Famous for its fine arts, the Accademia Gallery in Florence Italy is home to one of the most iconic sculptures in the world - Michelangelo's David.
It's a must-see destination and the second most visited museum in Florence.
Find out how to get Accademia Gallery tickets so you don't miss out!
The Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze is one of the most visited museums in Florence.
Seeing Michelangelo's statue of David is on most people's bucket-list when they visit this Renaissance city.
It's easy to include this stunning piece of art in your Florence trip itinerary, if you know where it is and how to have an amazing visit.
The Accademia Gallery in Florence, Galleria dell'Accademia in Italian, is actually home to a number of world-class works of art, along with its crowning jewel, David.
In fact, this museum houses more sculptures by Michelangelo under one roof than any other building or museum.
So for Italian Renaissance art lovers visiting Florence, it is a dream to explore.
On this page, we'll go over:
You don't HAVE to get tickets in advance to visit the Galleria de Academia.
But because it is one of Florence's most visited attractions, you are more likely than not to have to wait in not one long line, but TWO to get in.
Due to crowd control, there are timed entrances.
So if you don't book in advance, you may be told that the next available time slot is much later in the day, or worse, sold out for the day.
If you do pre-book Galleria dell'Accademia tickets, whether from the official site or a reseller, you will have to pick them up from the museum ticket office window next to the entry to the Accademia.
You should have a short wait or no wait (as compared to those looking to purchase tickets.)
Once you collect your physical museum tickets, you'll then go to your line to go inside.
There are two lines for ticket holders - those with the very next entrance time slot, and those with tickets for the time slot after that.
It can look confusing but don't worry!
You can ask someone at the front of the lines and they will tell you where to wait.
Once your time slot opens up, the line moves quickly.
However, there is no official "skip the line ticket" available, meaning you can't jump ahead of those in your same time slot.
The best line you can skip is the line to purchase tickets, by booking ahead.
The reason there is a line even if you book in advance is that the entrances are timed but also, they have to manage the crowds on the inside and cannot let people in until it's safe to do so from a crowd perspective.
Once you are inside the Galleria dell'Accademia, you can in theory stay as long as you want.
Whilst most people spend perhaps 30 minutes inside, some do spend more time.
This means that you may not be able to go in exactly at the time you have booked.
If you are trying to keep to a tight schedule, it could be stressful to show up for your time slot to find you can't Quite get in just yet.
The best thing to do is to arrive at least half an hour earlier than your entry time, which gives you time to collect your tickets and then get in the line for your entry time.
You can buy tickets online, by phone, or directly from the ticket office at the famous museum.
As I mentioned above, if you buy tickets on-site, you risk long lines and also limited availability.
When you book in advance, there is a 4€ booking fee.
For me, it is worth the peace of mind of knowing I have a reservation.
Sometimes you will find tickets on the official website are sold out.
You can also book guided tours on these sites too.
If you decide to book a guided tour, it's best NOT to purchase tickets, as the guide or the tour company will provide those for you.
This is important, as the tickets are non-transferable and must be presented with valid identification.
No matter how you book in advance, you will have to go to the ticket booth to collect your tickets.
When you book in advance, you will receive a voucher (online) or confirmation number (by phone).
You'll need to convert this to a physical ticket.
Make sure to print the online voucher or have it available on your phone.
You will need to show this to collect your actual ticket from the ticket window.
N.B. - Yes, I agree it seems silly to have to take this extra step of getting a physical ticket, but that's just the way it is!
The Accademia Gallery is not to be missed when exploring Florence.
It houses one of the most important works of Renaissance Italy, Michelangelo's David.
As well as this masterpiece, there are other works by Michelangelo and many Florentine Renaissance masters including Botticelli and Ghirlandaio.
The gallery is located close to the city center so you can easily combine a visit here with other attractions and museums in Florence.
The galleries are well-maintained and have plenty of space, making it easy to admire the art up close.
Also, you can take all the photos you want.
If you're short on time, you could focus on the stunning statue of David and not spend more than 20-30 minutes inside.
For me, it's worth spending more time enjoying the gorgeous collection of art and sculptures in the gallery.
An average visit could take anywhere from 1-2 hours.
If you want to get the most out of your visit, I recommend booking a guided tour.
This way, you will get to explore the gallery with an expert guide who can give you insights and stories that make the experience come alive.
Of course, the sight of the 17-foot David sculpted from a single block of marble is the main attraction for visitors to the Accademia Gallery.
For many people, being able to walk into the Accademia and see the David at the end of a long corridor, under a glass skylight, will be enough.
It makes your heart sing and will be a moment you'll never forget.
However, for me, the next best thing about this museum is the collection of sculptures by Michelangelo that can be found in the room dedicated to his work, the Tribuna, including his 'Prisoners'.
The Galleria dell'Accademia is in fact the largest collection of Michelangelo sculptures anywhere in the world.
Seeing his series of 'Prisoners' sculptures, also known as his 'Slaves', all of which are unfinished, renders a real sense of his genius.
It also allows us to imagine how the great artist worked.
He once said he could look at a piece of marble and "see the angel inside", and that all he had to do was free it.
These statues are all in the same corridor that leads up to the David, so you might spend time with them before you get to David itself.
The sculptures are: 'The Young Slave', the 'Awakening Slave', the 'Bearded Slave' and 'Atlas'.
They were made between 1519 and 1534.
They were meant to be part of a massive tomb Michelangelo was creating for Pope Julius II (della Rovere) in Rome.
It was not completed in the Pope's lifetime and in fact, was much smaller than it was originally intended to be.
