They come here in hordes; in droves; in mutlitudes. Thousands and thousands of tourists mob the doors of the Accademia every year to see what is possibly the world’s most famous sculpture. Michelangelo’s ‘David’ was carved from a enormous block of white marble from the alps of the Tuscan town of Carrara. If you take the train that runs between Pisa and the Cinque Terre, you’ll see the mountains it came from and deep, pale scars that mark their flanks from tons of stone carved away - and shipped away - to decorate the forums of Imperial Rome, the palaces and churches of the Renaissance, and is still quarried today.
Mike wasn’t the only one to have had his hands on the chunk. The stone had been originally purchased in the 15th century for one of a dozen sculptures intended to crown the buttresses of the Duomo, and had been badly hacked away at by at least two other sculptors before being abandoned for a quarter of a century. Finally completed in 1504, elevating the immense weight of the work to its intended place proved to be problematic so the decision was made to place it in front of Palazzo Vecchio instead. It stood there for 350 years - his challenging gaze purposely situated towards Rome - as a symbol of Florentine independence from papal and Medici family authority. It was moved into the gallery 1873 and a replica now stands on its former pedestal in the piazza.
The master of anatomical perfection had cleverly sculpted his piece with some slightly distorted features, such as an enlarged head, so that it would have appeared proportional when viewed from underneath a lofty perch on the church: it was never intended to be displayed as we see it today.
Compared to the Uffizi, the museum is surprising small and doesn’t take long to visit. Because the vast majority of tourists come simply for this one hunky chunk of marble, expect that area to be mobbed at all times but you may find some breathing room in other sections. It is predictably heavy on religious themes, and includes some of Michelangelo’s unfinished works plus paintings by notables such as Botticelli, Lippi, Ghirlandaio and Del Sarto.
Good things to know:
The gallery is closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, May 1st and Christmas Day. See the website for hours.
Advance tickets (see the website) or passes are recommended during high and shoulder seasons
The gallery is fully handicapped accessible
Audio guides are available for an extra fee.
Photography, video filming and cell phone use is strictly prohibited. I managed my fuzzy shots with my itouch from behind a pillar when the guards were busy yelling at other snap-happy tourists.
Note: Passholders were let in approx. 15 minutes before other ticket-holders on the morning we were there so we got to see David for a few minutes in relative peace. I'm not sure this is true every day but if you have a pass, showing up a little before the opening hour is worth a shot.
The Accademia is one of the most important museums in all of Italy with the Uffizi, also in Florence, being another one of the most important museums in all of Italy. Of course this is the home of the REAL David sculpture by Michaelangelo. But what is more facinating and perhaps lesser known is that it is also the home of his four nonfiniti "Slaves" or "Prisoners." Whether the master sculptor had meant for them to remain unfinished has been an ad nauseum point of debate. Regardless, the impact of the forms struggling to come alive from the rough forms of stone is absolutely incredible.
Not to be overlooked is the wonderful collection of paintings that is also housed in the museum. Another very famous and breathtaking sculpture not to be missed is Giambologna's Ratto delle Sabine or Rape of the Sabines. Absolutely amazing!!!
I highly recommend getting reservations ahead of time. Reservations are required and it is difficult to get them the day of when you want to visit. When I went, I called the first day I was there and got reservations for the next day. Depending on the time of year, it is better to call as much in advanced as possible. I also recommend getting there well in advance of your reservation because once your time is passed, you miss your chance.
RESERVATIONS: 055-294-883 (Mon-Fri 8:30am-6:30pm, Sat until 12:30pm) or at www.firenzemusei.it
HOURS: Tues-Sun 8:15am-6:50pm
(last admission is 30 minutes before closing)
In the summer time you may have to wait in line for a bit to get into the Galleria dell' Accademia. I think my friends and I waited for about 30minutes - we were lucky, I've heard of lines being much longer. I think the main reason anyone will go to the Galleria dell' Accademia is to see the famous statue of 'David' by Michelangelo.
The statue originally stood in the Piazza della Signoria, but was moved to the galleria to keep it safe. A replica now stands in its former space. There is also another replica in the Piazzale Michelangelo. The most noticeable thing about David is that he is not correctly proportioned. His head and hands are significantly larger than other areas of his body. David took three years to create, Michelangelo completing him in 1504. The statue is on a pedestal and you are able to walk around him and view him from every angle.
Inisde the galleria there are also some 15th-16th Century Florentine paintings by artists such as Paolo Uccello and Sandro Botticelli. The majority of the artworks are religious and the gallery itself is not very extensive, but there are a few nice pieces there.
Adult: EUR 7
Tuesday-Sunday: 8:15am - 6:50pm
If someone asked me what the one thing to see in Florence was, I'd say the statue of David. I'm not a big art person, but the details in David and some of the other works in the Gallery are incredible. The entire gallery is one of my favorite museums in the world. It's not large so there's no art overkill and the work on display will impress the most jaded art critic.
Be sure to make a reservation. Otherwise, you'll be stuck in a long line surrounded by vendors selling tourist junk. Reservations can be made online easily, though may add a few euros to your ticket price. But, honestly, it's worth it.
Warning for Backpackers: Packs are not allowed in the gallery and there's no place to lock them up. So leave them at your hostel/hotel or in the train station's lockers before you go.
We had one day to do the Accademia and the Uffizi. And we made the wrong choice I think doing the Accademia first.
