The Accademia Gallery is a short walk from the Piazza del Duomo. It is home to the original statue of David that Michelangelo created. It’s so beautiful, big and imposing you just stand there in awe. There are other replicas throughout the town of Florence but none of them even compare to the original. One of which is installed where the original statue stood at Palazzo Vecchio. The original statue of David is magnificent and you have to view it in person and tell me what you think.
Although David is the star attraction, there are also unfinished works of Michelangelo here. Michelangelo’s Prisoners that are lined along the corridor leading to David are not as popular. It transported a similar epiphany as in each Prisoner that I saw the artist and his medium as a single holistic entity. He began carving some statues for the tomb of a pope and unfortunately never finished them. The statutes looked like they are emerging from the marble. Even though they were not completed, the way he carved you could visualize the transformation. When I look at Michelangelo's unfinished pieces, I marvel at how he can chisel such amazing statues from a block of stone.
Even though the Accademia Gallery itself is small, it has some other interesting pieces. The other pieces in the museum contain many other statues, busts and artwork primarily with religious themes. They also do a great job by providing explanations and videos on how sculptors do their work. I especially enjoyed the video presentation showing the making of gold, gilded panels presented in an upstairs area I just happened to wander into.
There are many amazing paintings hanging on the walls. Beautiful works by Domenico Ghirlandaio, Filippino Lippi, Bronzino and many others.
There is a musical instrument section too. The Accademia Gallery houses the Grand Ducal collection of forty instruments in the museum wing. The displayed collection offers a little bit of history of each piece. And who built the instrument and who mostly played it was fascinating.
Make sure to go to the lower level before you leave the Accademia Gallery. It has some terrific Rembrandts and Carravigio down there.
You can also view a narrow wedding chest (Cassone Adimari). It is the front panel of a chest, and once belonged to the Adimari family. It represents a typical Florentine Renaissance wedding feast and shows monuments and medieval streets.
Close to the wedding chest is a small shaped panel by Botticelli, the Madonna of the Sea. It is really breathtaking. The various versions of the Mona Lisa are striking.
I really enjoyed the Accademia Gallery. The museum gives you your money's worth.
There's much to see at Accademia Gallery in addition to the statue of David. Take your time and spend a while viewing the other remarkable collections as well.
There is an enormous line to get in. Buy your ticket ahead of time to save yourself the long wait outside. A definite must if you visit Florence.