Saturday, February 14, 2009

More Florence

Happy Valentine's Day!

I spent the day wandering around the city. Strangely, I've heard more American accents today, just on the streets, than I have since I was in the states almost a month ago. I think this place is a hub for Californians. I'm not sure why.

Ah... Florence. I have a confession. If you are in love with Florence, please stop reading now and move on to the next blog.

I'm not really enjoying this city. I've really tried to enjoy myself, but today I... sort of lost it momentarily lost it. It was too much. There are too many people, everywhere. Yes, I know it's Saturday (and Valentine's day), but it's February! It's supposedly busier during the summer. I don't know how. Every turn I take, there's a group of people chatting loudly in American English. Every pretty part of the city is crawling with them. Every site has a constant flow of people moving in and out of the building. It's a pretty city, but I enjoyed Rome quite a bit more.

Today I wanted to see the Statue of David and then The Birth of Venus. I also wanted to see the Duomo, which this city is named for. That was the plan.

I went to the museum the Statue of David is in. There was a line, probably about 200 feet long to get inside. I wandered to the front. Surely it had to be cheap. It's a very small museum with only one major work of art (however major). It was about US$10 to get in, plus the wait. US$10 bucks is not a lot of money, I know, but it's the idea behind it. This is a major work of art that is mandatory to see while in this city. Yes, they can charge that much because it's the Statue of David and people will pay anything, but seriously, what kind of museum exploits major works of art to make a small fortune? Ten bucks, multiplied by a steady stream of tourists all day, pushing their way in. Do you have any idea how much money that little museum is making? There was at least two thousand dollars, just in the line I saw. I understand charging enough for maintenance and renovations, but strictly making money off a work of art that you did not create but simply own is ridiculous. To get into the Vatican Museum costs about US$20 and there were herds of people clammoring to get in. I don't think the Pope realized how much money he was making when he commissioned Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel, but at least that money includes admission to several other museums, which usually aren't utilized by the visitors. It was the same deal with the Taj Mahal (US$15 goes a long way in India) and the Colosseum (which was free up until a few years ago). There are so many little gems in each of these cities. There are free cathedrals all over and cheap museums with amazing works of art. Why do so many people flock to the major ones?

Nevertheless, I really want to see the Statue of David, and will probably go tomorrow morning early when there will hopefully be no line. I really like marble statues and it is perhaps the best marble statue in the world. But I shall glare at them as they take my money. That'll show them.

Note: I know many of you will say, "Just spend the money. Who knows when you'll be there again?" And I will spend the money. The problem is that most of it is already spent and I'm in debt on my credit card. Now you ask, "Why did you go to Italy when you had no money?" My ticket was US$90 (tax included). How can you not go to Italy for so cheap when you have time and enough money to get by? Eh... I'll manage. I guess I'll be subbing for a few weeks when I get back to the states. Welcome home.

1 comment:

Donna said...

Hi Jacob,
Ilove your info about the lilies and the statue. Be careful and have fun!