You can visit this masterpiece with Michelangelo's famed sculpture of Moses in Rome's church of Saint Peter in Chains.
In the end, Pope Julius II was not even buried in the tomb Michelangelo made for him!
He is buried in Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome.
There is also plenty to see in other rooms of this museum.
When you first enter the Galleria, before making your way to the corridor with Michelangelo's sculptures and David, you have the option to visit a large room full of Renaissance masterpieces.
You'll find works by artists such as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Fra Angelico, Perugino, Cosimo Rosselli, Andrea del Sarto, Filippo Lippi, and many others.
So if you have time to spend exploring these paintings in detail, I highly recommend it.
One of the first things you'll see when you enter the Accademia, in the same room as the paintings (above) is the plaster cast of Giambologna's sculpture, the Rape of the Sabines, Ratto delle Sabine in Italian.
The cast was made by the Flemish sculptor and architect Johannes of Boulogne, who was known in Italian as Giambologna.
The final marble sculpture was completed between 1579 and 1583 for Cosimo I de' Medici.
You can see it in the Loggia dei Lanzi, in Piazza della Signoria, where it has been since its completion.
The sculpture depicts a story from the founding of Rome in which the first Romans under Rome's first king, Romulus, found themselves a city of men, with no women.
They needed to populate their new city and looked to the neighboring Sabines.
They held a big party and during the festivities, "ran off with" the Sabine women, who after the fact acquiesced.
(In Latin, "raptio" refers to the kidnapping or abduction of a woman, while the English translation obviously has an even more sinister meaning.)
Yes, it's pretty horrific stuff by today's standards, but also remember, these are founding myths.
In any case, this theme comes up quite a bit in art, so now you'll know what you're looking at when you see this subject!
While what you see in the Galleria dell'Accademia may only be a plaster model, it was made nearly to perfection by the sculptor himself and it is quite breathtaking to see in person.
I suggest walking around it slowly and taking it all in.
It is a masterful use of movement and tension to create a dynamic and intense scene.
One of the lesser-known rooms in the Galleria dell'Accademia is the Sala delle Maschere, which houses a collection of ancient musical instruments.
The collection includes lutes, flutes, harps, bells, tambourines, and even a glass harmonica.
And if you are a fan of Antonio Stradivari, then you will be interested to know that you can see several Stradivarius instruments (violas and cellos) made by him.
There is also a cello by Amati, along with many other important pieces.
One room that's hard to miss is the Gipsoteca Bartolini.
You will see this room once you leave the gallery where David is.
The Gipsoteca is a collection of plaster casts made by Lorenzo Bartolini, and it includes incredible detail.
Lorenzo Bartolini was a 19th-century sculptor and professor who had an academy near here.
The Gipsoteca is a room that gives you a sense of what it was like to be in his workshop.
Some of the last rooms you visit in the Accademia (or at least pass on your way out) contain lots of Gothic art.
If this is not really your thing, it can look ho-hum to see paintings one after the other, all with that tell-tale gold leaf and flat look.
But if you take a closer look, there are a couple of fascinating things to see here.
First is Bonaguida’s 'Tree of Life' panel, which depicts the crucifixion where the cross is also the Tree of Life.
It's full of detail and shimmers with movement, despite the 2-dimensional subjects.
Although it's not very big, you can also spot a detached fresco by Giotto di Bordone.
Yes, you can absolutely visit both the Uffizi Gallery and the Galleria dell'Accademia in one day.
Firstly, exploring the Accademia doesn't have to take long, although you do have to factor in the part about picking up your ticket and waiting in line to go inside.
So plan for at least an hour here.
Secondly, the distance from Uffizi to Accademia is about 10-15 minutes' walk apart.
The Uffizi need more time and energy and most people typically spend around 2 hours here.
You can, of course, spend longer, especially if you take a break in the restaurant inside the Uffizi.
I'd suggest also taking a short break between these two Florence art museums, whether for a full sit-down lunch or late breakfast, or just a half hour of sitting down with a drink.
I'd also suggest going to the Accademia first, since it will take less time and energy.
That way, once you start to tire inside the Uffizi, you will be done for the day.
This is very subjective, so it should probably come down to how much time and energy you have.
The Uffizi is home to a large collection of must-see masterpieces, and a visit here will tick a lot of boxes.
On the other hand, there is literally only one David (You can see replicas in Piazza della Signoria and at Piazzale Michelangelo, but trust me, it's not the same.)
If time is not an issue, think about if there is ONE thing you want to see in the Uffizi that makes missing David worthwhile.
Then choose between that one thing and David.
I can't tell you which to pick as there is no right answer.
As I say about Rome, you can't see it all, but anything you see will be wonderful.
Tuesday – Sunday: 9:00 AM – 6:45 PM
Entrance into the museum will be allowed up to 30 minutes before closing time.
The museum is closed: every Monday, January 1, May 1, December 25.
N.B. Occasionally the museum will open on a holiday if it falls on a Monday, but only at the discretion of the museum board.
Always check the Accademia website 'News' section for the most up-to-date information.
There are 3 different types of admission ticket available:
Most international visitors pay for a full price entrance ticket, but you can find out if you qualify for a reduced ticket price here.
Once a month everyone gets in for free, but these days are extremely busy!
The Accademia is located in the heart of the city, less than 10 minute's walk from the iconic Florence Duomo (cathedral).
The exact address is: Via Ricasoli, 58-60.
It is just off Piazza San Marco and about a 15-minute walk to/from the Santa Maria Novella train station and a 10-15 minute walk to/from the Uffizi Gallery.
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