the most popular museum in all of Florence will be the Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze (Gallery of the Academy of Florence), located a stone's throw away from Piazza San Marco. This is where the Iconic David Statue done by Michaelangelo that was once on display along the front area of Palazzo Vecchio was moved in 1871 to preserved it and where his other works such as the four Prisoners, statue of Saint Matthew, a copy of the Pieta (made famous in the Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome) and where the other works of art made by other renaissance artists such as Paolo Uccello, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Sandro Botticelli and Andrea del Sarto and a lot more are on display. There is always a long line along the entrance to this famous museum so it is best to buy online as you have a separate entrance from the general admission or via a group tour.
unfortunately, no photos are allowed inside unless you can sneak a shot or two on stealth mode
Open from 8:15 a.m. to 6:50 p.m.
Tuesdays through Sunday
Adults: 8 euros
children 17 to 6 is 4 euros
children 5 and below are free
contact no: +39 055 238 8609
address: Via Ricasoli, 58/60 , 50121 Firenze, Italy
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 deep, pale scars that mark flanks of the mountains it came from. Tons of stone was 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 originally been 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 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 (http://www.b-ticket.com/b-ticket/uffizi/info_venue_accademia.aspx) are recommended during high and shoulder seasons
The gallery is fully handicapped accessible
Audio guides are available for an extra fee.
Non-flash photography is now allowed (as of July 2014). The photo above is of the replica of "David" in front of Palazzo Vecchio as snaps were still forbidden when we last visited.
Children under age 18 are free but the € 4.00 B-ticket reservation fee applies. This fee also applies to children of non EU citizens using the Firenze Pass (pay at the priority entrance for pass holders).
Note: Passholders were let in approx. 15 minutes before other ticket-holders on the morning we were there so we got to see the big naked dude 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.
It is indeed wonderful to be in the Galleria di Accademia and a unique experience to see and admire David with our own eyes
But once there, there are other extraordinary creations worth of our attention and admiration for the artwork, the history, the timeless quality and the way they influence our world and lives...
exhibited side by side
"the Milion" by Marco Polo
"Inferno" by Dante
Yes, David once more.....
Already seen and talked about , however worth mentioning once more....
meeting Michelangelo's masterpiece is an appointment with history.
To respect an enjoy it at the coolest, try visiting the Academia really early in the morning or the latest possible, about an hour before closing in the evening. This way, you avoid the crowd and have enough space to really observe and admire this creation.
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 was not permitted, but some people do manage to sneak a shot. I am one of them, lol.
Update: I have learned no-flash photography is now permitted.
Although the Galleria dell’Accademia is a little far from Florence’s other art museums, it still attracts many people every year. Since 1784, the museum has been inspiring the art students of Florence with its superb collection. The Galleria is most famous for containing Michelangelo’s David statue, but there is so much more to see here. In the Museum of Musical Instruments, you can view instruments that are up to three centuries old including violins made by Antonio Stradivari, marble dulcimers, and one of the first pianos. The Hall of the Colossus shows many early Renaissance paintings by artists such as Giambologna, Botticelli, Lippi, Ghirlandaio, and Perugino. The Gallery of the Slaves is probably the most popular since it houses David, but you can also see the Slaves, Pieta from Palestrina, and St. Matthew (all by Michelangelo) here. Many large religious paintings can be found in the side wings of these statues. The 19th Century room holds dozens of small statues and busts including the Demidoff Monument. The 13th and 14th Century Room, Giotto Room, and Giovanni da Milano Room all house a series of interesting religious paintings, drawings, panels, and wooden crucifixes. Even more old religious art can be viewed in Rooms 1, 2, and 3. While walking through the museum, you can also see random displays of Russian icon art. Overall, the Galleria is a wonderful museum if you are interested in sculpture, Michelangelo, and medieval religious art.
Most people come to Florence and have a visit to the Accademia on their must-see list for one statue only – the statue that has come to symbolize Florence: Michelangelo’s David.
This massive 13 foot tall warrior stands proudly at the end of a wing that has other works by Michelangelo in it. But you are drawn to the David so go there first, wander all around the statue standing high on his pedestal, and just enjoy this magnificent piece of art. I had seen lots of art in the week I was there – and some of it rather famous and spectacular pieces – so while I was excited about finally seeing the David, it wasn’t a big deal for me. But I was wrong…I was surprised at my first reaction to the piece as I saw it from the other end of the hallway. It was breathtaking…literally. Like everyone else, I didn’t even see the other works that I walked right passed to get to Florence’s most famous piece. And once there, I enjoyed the work of a master sculptor.
