Galleria dell'Accademia#9 in Best Things To Do in Florence
If you only have a limited amount of time for art museums while you're here, devote some of it to the Galleria dell'Accademia for one simple reason: the David. This is your chance to see one of Michelangelo's most famous works in all his authentic glory and recent visitors say it doesn't disappoint. However, you aren't alone on your mission: The gallery can get flooded with other tourists also eager to see the famous piece. While you're waiting for the crowds to clear, take the time to see some of the artist's lesser-known works, including the unfinished Slaves or Prisoners.
The Galleria dell'Accademia sits several blocks north of the Duomo and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:15 a.m. to 6:50 p.m. Admission costs vary, but start at 12 euros (about $14), and timed tickets can be reserved in advance (for an extra 4 euros, or about $4.50). You should also consider booking a tour, according to past visitors, which is a smart way to avoid lines and learn more about the art. Alternatively, you can rent an audio guide for 6 euros (or about $6.75) from the. museum. Check the museum's website for the dates of several free admission days offered during the year, but it's best to plan ahead and show up early to beat most of the crowds. For more information, check out the museum's website.
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#1 Piazza della Signoria
Loggia dei Lanzi, in the Piazza della Signoria, is an open-air (and free) museum that was designed in the 14th century by Orcagna, an influential architect and artist. Below the building's curved arches are dozens of sculptures (notable ones include Giambologna's Rape of the Sabines and Cellini's Perseus), which draw crowds of tourists and locals alike. Behind it sits the Galleria degli Uffizi. The Piazza della Signoria is also filled with its (more than) fair share of sculptures, including a towering replica of Michaelangelo's David.
Take your time wandering around, and if you get tired, grab a seat along the Loggia dei Lanzi, or make your way to a cafe near the Fountain of Neptune. Recent visitors said this is a must-see spot and a great area to people-watch, view magnificent sculptures and rest travel-weary feet (though past travelers recommended avoiding the restaurants in this area, calling them "outrageously overpriced." To avoid the height of the crowds, visit in the evening. Access to the area is free 24/7.
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