Accessibility Guide of the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence
Are you planning a visit to Florence? Do not miss out on the Galleria dell’Accademia. It is the place where you can meet the legendary marble image of David, made by the equally famous Michelangelo. As a Renaissance artist, his statue of David is one of his best-known works from that period.
You find this particular statue in three different places in the world, however the original one can be admired in the Galleria dell’Accademia: one of Florence’s largest museums, which is entirely wheelchair accessible. A must-see when you are spending your holiday in or around Florence. In this guide, you read all about the wheelchair accessibility of Academia, and more.
About the De Galleria dell’Accademia
Until the 18th century, when Duke Pietro Leopoldo, prince of the Lorraine family, ruled Tuscany, the Accademia was the hospital building of Saint Matthew. In 1784, Saint Matthew brought all the art schools in Florence together in this big building. By doing so, he wanted to have all the great pieces under one roof, so that the students could learn from them.
Besides combining all the art schools, he started a gallery to exhibit the works of the students. Throughout the years, a lot has changed to the building. There were expansions, and the collection changed as monasteries added theirs, and pieces of art were given away to museums in and around Florence.
In the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, the works of Michelangelo are the most impressive. With, of course, the biggest attraction, his creation David who represents the strength and beauty of people. He made the piece when he was only 26 years old, in the assignment of the Opera del Duomo. They wanted the statue outside of the cathedral, placed on a high pedestal. For this reason, parts of the icon are too big such as his head, arms, and hands.
Michelangelo did this on purpose, though. He knew that if the statue was viewed from a distance, the proportions would seem correct. Now that the figure is placed on eye-level, you see that they are not. At the time, the Duomo was so happy with the result, that they gifted him a house and a studio to continue his great works.
As the statue has been outside for decades, the local government decided to place the image inside to protect it from the seasons. Sadly, it was not protected against vandalism as the David got attacked by someone with a hammer. Luckily, it got away with minor damage. Protective measures have been taken, however visitors can still admire Michelangelo’s work without any barriers, and you can aproach the David to see every detail.
Add the Galleria dell’Accademia to your tour
Take the opportunity to see the statue of David up close and add a guided tour through the Accademia with a licensed guide to your existing walking tour through Florence. Want to know more? Click on the button.
Besides the famous David, Michelangelo made other pieces that you can admire in Galleria dell’Accademia. The unfinished slaves escaping from their prison: Atlantus, The young slave, The bearded slave, and The awakening slave. He made this piece commissioned by his client Pope Julius II with the intention to place them on this tumb. However it ended up till 1909 at the Grotta de Buontalenti in the Boboli gardens.
Furthermore, you find pieces as the Pietà di Palestrina and Jacopo di Cione. The Pietá is a marble sculpture Michelangelo also did not finish. It displays a figure of Christ, possibly held by a Madonna. The Jacopo di Cione shows a coronation of the Virgin.
Painters represented in the accademia are Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Pontormo, Andrea del Sarto, Allessando Allori and Orcagna. Most of the works were commisioned by the wealthy Medici family and gifted to the Duches of Tuscany.
The Galleria dell’Accademia is fully accessible from the inside. However, there is a step at the main entrance. You avoid this step by entering via a ramp at the exit door. You find this door on the right-hand side of the museum. Inside the museum, the ground is smooth, and there is plenty of space to maneuver around. Furthermore, multiple elevators and stairlifts bring you to every floor, they offer a wheelchair rental service, and there is an adapted bathroom next to the building’s entrance.
Please note that due to renovation work, the first floor is only accessible for a small part. However, the elevator can be used to reach the other floors and their exhibition halls.
As for most museums in Florence, the entry for a wheelchair user and a companion is free. Wheelchair users must show their disability card upon entering to one of the staff members, and they will help you enter the building from the area with a ramp.
Because of the COVID-19 rules and regulations, it is mandatory to book your tickets online and reserve a timeslot. It is recommended to arrive at the Accademia 15 – 20 minutes prior to your timeslot, so there is time to enter smoothly. Upon arriving at the Accademia, you need to show a photo ID with the name that matches your ticket reservation.
The Accademia is open Tuesday through Sunday, 8:15 am – 6:50 pm, and closed on Mondays.
The ticket office closes at 6:20 pm, and the museum starts closing down at 6:40 pm.
The museum is closed: every Monday, January 1, May 1, December 25.
COVID-19 rules and regulations
From June 2nd, the Accademia Gallery has re-opened its doors to visitors after the outbreak of COVID-19. To avoid the virus to re-emerge, there are strict rules and regulations put in place. There are timeslots where only a certain amount of people can enter to secure social distancing. There are temperature checks when you enter the building, and sanitization stations are placed at different points in the gallery.
Furthermore, as mentioned before, you need to reserve your tickets and timeslot online, and it is mandatory to wear a mask when you are inside the Accademia. To be sure about the most up-to-date rules and regulations regarding COVID-19 and the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, we advise you to check their official website prior to your visit: http://www.galleriaaccademiafirenze.beniculturali.it/
Get up close and personal with Michelangelo’s statue of David
During your Wheelchair Accessible Highlights of Florence Tour, you see the most important highlights from Florence. In addition to that, you have the opportunity to see the statue of David and other pieces made by Michelangelo when adding a visit to the Accademia.
How to get there
The Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence is about a 15 minutes stroll from the train station Santa Maria Novella. Another way of getting there is by taking an adapted taxi or take a local bus. When choosing the bus, you have to take into account that there can be motorcycles in the curb’s way. When this happens, the bus cannot reach the pavement far enough to get on it. Also, sometimes the ramps do not work correctly.
If you would like to be comfortable and have a worry-free ride to and from the Accademia, you can opt for an adapted taxi. Get in contact with Disabled Accessible Travel, and we will make arrangements according to your wishes and requirements.
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