David was sculpted out of one big piece of marble that had been sitting around the Cathedral work area. At some point, someone had come along and attempted to make something with it, but gave up. It was Michelangelo that got the commission to create a statue from the marble.
This is the Biblical David, the young boy that slays the giant Goliath with a single pebble. As he stands there, in the moments before the kill, you can see the emotion in his eyes. He’s thinking, strategizing, and formulating his plan. His sling is over his shoulder and the pebble is in his hand. This is unlike the other Davids in Florence – Donatello’s two and Verrocchio’s; these three Davids show the boy after he has killed the giant. Michelangelo chose the moment before – David doesn’t have that cocky victorious air about him, but rather he’s contemplating the upcoming battle. Was Michelangelo’s creation of a facial expression of readiness influenced by Donatello’s St. George which is now in the Bargello?
Michelangelo sculpted this massive statue in 18 months and kept scaffolding around it so no one could see what he was working on. Once it was finished, a committee (that did not include the artist) decided it should be placed in front of the Palazzo Vecchio (town hall), where it stood for many years. However, time and weather took its toll and it was brought inside in the 1800s with a copy standing outside in the original location.
NOTE: Don’t even try to take a photo of David. The guards around the statue are rather vicious in their enforcement of the no photo rule. I saw several people get verbally abused for even looking at their camera! Saying that, the two photos I have with this tip were not taken by me, but my very brave and fearless classmate, Lissa, who snapped these photos unbeknownst to the guards. I couldn't resist getting copies.
Once you have had your fill of David, go back and look at the other statues by Michelangelo that you walked past. St. Matthew was the first of 12 statues commissioned by Pope Julius II for his tomb (not all twelve were finished or even started since he then had Michelangelo stop sculpting in order to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel). But in his St. Matthew you can see the moment of conflict that Matthew had when giving up the money of a tax collector to become a follower of Christ. Is it finished? No, it doesn’t look like it – but perhaps this is the way Michelangelo wanted to leave him. The slaves statues are definitely not finished (there are two nearly finished slaves in the Louvre in Paris), but they demonstrate the genius that was Michelangelo.
NOTE: If you want to see the finished tomb, although dramatically scaled back from Michelangelo's original plan, you will have to travel to Rome to the church of San Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains). You can visit this church virtually by visiting my VT page for San Pietro in Vincoli and see photos of the finished tomb.
Elsewhere in the museum are other Renaissance art pieces from painters such as Uccello, Ghirlandaio, and Botticelli.
Open Tuesday-Sunday 8:15 am – 6:50 pm; Closed Mondays, Dec 25, Jan 1, and May 1.
Founded in 1563, this art museum house the one of the finest collections of sculpture and painting in Florence. Its most famous piece is Micheangelo's David. Photography is not allowed so the sculptures here are the reproductions that are displayed in the Piazzas of Florence.
Academia gallery is a fraud!...the entrance ticket costs the same as the uffizi galery and you have alot alot alot less to see. You can say that you pay €11 to see the David's statue...all together you have just a few rooms with paintings. An exception is the music room with very interesting material.
One of the rooms floor is a sliced big mirror where the ladies have alot of trouble hidding their panties if they are in a skirt! just unbelievable!
The two entering lines are a scheme to get money from you! Unlike almost every other italian museum where the normal line keeps going, at a slow pace, but going, in Academia they block the regular line even if there is nobody on the reservation line...just to make you change of line and buy exactly the same ticket for more €4 across the street!! Cousa nostra is making its way up...
So, overall, don't go unless you really have to see David's statue! Better to spend your money in uffizi.
First of all, get a reservation. I didn't even wait in line 2 minutes. I just walked right in past a very large line of those without reservations. Personally I feel it was worth paying a little extra to get more free time during the day.
Secondly, I would recommend skipping the audio guide. I found it to be a waste of 4 euro and time. There were little blurbs written below all of the paintings and you can eaves drop a bit while tours are talking about the David. Plus, while trying to listen to an awful narrator, I found I wasn't actually paying attention to and appreciating the actual art. So I gave up on it very quickly.
For reservations I went through www.weekendafirenze.com.
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!!
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)