Michelangelo's Statue of David (Il Davide di Michelangelo)
The image of Michelangelo’s David statue (Il Davide di Michelangelo)—one of the world’s best-known works of art—is so ubiquitous in Florence that it's become a symbol of Italy’s Renaissance capital. Carved between 1501 and 1504, then installed at the custom-built Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell’Accademia) in 1873, the masterpiece symbolizes strength and human beauty.
Michelangelo’s David is one of the most popular sights in Florence, if not the entire world, and there are always long lines to enter the Accademia Gallery. To avoid waiting for hours under the hot Florentine sun, book skip-the-line tickets in advance or join a guided city tour that includes admission. Such tours typically stop at the Uffizi Gallery, Duomo, and Ponte Vecchio too. Once you’re inside, don't miss the four unfinished statues by Michelangelo, known as the Slaves or Prisoners.
Things to Know Before You Go
Experiencing David is an absolute must for art lovers, Renaissance fans, and pretty much all first-time visitors to Florence.
Luggage, large bags, and backpacks are not allowed inside the gallery, and there is no coat or baggage check.
Save time with skip-the-line access or guided tours that include admission.
The gallery is entirely accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Galleria dell’Accademia is located in the heart of Florence, an easy walk from the Santa Maria Novella train station, Duomo, and Piazza della Signoria.
When to Get There
Florence’s Accademia Gallery is open from the morning 'til the evening, Tuesday through Sunday; final entry is about an hour before closing. The gallery is most crowded from late morning through the afternoon, so consider reserving a private tour with exclusive early morning access to enjoy the famous statue before the throngs of daily visitors arrive. The gallery is closed on Mondays, January 1, May 1, and December 25.
David, created from flawed and partially carved marble, didn't initially seem destined for greatness. Originally intended for the Duomo, the finished statue proved too heavy to hoist and was instead placed at the entrance to Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza della Signoria. Not long after the statue was unveiled, rioters threw a chair which broke David's arm in three places. Finally, in 1873, David was moved to the safety of the Accademia Gallery, and a replica—one of many—now marks the spot where the original once stood.
- Leonardo da Vinci Museum (Museo Leonardo da Vinci)
- Florence Via Cavour (Via Camillo Cavour)
- Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia)
- Medici Riccardi Palace (Palazzo Medici Riccardi)
- Piazza della Santissima Annunziata
- Leonardo Interactive Museum®
- San Marco Museum
- Ospedale degli Innocenti
- Basilica of San Lorenzo (Basilica di San Lorenzo)
- Florence Central Market (Mercato Centrale)
- San Lorenzo Market (Mercato di San Lorenzo)
- Brunelleschi's Dome (Cupola del Brunelleschi)
- Giotto's Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto)
- Opera del Duomo Museum (Museo dell'Opera del Duomo)
- Medici Chapels