One of the top things to see in Florence, Italy has to be meeting the David at Galleria dell Accademia. The infamous Michelangelo Buonarroti sculpted this amazing statue between 1501 and 1504. The David was created out of a single block of marble from a quarry in Tuscany. He weights over 12,000 pounds and stands just under 17 feet tall. The sculpture was originally made to be placed high inside Florence’s Cathedral (Duomo); hence one of the main reasons for the large size so it could be seen from far away. Instead The David Statue was placed on display in Piazza della Signoria. The David’s trunk and sling previously sported a beautiful gold leaf but wore away by being exposed to the elements in the Piazza. The story behind the statue is the biblical tale of David and Goliath and supposedly depicts the perfect male body form.
So with The David being such a popular guy, how do you optimize your time so you are not in crowds, lines and miserable? Well..
First thing to do is get yourself the Firenze (Florence) Card:
I spoke about the amazingness of this card – here when we visited Florence’s Duomo and it is worth its weight in gold. For 72 Euros you get entrance into all (well 72 to be exact) of Florence’s main attractions including the Galleria dell’ Accademia AND get to get in to VIP line which is much shorter. Even if you are visiting at off peak seasons, the lines will be long here. The pass is good for 72 hours so you will have plenty of time to visit the most important sites (and then some!). You will still have a small line and still will need to go through security but you will saved time and lots of frustration.
Next thing you do is arrive early in the day:
Because this is a popular site to see, the inside will be crowded. By getting there first thing you will arrive before the tourists are finished breakfast allowing you to explore care free the rest of the day (I recommend at least 2 full days in Florence, leave the Duomo for another day) The museum is open from 8:15am-6:50pm Tuesday-Sunday (closed Mondays).
Finally- take it all in:
Walk around The David; admire the detail from all angles (yes even that nice behind) before taking your selfies and photos. Which by all means do! Remember there is a lot of other art to see in this museum and totally doable in a few hours. (do not even get me started on how large the Uffizi Museum is!) Stroll around and admire Michelangelo’s ‘Salve’ Sculptures leading up the ‘The David’, the gothic artwork from the 12th and 13th centuries and the exhibit room full of busts and statues.