the Galleria dell’Accademia. A somewhat sacrilegious decision? Not exactly.

David has become a cliché.

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From Gaillac, France to San Casciano, Italy via the Côte d’Azur

Cannes, France © 2014 Mufidah Kassalias

Before day had broken on a mild mid-January morning in the South West of France, Sean and I were on the road once more.

After spending four-and-a-half months in a hamlet just outside of Gaillac in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France — where we embraced a hermit-like existence as dog carers and guardians of a 100-acre property nestled in the hills above the town — Sean and I have now moved on to the Tuscan village of San Casciano in Val di Pesa, 15km southwest of Florence.

Sunflower fields have been replaced by olive groves, but both landscapes are full of vineyards, Gaillac being one of the oldest wine-producing regions in France due to its location on the banks of the Tarn river, on the main route for transporting Roman wine to Bordeaux and Northern Europe in the first century, and San Casciano being in the south of the Colli Fiorentini (Florentine hills) area of the Chianti region. Continue reading