by Melinda Gallo

Galleria dell'Accademia

This afternoon while I had a break from work, I thought I'd go and visit a museum and take some pictures. As I looked at the list of museums that I want to visit, I realized that they were all closed in the afternoon. There were only two that I wanted to try to visit today: Casa di Dante and Galleria dell'Accademia. I decided to walk toward Piazza San Marco, where I took the picture shown here, before it got dark.

Living in Florence :: Galleria dell'Accademia


I was happy to see that there was no line to get into the Galleria dell'Accademia. I walked in and presented my tessera (membership card) for Amici degli Uffizzi as well as my carta d'identità (identity card) as proof of identity. The woman wasn't sure if they accepted my tessera and had to ask her colleague. She handed me a ticket and I walked straight into the first room, Sala del Colosso. Each wall was covered with religious paintings. There were so many that I had to stand back to see them all.

I then walked into the Galleria dei Prigioni, which leads to the statue of Davide. This galleria was my favorite part of the museum. Michelangelo's Prigioni, which are large sculptures that he was never able to finish, were shown all along the galleria like huge totem poles. It was amazing to see his unfinished work to better appreciate how arduous and impressive his work was.

Around the Michelangelo's Davide were many students with sketch pads and a few small tour groups. I was only one of a few stray tourists admiring the paintings and, of course, Davide. I was surprised to see a 3D program that a woman was operating to see the Davide in many different angles.

My other favorite room was the Salone dell'Ottocento where many of the plaster casts by Bartolini are kept. I was amazed at how prolific he was and now I have to go back to Santa Croce church to see the marble versions of a few of the casts on display here.

The one thing that surprised me was that there was no glass or any protection in front of any of the paintings except for one small painting. They were so close that I was certain that if I put my hand out in front of me while reading the piece's information on the placard, I could touch it. It almost frightened me to have them so close to me. I would never touch them, but I was afraid that someone else might.

The last time I came to the Galleria dell'Accademia was back in 1998 when my mom came to visit me and I don't remember anything except Davide and the room filled with plaster casts. My visit to the museum today was quite short and I didn't even make it to the second floor, but I am planning on visiting it again before Easter (when more tourists arrive) so that I can admire the Prigioni once again.

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