Opificio delle Pietre Dure
Founded in 1588 to support the Florentine art of pietre dure (mosaic-like inlays of marble and semi-precious stones), this charming...
Piazza della Santissima Annunziata
Giambologna's equestrian statue of Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici commands the scene from the centre of this majestic square,...
La Bottega dei Ragazzi
La Bottega dei Ragazzi , an inspirational ‘play and learn with art' space next to the Spedale degli Innocenti, runs workshops for...
Be Bop Music Club
Inspired by the swinging sixties, this beloved retro venue features everything from Led Zeppelin and Beatles cover bands to swing jazz...
Conveniently close to David and the Galleria dell'Accademia, this part enoteca part fiaschetteria (small tavern serving wine and...
Via Ricasoli 60 · interesting places nearby
Galleria dell'Accademia information
A lengthy queue marks the door to this gallery, built to house one of the Renaissance's greatest masterpieces, Michelangelo's original David. Fortunately, the world's most famous statue is worth the wait. The subtle detail of the real thing – the veins in his sinewy arms, the leg muscles, the change in expression as you move around the statue – is impressive.
Carved from a single block of marble already worked on by two sculptors before him (both of whom gave up), Michelangelo's most famous work was also his most challenging – he didn't choose the marble himself, it was veined and its larger-than-life dimensions were already decided.
And when the statue of the nude boy-warrior, depicted for the first time as a man in the prime of life rather than a young boy, assumed its pedestal in front of Palazzo Vecchio on Piazza della Signoria in 1504, Florentines immediately adopted it as a powerful emblem of Florentine power, liberty and civic pride.
Michelangelo was also the master behind the unfinished San Matteo (St Matthew; 1504-08) and four Prigioni (' Prisoners' or 'Slaves'; 1521-30), also displayed in the gallery. The Prisoners seem to be writhing and struggling to free themselves from the marble; they were meant for the tomb of Pope Julius II, itself never completed. Adjacent rooms contain paintings by Andrea Orcagna, Taddeo Gaddi, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Filippino Lippi and Sandro Botticelli.