Florence 2013 - The Uffizi Gallery and Gallerie dell'Accademia
If you are in Florence the 2 places you should not miss are the Uffizi Gallery and the Gallerie dell'Accademia - 2 of the most important museums in Europe. In peak season the queue to get into these galleries can be several hours. Luckily for those who don't like queues, you can book tickets online for specific entry times. You pay a bit more then the normal tickets, but the time you saved is priceless.
Uffizi Gallery is just off Piazza della Signoria. This used to be the private offices of the powerful Medici family who were great patrons of the art. Here you will see masterpieces by Raphael, Giotto, Botticelli, Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and even Rembrant. Unfortunately photography is not allowed both in the Uffizi and the Accademia so I only managed to sneak a few shots.
The Gallerie dell'Accademia also holds a huge collection of artworks from the Bizantine to Gothic and the Renaissance Period. Names such as Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto and Tiziano, and Tiepolo are all represented here. But probably the most famous work and the one most of the visitors go to see is David - by Michelangelo.
The first time you see David, you will probably get a shock. In pictures it usually appear as life size. In person - the statue is actually almost 2-storeys tall. It is gigantic, yet the genius of Michelangelo is fully evident from the perfect proportion to the magical transformation of stone into flesh and bone.
The gallery also host several unfinished sculptures by Michelangelo. These are also quite fascinating - as they allow the viewer a rare glimpse of the work in progress - how the artist actually breath life into a block of stone.