Standing 17 feet tall, people have flocked to see the statue of David since it was created. But don’t be confused! While there are three statues of David located throughout Florence, only one is legitimate. You’ll find Michelangelo’s David in the Galleria dell’Accademia. Here’s how to see the David.
Pro Tip: Planning to see the David in Florence? Bookmark this post in your browser so you can easily find it when you need it. Check out our Accademia Gallery Guide for more resources, our best Accademia and David tours for a memorable trip, and how to see Florence in a day (with itinerary).
How To See the Statue of David in Florence
Michelangelo’s statue of David is housed in Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademia or Accademia Gallery. In this article, we’ll cover the best ways to see the David including information on gallery hours and tickets, guided tours, and some interesting facts about the statue.
For more in-depth information, see our guide on how to visit the Accademia Gallery, which includes details about the rest of the gallery’s collection.
Not ready to book a tour? See our best Florence tours to take and why.
Accademia Gallery Hours and Tickets
At 8:15 am, the Galleria dell’Accademia opens its doors to art lovers and tourists until closing time at 6:50 pm. If you’re thinking about touring the gallery but are looking for a cheaper price, think about touring on Sundays.
The gallery, along with other State Museums in Florence, is free on Sundays. And if you’re not a fan of lines, we recommend opting for our skip-the-line tour, which gives you access to the museum and the privilege of getting ahead of the queue.
Just don’t make any plans to see the David on a Monday, as the gallery is closed that day every week. Since you’re planning to visit the Accademia, the beautiful city of Florence must be on your travel itinerary.
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 8:15 am to 6:50 pm (last admission at 6:20 pm). Closed Mondays, January 1, and December 25. Check the official website for seasonal variations in hours.
- Regular tickets cost €12 per adult
- Reduced tickets for EU citizens 18-25 cost €2
- Under-18s enter the gallery for free
Statue of David Facts
The statue of David is famous for a few reasons. Its creator, Michelangelo, was the only sculptor at the time willing to work with this particular type of marble. Out of undesirable marble came one of the most desirable and striking works of art known in history.
Michelangelo’s David stands at 17 feet (about 5 meters) which, if you didn’t already know, is massive. Do you know what else is massive? His feet. The statue was actually sculpted to adorn the roof of Florence’s Cathedral dome.
With this in mind, Michelangelo made David’s feet a bit bigger to make the statue more sturdy. However, the David never set foot on top of the cathedral, and today, people question his unproportioned feet from the inside of the Gallery.
The statue of David famously represents the biblical story of “David and Goliath.” The sculpture is supposed to depict David right before defeating Goliath, ready to take on the giant with his slingshot in hand.
There are three Davids in Florence
You can visit any of the three Davids. One is in Piazza Della Signoria, the other is on top of Piazzale Michelangelo, and the original is in the Galleria dell’Accademia.
He has an infamous right hand
Aside from his disproportional feet, he has a very disproportional right hand as well. Some art historians believe that Michelangelo’s large hand was intended to symbolize David’s nickname, manu fortis or strong of hand. In his hand, you can see the stone he used to take down Goliath.
Relationship with the Medici family
The Medici family commissioned many works of art from Michelangelo. Other than the statue of David, the family also commissioned Moses and the Sistine Chapel.
Even an earthquake can’t defeat him
Over the years, the David has suffered countless fractures and cracks in its shins and ankles. After one too many risky situations, the statue was placed on a semi-seismic platform, which protects the masterpiece from damage during any more earthquakes.
He’s missing a toe
Though both the statue and the gallery are now under heavy surveillance and security, it wasn’t always as strict. The gallery learned its lesson in 1991 when Pierro Canata, an Italian artist, snuck a hammer in and smashed off the David’s toe. Ouch!
Guided Tours To See the David
While you do not need to go on a tour to view the statue of David, it certainly helps. With the Galleria dell’Accademia being a popular tourist attraction, lines can get long and rooms can get crowded.
The museum itself does not give nearly enough information about the artworks inside, so for those who want a more immersive tour, check out the Florence Walking Tour. Here are a few of our best Florence tours with the David.
This is our most popular tour in Florence. It includes skip-the-line admission to see David and the Accademia for a guided visit. Your English-speaking guide will then take you to see the Duomo and Santa Maria del Fiore from the outside.
You’ll also see the Baptistry Doors, Piazza della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio, Dante’s District, the Bronze Boar, Leather Market, and Orsanmichele Church. There is always time for a gelato stop too!
Make the most of your trip to Florence by getting to know the most beloved sites in a single day. With skip-the-line tickets and a fun, local guide, you can breeze through the Accademia and Uffizi galleries, see the Florence Duomo, and get to know the famous Ponte Vecchio.
You’ll also enjoy stops at the neighborhood where Dante grew up and learn about the Medici family who shaped Florence into the city we know today.
For those who prefer an experience tailored to their needs or interests, a private walking tour of Florence and Accademia Gallery is just the thing.
Enjoy a more engaging time with a guide who is focused on you and your interests. You’ll explore Accademia Gallery, the Florence Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and much more on this private tour of Florence.
If you’re just looking for a quick, guided tour of Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo’s famous David statue without the crowds, book this one! Since this tour starts in the evening, you’ll appreciate that there are fewer crowds.
Not to mention, an hour and a half is the perfect amount of time to spend with a passionate guide who will make sure you know cool stories about the art found in this gallery. (And why David’s feet are rather oversized!)
Not ready to book a tour? Check out our Accademia and David Guide for more resources.