One of the main attractions of Florence is the Accademia Gallery. Inside the gallery are numerous statues and other works of art but the thing that draws most people to the Accademia is Michelangelo’s David, probably the most famous statue in the world. Across Florence you can find copies of David but the original statue is kept inside the Accademia for preservation. I’ve visited the gallery in 2012 and 2015 and can confirm that it’s worth the entry fee, though be sure to make a reservation online so that you don’t have to stand around for two hours waiting to get in.

While you’re allowed to take photos of David today, when I first visited the Accademia in 2012 they still had an annoying no-photos policy in place. Consequently I had to be sneaky with this photo and capture it from down the hallway, far from where the gallery staff was standing. My little point-and-shoot camera couldn’t take as sharp of a photo as more expensive cameras but it certainly was up to the task of coming out of my pocket real fast, zooming in, taking the shot, and then disappearing again. This was one of the very few times on my 2012 Europe trip where I violated a no-photos policy.

Like just about everyone else who visits the Accademia, I remember being entranced by David, but I also felt kind of sorry for all the other artwork in the gallery. David is an incredible statue—easily the crown jewel of the Accademia—and because of this it overshadows everything else that you see there. While there were some people who were checking out the other statues and paintings in the gallery I remember most people appeared to be skipping past everything else to join the crowd at the feet of David. I guess if you’re on a short schedule then it makes sense to move straight to the main attraction, but if you’ve got the time there’s plenty of other things in Accademia that are also worth your viewing.

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