Yes, the real David is splendid. And it is great to be able to walk behind him and see his bum.
And the four unfinished Michelangelos - The Prisoners - struggling to escape from the stone as the soul struggles to escape from the body - are wonderful.
Then there is a room of quite inferior bits and bobs of sculpture, a lovely little room of early religious art and .... oh yes, a travelling exhibition of amusing musical instruments made of marble or shaped like dragons.
We got our 10 euro worth - we didn't feel dudded - but you could cap off an exhausting day by popping through the Accademia - no need to be fresh for it.
There is not much a hack like me can add to the volumes of things written about the David.
I do have a bit of advice about a great thing to do while you are there. Stand aside and look away from the David and watch peoples faces. You see the power of art change the emotions of people as you watch. The dynamics within groups and couples change as you watch. The very best people watching I have ever experienced.
Oh yea do not forget to look at the David!!
Founded in 1784 by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo for the use of art students at the Accademia delle Belle Arti, the Galleria dell'Accademia contains sculptures by Michelangelo as well as a collection of minor paintings of the Florentine school dating from the thirteenth to nineteenth centuries.
Every time I walked past, there were just these huge lines. But at one point I just said to heck with it, braved the lines and got in. And I'm glad I did because though I'm not a bit museum guy, I was impressed with everything here.
Of course you come because Michelangelo's David has it's home here. Substituted by a copy in Piazza della Signoria in 1873, the sculpture represents a heroic and athletic figure, the symbol of the freedom of the Florentine Republic.
But there is so much more to the Galleria than David! On the right of the famous statue one can see a bronze bust of Michelangelo by his pupil and friend Daniele da Volterra, known as "Braghettone" (a person wearing wide breeches) because he was later ordered to cover Michelangelo's nude figures in the Last Judgment with drapery.
And the list goes on and on. This is a must see; wear som comfortable shows and spend a few hours!
Without a doubt, this museum is the definition of a "one-hit-wonder." Its saving grace is that the wonder is one of man's greatest artistic creations; Michelangelo's David. At almost 14 feet, this statue is an amazing creation. Just be aware that the statue is under renovation for the foreseeable future
Closed on Mondays!!
Entrance is 6.50 Euro
To many, the only reason for visiting this museum is David, Michelangelo's David - THE original one. Admittedly, the same goes for me.
The lure of larger-than-life David is so strong that second to the Uffizi, the Galleria is perhaps the second most popular museum in all Florence after the over hyped Uffizi. This means looooong queues (see picture 2). To avoid wasting your time, reserve your tickets in advance, and the 3 euro extra is well worth it. I booked my advance ticket at the Uffizi ticket office the day itself, so getting into the Galleria was a zilch. Advance ticket holders use a different entrance and personnel are not so strict the timetables indicated in the ticket as long as it's valid for that day.
The Galleria dell'Accademia is an important and popular gallery in Florence (probably second to the Uffizi).
The main draw card at the Galleria dell'Accademia is that famous statue of Michelangelo's David.
This statue was carved from a single block of marble - amazing!
You are not supposed to take photos....but I may have snuck one off, without a flash of course.
It is a good idea to pre-book tickets, other wise you will be in for a long wait...
the accademia (academy) of fine arts was founded in 1563 as a school to learn the techiques of drawing, painting, and sculpture. the most famous work in the gallery is the original michelangelo's "david". another michelangelo work on display is "quattro prigioni". the gallery's collection also includes works by bartolomeo, filippino lippi, bronzino, and sandro botticelli.
The Galleria Dell'Accademia is worth whatever small amount of lira we paid . It was the middle of summer during the tourist season and we didn't wait anymore than 15 minutes to get in and start looking around. It houses Michelangelo's David which is truely a work of art. The amount of time he spent studying the anatomy of the human body and muscle tone really shows. It is the highlight of the museum but there is so much more to see. It is open Tues-Sunday 8:15 - 18:50 and closed on Monday. Cost now is EUR 7.75
Michelangelo was 29 years old when he started work on this 17' slab of marble. The result of his work..."David". It was unveiled in 1504, and is considered the world's most famous sculpture. It takes your breath away as you round the corner and see it for the first time.
The museum is closed on Mondays, and you can expect long lines.
A visit to the Galleria dell' Accademia is essential whilst in Florence as this is where Michelangelo's David is on display. We went early morning and there was a buzz in the street outside the Accademia as the crowd were showing their excitement to see this magnificent statute.
Upon entry we were treated to an abundance of treasures as we worked our way around the museum. There are other works by Michangelo, some large but unfinished statutes, others broken, but because they are by Michangelo they are on display.
David is something to see, it stuns you when you gain your first sight, you wonder how he could chisel something so large and beautiful with the tools available. I do not have a photo and this must be due to cameras not being allowed, however my wife bought 2 postcards for our album.
This important museum in Florence holds a wealth of art. But what draw the hordes is a giant nude statue carved out of a used black of carrara marble. The giant nude statue is none other than David, carved by Michelangelo Buonoratti. Carved between 1501 and 1507 and standing 17 feet tall, it is the quintessential rennaisance masterpiece. No other statue from that era is as readily recognized. It is perfection. And, anyone with an interest in art, art history or the Rennaisance must see it in person.
As lines can be long to get in, it is highly advisable to book tickets in advance. Though David is the star attraction. Michelangelos unfinished Slaves are here as well. Photography is not permitted, but some people do manage to sneak a shot. I am one of them, lol.