There are 3 places where David is placed in Florence:
1. Accademia dell'Arte del Disegno
This is the real version of it, the statue is mesmerizing and shockingly impressive. It's worth all the hype, walk to the museum, getting lost while looking for it and standing in line to get in.
2. Piazzale Michelangelo
Bronze copy of David is placed right in the center of the hill and besides the statue there are just gorgeous views of the city, bridges, cathedrals and Tuscan hills.
3. Piazza della Signoria
Yes another copy standing in front of Palazzo Vecchio entrance.
If you want to get in to see Michelangelo's David (which you really do),
you want to purchase advanced tickets. Advanced tickets give you an
assigned entry time and date; without advanced tickets, you will wait
until there's space available AFTER the advanced ticket patrons. The day
we went, we bought our advanced tickets at 11AM for a 1PM entry and then
went to lunch. When we showed up to enter, an exasperated woman was
complaining to the guards that they'd been waiting in line for 3 hours to
get in and the line hadn't moved more than 20' (the line I saw snaked
around the block and was probably 300 yards long at least). You REALLY do
want advanced tickets.
I'm sure this is all covered in great detail by others elsewhere but...
where do you buy advanced tickets? How we got ours seemed like some kind
of secret inside knowledge thing but I'm going to spill the beans anyway.
If you're approaching the Accademia entrance from the direction of the
river (and the Uffizi, Duomo, Santa Croce...), you'll be walking down a
narrow street with the entrance on your right. Along the way, there'll be
street vendors trying to sell prints displayed on the ground. Continue
past the entrance to the Accademia to the end of the block. You should
find yourself on one corner of a medium sized piazza/plaza. Diagonally
across the square is a church. By Florentine standards, it's not much of
a church. Nothing flambouyant; you have to look carefully to spot the
church (even though it's not very small) and the big door leading into the
church. To the right of the big church door is a smaller door. It looks
like its also a door into the church. If you walk up to that door, it'll
have a sign over it that suggests it has something to do with a museum but
no mention of the Accademia. Go on in and, at the ticket window on the
right, ask to buy advanced tickets for the Accademia. It's easier than
buying a gelato.
Basically, this museum is worth it only because of the statue of David. Of course this is the opinion of a person who isn't an expert in art and classifies it just by 'it's beautiful'/ 'it's not beautiful', so I'm sure there must be other points of interest.
David is beautiful!! And for this reason one cannot miss it while in Florence. No pictures allowed - and they are very strict with this, so try your luck from a little bit more far like I did ;-)
I didn't make ticket reservations and there was no line (I went there in august), but everyone told me it's always pretty crowded so maybe I was just lucky.
It also has a very nice souvenir shop, with lots of funny and interesting things to buy- I bought all my Florence souvenirs there.
The statue of david by Michelangelo was one of the must-sees of our Florence trip, so we had prebooked tickets. This turned out to be a very good decision! Even though it was early in the day and we were in Florence in off-season, there was a long waiting line at the entrance of the Accademia!
With the prebooked tickets we could skip the line and enter immediately.
I had seen many pictures of David, but seeing this tall statue in reality was truly impressing.Pictures just don't show you how tall he is.
Don't leave at once after you've seen David, there is more to see in the museum. Especially the upstairs rooms show some beautiful paintings.
We had booked the tickets online through FlorenceArt, received our voucher per email and just handed it to the clerk at the ticket counter. Very easy and well worth the additional cost.
One of the David's is located here and he is, like you, looking over Florence.
This is a great place to start your Florence adventure as you can see the layout of the town before you venture into the small streets, bargain for silk ties and leather goods plus see some of the best art in the world.
In front of you is the River Arno with the beautiful Duomo cutting a dramatic presense in the middle of town. Similar to Venice the roofing is often a terricotta colour though the streets are not always so narrow.
If you want to see the real David then you need to take a walk to the Accedemia (not too far from the Duomo) - he is very impressive at 13 feet (or thereabouts) tall.
2003 : The real statue of David is at Galleria dell'Accademia. The other copies (although good) are scattered around Firenze but come on, you have to go see the real one. It's interesting to see how they are trying to give him a "bath" without further damaging the marble.
2007 : David is now clean!
My biggest piece of advice is to make reservations. It definately helps.
