It is worth taking the Walks of Italy walking tour of Florence for the entrance to The Galleria Dell Accademia alone. This tour catapults you to the front of a very long line to see the famous statue of Michelangelo’s David.

Seeing David

He sneaks up on you! Just like my David, Michelangelo’s David is surprising. My Dave always catches me off guard, even after 20 years together I am always surprised and awed by Dave, and Mike’s Dave is no different. We entered the museum and listened to our guide Anika talk about the sculptures and the artwork of the building while standing in the main foyer. As we walked on, I expected a long drawn out process of looking at different statues and works of art before ever getting the chance to see David. Unbeknownst to me however, as soon as we turned the corner, there he was!

david at the The Galleria Dell Accademia Florence

David was larger than I expected. It was fascinating to see in real life. As we walked down a long hallway towards Michelangelo’s masterpiece we witnessed the work in progress. He sculpted many unfinished David’s before finally settling on his final sculpture. Michelangelo considered David one of his greatest masterpieces. Wanting the challenge of working on a piece of marble that was said to have been of inferior quality, Michelangelo decided to show off just how great of an artist he was.

statue of David in Florence at Galleria Dell Accademia

Thought of as the greatest artist of his time during the Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo was one of the few artists who saw fame and fortune during his lifetime. He even lived to see the day that a biography was written about his life.

My David loves a great challenge as well and although he has yet to have his biography written about him, I am working on one and it is due to come out in a couple of years. Whether it will be published or not remains a mystery, but the biography will be finished indeed.

posing as royalty Dave of ThePlanetD

My Dave fit for Royalty

Michelangelo’s David

David was originally sculpted between the years of 1501 and 1504 and was to be placed high on the roof of the Florence cathedral. However the people of Florence revered it so greatly it was decided to move it to a public square. Over time, it was moved to the The Galleria Dell Accademia to preserve this great masterpiece.

statue of David in Florence Italy

My David, born between 1970 and 1975 is also revered by many. But he has chosen to live a life of obscurity well away from the public eye. With many offers pouring in daily, he settles on sitting in my parents basement working on his art and photography rather than having all his adoring fans falling at his feet.

Dave Travel Blogging in Italy

Hint: 

Beware when entering the Accademia, you are not allowed to take any photographs of David. The minute your camera comes out, a stampede of little old ladies come over to yell at you to put it away. I managed to be very sneaky with my iphone and snap shots while I rested my phone on my David’s shoulder. I waited until the women started yelling at other unsuspecting tourists. While they were distracted, I made my move to grab as many shots as I could.

It helps to have your own David to run interference for you while you make a break for the statue of David.

Just be sure not to use a flash!

A sneaky photo of David

David in Plaza Vecchio

The strange thing about Florence is that there are a couple of other Davids around town. I don’t know why Florence feels the need to have replicas all around town, but they do and they’re fun to look at.

david in Plaza Vecchio Florence

David on Display in the Square in Florence Italy

During our walking tour, we stopped at the Plaza Vecchio to take in its glorious splendour and our companions thought that this was the original David. We couldn’t understand why they were taking so many photos of the statue until we arrived at the Accademia and they were aghast. “Oh, this is the real David” they cried!

Two Davids in Florence

I grabbed my David by his arm and shrieked, no he’s mine!

David Overlooking Florence at the Piazzale Michelangelo

It was time to see yet another David after our tour finished and we made our way up the long hike to overlook the city of Florence as the sun set. It is here that you find another David gazing over the Renaissance city. It is a beautiful walk along the river and up a peaceful trail to catch a panoramic glimpse of the area.

David at Piazzale Michelangelo

While My David snapped photos of the city, I snapped photos of the Statue of David and then grabbed my Dave to spar with David. Whose more fierce? I’m going with the David that’s alive today.

To book your own walking tour of Florence, check out Walks of Italy to see what they have to suit your needs.

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14 Comments

  1. John

    Very sneaky photos – glad you managed to come back with some. I like that there are a couple of other David’s scattered around town. The one is Plaza Vecchio is especially nice and is a great alternative if someone can’t work the Accademia into their itinerary.

  2. Mike Terry

    Great blog thanks. The statue of David is one of the most amazing sights of my life, how could anyone create that out of a lump of marble so many centuries ago!! I had no problem taking photos so surprised to read that.

  3. Erica

    I really REALLY wish you would have photoshopped his head on one of them – or would that be too creepy? :P

    I’ve seen the replica in Vegas but I know it is never like the real thing.

  4. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    What a fun post! When we saw the original David statue in the museum, we were definitely in awe – it’s such a lovely piece. We also tried to sneak photos, but were way worse at it than you, apparently! Not only did we get yelled at, but the photos turned out terrible. :P

  5. Jeremy Branham

    Oh man, this is so hilarious, funny, and creative! However, what tips do you have for the rest of us who don’t have a David to take a picture of the other David?

    When I first saw the statue of David in the Academia for the first time, I couldn’t believe how big he was either. Even if you aren’t a big fan of statues, this is an incredible work of art!

    The other David is not as chiseled but interesting too! :)

  6. Rome

    Nice article and amazing photos, actually the large block of marble the David was chiseled was idle for 35 years, nobody had the courage to work on the huge block of marble, until MichealAngelo came and worked on it for three years.

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  8. ZiaM

    There are MULTIPLE Davids because he was originally placed outside of the Palazzo Vecchio, the city hall of Republican Florence, as a symbol of the Florentine people. Like young David, they would stand up to the giant armies of their time, and their bravery would prove victorious. Birds pooping and years of weather and warfare took their toll on the original, and it was moved to the Academia, a *school* and gallery built expressly to house the David, and several of Michelangelo’s SLAVES from the original unfinished design for the tomb of Pope Julius II (of the Sistine Chapel fame). The other David is in Bronze, and is part of a grouping of Bronze copies of Michelangelo sculptures on the top of a hill on the south side of the Arno river, near the church of San Miniato. That square has come to be the parking lot for tour buses, since the city of Florenze realized that the exhaust from vehicles was creating an acid that is eating away at the marble buildings and artwork (another reason to put the original David indoors). Michelangelo’s David is so extraordinary, because it was carved from a chunk of marble that was called the Giant, and considered unusable by all previous master artists. It was offered to everyone, but it was a strange shape, missing chunks, and with a flaw running through it. Michelangelo took it as a challenge, and believed that all he did was chip away the excess to reveal the figure that was always within the stone. Not only that, but he foreshortened the figure so it would *read* correctly from below (explaining the slightly off proportions of David). He also carved it much faster than anyone thought he could, proving he could rise to any challenge and do better than anyone else alive through his own ingenuity. Thus, Michelangelo too was a metaphor for industry, creativity and success of the city of Florence,

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