Accademia Gallery Itinerary

One of Florence’s most popular galleries is the Accademia Gallery. 

Visitors come here daily to view the Michelangelo sculpture known as David, located just around the corner from the Duomo and Uffizi Gallery.

The Accademia Gallery is an art museum in Florence, commonly noted for the magnificent statue of David.  

However, the Gallerie dell’Accademia has much to offer apart from Michelangelo’s David.  

In this itinerary for the Accademia, we will mention all the major halls and art pieces one needs to see before exiting the gallery. 

From paintings enriched with gold, antique musical instruments, and plaster cast models to a 17 feet tall marble statue, the Galleria holds an extensive history collection in art. 

The gallery also organizes exhibitions from time to time on various subjects, including underappreciated artists and the phenomenon of fashion in Florence in the 14th century. 

Grab your entrance tickets to the Accademia in advance and enjoy a historical walk with paintings, sculptures, and musical instruments from the 13th to the 19th century.

Suppose you have a couple of hours to spare. In that case, we recommend taking guided tours for Accademia Gallery to acquire knowledge of the gallery and the artwork displayed there, along with exclusive entrance and audio headsets in your preferred language.

You can also try the fast-track ticket to Accademia Gallery, which provides a digital guidebook for Accademia Gallery to discover the genius of Michelangelo.

You can study the map of the Gallerie dell’Accademia below. The gallery is divided into seven halls on two floors, the ground and the first floor.

Hall of the Colossus

We begin with the first section of the gallery, the Hall of the Colossus, in this visitor trail at Accademia Gallery.

The plaster cast model of the ‘Rape of the Sabine Woman’ by Giambologna is a must-see. 

This 16th-century, 1:1 scale replica of the marble sculpture stands in the middle of the hall to allow multiple viewpoints.

The model represents three figures—two men and a young woman—in a serpentine-shaped (serpentinata) movement.

You will find various paintings in the same hall, two of which you must take a closer look at. They are:

  • ‘Cassone Adimari’ by Lo Scheggia

    This painting depicts a wedding parade in 15th-century Florence in fine detail with ancient monuments, clothes and musical instruments.  
  • ‘St. Stephen between St. James and St. Peter’ by Domenico Ghirlandaio

    The painting portrays the three saints, Saint Stephen, St. Peter and Saint James, each carrying a book.  

    Learn more about the artwork at the Accademia Gallery in advance and decide which paintings, sculptures and instruments you would like to see once you visit the gallery.

Hall of Musical Instruments

Next, enter the Hall of Musical Instruments on the right if you’re a music enthusiast intrigued by ancient instruments. 

This hall displays prominent and unique musical instruments from the 17th to the 19th century from the dukes of Tuscany, the Medici and the Lorraine families.

Look closely at these instruments in the hall: 

  • Viola by Stradivari– the 1690 maple wood tenor viola by Antonio Stradivari.
  • Oval Spinetta by Bartolomeo Cristofori– the predecessor to the modern piano, the spinet, constructed in 1688.

The marble Salterio by Michele Antonio Grandi and the wooden Serpentone by Lorenzo Cerino are other unique instruments of the era. 

If time permits, marvel at the paintings among the instruments, depicting the period musician’s life and instruments. 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear the ancient instruments using the multimedia equipment at the hall. 

Hall of Prisoners

When you enter the Hall of Colossus, you enter the Hall of Prisoners.  

Here, you will find the four unfinished sculptures of nude-male slaves carved by Michelangelo.  

The statues named the Awakening Slave, the Young Slave, the Bearded Slave and the Atlas symbolize humanity’s fight for freedom and enlightenment. 

On the hall’s walls, you will find glorious paintings by artists including Pontormo, Ghirlandaio, Granacci and Fra’ Bartolomeo.

Moreover, ‘Venus and Cupid’ by Jacopo Carrucci (Pontormo), painted in 1533, is among the most eminent paintings at the gallery. Based on Michelangelo’s drawing, the painting communicates the contrast between earthly and spiritual love. 

The Tribune

The Hall of Prisoners, connects to the Tribune, where you will find the most renowned sculpture in the world, David by Michelangelo.  

Michelangelo’s David is why Accademia attracts millions of tourists and art enthusiasts annually.  

You can gaze at the magnificent David from all angles. 

Please take a moment to admire and appreciate the work that went into carving it from a single block of marble.

For a deep dive into the mind and work of Michelangelo, take a guided tour of the Accademia Gallery. 

Look for the painting with bright, iridescent colors along the right wing, named ‘Madonna and Child’ by Francesco Salvia. 

‘Coronation of the Virgin Mary’ by Alessandro Allori in the left wing of the Tribune is another painting you mustn’t miss. 

Gipsoteca Bartolini

The left wing of the Tribune will take you to the Plaster Casts Gallery called Gipsoteca Bartolini.

Appreciate the numerous plaster cast models while understanding the modeling techniques used to complete a marble sculpture. 

Florence between 1370 and 1430

Pass by the painting, ‘Tree of Life’ by Bonaguida in Pacino’s Room and the bookshop and take the lift to the museum’s first floor. 

Before leaving, you must check this less crowded hall featuring paintings from the late 14th to the early 15th century.

Two paintings to observe here are:

  • ‘Annunciation and Saints’ by Lorenzo Monaco
  • ‘Coronation of the Virgin, eight angels and fourteen saints’ by Jacopo Cambi

To save time at the entrance, purchase the priority entrance ticket for the Accademia. 

If you’re visiting the Accademia Gallery and the Uffizi Gallery on the same day with a small group, consider the guided walking tour of both galleries with a local guide. 

Featured Image: CNN.com

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