We had reservations for 9:30am. Unfortunately when we got to there we saw a sign on the door that said the museum wouldn't open until 11am because of a "meeting" which we were told was code for strike. We left, got a coffee and when we returned at 11am there was an enormous line. We stood in line for about 20 minutes until we saw a group of people crowded around the door clearly ignoring the 50 or so people waiting in line. At this point I decided to either try to get in or leave it for the next day. We walked to the front of the crowd to the person working the front entrance. I showed him my 9:30 reservation and he shook his head, told us to step aside while at the same time allowing a tour group in. After a couple of minutes he let us in. Normally I'm not that pushy but it was 11:30 and our reservations were for 9:30 so I don't think we were way out of line. So you're probably wondering why I recomend reservations. Well, because I still think it got us inside faster and it really made a difference at the Uffizi. And you can't predict strikes.
The Galleria dell'Accademia isn't that big. The first thing you see is David. The detail of the statue is amazing. The piece of marble that Michelagelo used was considered damaged. Other artists including Leonardo Da Vinci were unable to make anything out of the stone. What is even more interesting is to look at the pieces of Michelangelo's unfinished work nearby and compare them with David. You get a true sense of the skill it takes to create something so perfect from a single block of marble.
This was definately a must see and I'm glad I didn't pass it up.
Bathroom note: The main bathrooms are downstairs near the exit and it's usually crowded. But before you get to the main bathrooms there is a single bathroom just off to the side with a small sign. This is for seniors or handicapped people but if there is no one around it's fine to use otherwise let them go ahead of you.
A visit to Florence is not complete without see David - one of Michaelangelo's masterpiece. This outdoor giant replica overlooking the Arno River and city of Florence is the most accessible and full of tour buses. The original marble David is only 13 feet 5 inches and is housed indoor at the Academy and requires queueing time to view.
The museum housing David opens at 8 in the morning and I can highly recommend getting out of the bed to go at this hour. I queued outside without a reservation and managed to be the first person of the day to stand and stare in awe at himself. It was so calm and the light was great - a real opportunity to experience the best of Florence's art without the tarnish of throngs of tourists!
See David! This is a must even for those that don't take a keen interest in art. It really is remarkable. Make sure you make reservations for the Museum and try to do it early in the morning otherwise all you'll remember is the horrid wait!!
See the copy of the David in the Piazza della Signoria.
One of my absolute favourite works of Michelangelo is The David, which is a marble sculpture made between 1501 to 1504. The statue was commissioned for the cathedral of Florence, but the Florentine government decided to place it in front of the Palazzo Vecchio instead. The original is now in the Accademia, and a copy has been placed in the Piazza della Signoria.
Spend time looking at the fine details in the David. Michelangelo is known to have done some (illegal) disecting and I think you can see so clearly that he knew how the viens and muscles were attached and how they worked - it is wonderful how he makes such details so clear and such a part of his work.
.... just look at the fine details in this sculpture! Although some say the hands are too big.
This amazing man - Michelangelo - was also a writer of poetry. His poem for Vittoria Colona is so beautiful. He really is the face of the Renaissance for me.
For a guy who is 500 years old, David is in remarkable shape! Seriously, this is for me the most breathtaking work of art ever created. We can thank the Florence Wool Merchant Guild of 1501 for commissioning this work. Legend has it that Michelangelo started with a huge block of marble that another artist had given up as unworkable decades before.
My wife and I spent hours staring at this statue. Notice the veins in the hands, the combination of relaxation and tension in the figure.
When Michelangelo finished the work in 1504, the reaction was so positive that the statue was placed in front of the town hall (the Palazzo Vecchio) rather than in the cathedral it was commissioned for.
The figure of David is clearly a beloved work for the people of Florence-- you will find several other versions around the city. This one, in the Galleria dell'Accademia, is the original that once stood outside the Palazzo Vecchio.
There are three statues of David in Florence. Of course, only one of them is the original. This one, in the Galleria dell'Accademia, is the REAL original one from 1504, a colossal 5.2m (17ft) nude of the biblical hero who killed the giant Goliath. The scultpure was commissioned by the city for Piazza della Signoria, but it was moved to the Accademia for safe-keeping in 1873. A copy now stands in its original position and a third is on Piazzale Michelangelo.
David is a famous resident of Florence. The original Cararra marble David is now housed in L'Accademia museum. L'Accademia has a no frills entrance. I didn't even know I was in it for a couple of minutes.
David is the centerpiece of this museum. Other interesting works surround him but he is definitely the man of the hour. He is quite sumptous.
A copy of David in its original location sits outside the Palazzo Vecchio. When I was there he was surrounded by scaffolding.
A third bronze David is on the other side of the Arno at the Piazzale Michelangelo. This is a steep walk up the hill but a fun look at local Florentine life.
pictures cannot be taken in this museum... even with my small camera phone.. alot of museum workers walk around the area to reprimand anyone who attempts to take a photo... anyway, it is worth seeing MichaelAngelo's David... Overwhelming...