Tips For Visiting The Galleria dell'Accademia In Florence, Italy

According to my artist sister (and probably a lot of other people), you can't visit Florence without seeing the David. So, while my sister was visiting, we did just that. And wow, my sister and the masses who've passed along this wisdom are SO right. Just look at how magnificent the David is below!

After we waited for just a few minutes in line outside of the Accademia (buy tickets online!) and sent our bags through a scanner, the first room we visited was Renaissance religious art, which honestly is not my favorite artistic time period. We didn't have a map, thus had no idea the size of the Accademia or where the David was located, so it was actually really cool to come upon this magnificent statue and see it from afar as we entered the next room. From across the room, I was seriously wowed by how truly breathtaking the David is.

Our view as we entered the room with the David!

Our view as we entered the room with the David!

Now, the special alcove that the David currently stands in was actually built for this specific sculpture in the late 1800s. What I think is really interesting is that the David was kept safely in a box inside the museum for 9 years until this alcove was completed. I think the architect, Emilio De Fabris, really deserves credit with his design because no matter if you are gazing at the David from across the room or up close, it is the focal point. It truly is an architectural and sculptural match made in heaven (just like the Monet paintings in the l'Orangerie in Paris).

After ogling the David, there are several other highlights to see. The sculpture room showing plaster casts is really pretty interesting.

Sculpture room

Upstairs, however, hides the gems (other than the David, of course). Practically empty except for my sister and I, and very air conditioned, the upstairs houses some stunning works of Renaissance religious art, many of which were alter pieces from Florence's many famous churches. A highlight was the "Incoronazione della Vergine fra angeli e quattro santi" by Giovanni Dal Ponte from approximately 1430. The details and colors are just so stunning. There was also an embroidered piece that was stunning, but I unfortunately can't find the name of it.

Look how empty the upstairs galleries are!

Look how empty the upstairs galleries are!

What to know:

  • The David is housed in the Galleria dell' Accademia on Via Ricasoli, 58/60.
  • Purchase tickets online in advance from either the Galleria's website or Italy tickets. Print these tickets before arrival.
  • Arrive about 15 minutes early and listen to the staff near the entrance as they'll tell you which entrance to go to.
  • It is not very air conditioned on the first floor (although the second floor is), so don't expect to feel cooled off if you are visiting on a hot day. On that same note, you might want to bring some water.
  • Don't skip the exhibits upstairs! It seems like people leave directly after seeing the David, but there are some really amazing pieces in the other collections.
  • Please don't touch anything! I saw some people close to my age touching the sculptures and I was appalled. Come on, that is just bad behavior!
  • The area around the David really isn't too crowded. You are able to get up close, snap a selfie, and even make your way fully around the David.


Have you seen the David? Were you as wowed by it as me?