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Michelangelo's David

Probably the world's most iconic sculpture, this Renaissance masterpiece took Michelangelo two years to complete.

TravelCurious Tip

Don’t miss Michaelangelo’s other works in the Accademia, including the unfinished Prisoners and a statue of St Matthew

“No other artwork is equal to it in any respect, with such just proportion, beauty and excellence did Michelagnolo finish it.” So wrote Giorgio Vasari, a great artist and author in his own right — it is high praise indeed. Housed in the Galleria dell’Accademia, Michaelangelo’s David is perhaps the most famous sculpture in the world; no trip to Florence would be complete without seeing it.


The large statue was commissioned by the Opera del Duomo many years earlier but two other sculptors, Agostino di Duccio and Antonio Rossellino, rejected the huge block of marble they were offered because it contained too many taroli — imperfections that can undermine the stability of such a huge sculpture. By contrast Michaelangelo, still only 26 years old in 1501, relished the challenge.


Two years of solid work produced his greatest masterpiece. Standing at 14 ft tall, David depicts the eponymous biblical hero, renowned for standing up to the colossal Goliath with only his sling, stones, and faith.


The city council were stunned by its beauty and assembled a committee of thirty, including artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli, to choose an appropriate stage for David. They settled on the Piazza della Signoria, in the political heart of Florence. A replica remains there even now, while the original stands tallest among a wealth of treasures in the Accademia.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Florence
Santa Maria del Fiore
This stunning cathedral took nearly 150 years to complete, and Brunelleschi's dome is today the most iconic feature of the Florentine skyline.
The Baptistery of St John
Among the city’s oldest buildings (and certainly its most octagonal), the Baptistery is a superb example of Florentine Romanesque style.
Piazza del Duomo
Florence's 'Cathedral Square' is in the historic heart of the city and home to several of its most famous landmarks.
Piazza della Signoria
Overlooked by the imposing Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia dei Lanzi, this square is one of the city’s focal points.
Dante's Quarter
Italy’s most celebrated poet and a giant of world literature, the author of the Divine Comedy was a native Florentine.
Galleria dell'Accademia
Established as Europe's very first Art Academy in 1563, this gallery's most famous resident is Michelangelo’s David - but there's plenty more to see here.

Related Tours

Private Walking Tour of Michelangelo’s Florence inc Tickets to Galleria dell’ Accademia
This full-day tour of Florence's Renaissance artwork and architecture is a must for all culture vultures. 

  • Commence your tour at the Piazza del Duomo 
  • Pass the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistery of St John
  • Walk towards the antique Florentine Quarter 
  • Learn about Italy's political elite at the Palazzo Vecchio 
  • Pass the Uffizi Gallery, and cross over the Ponte Vecchio (medieval bridge)
  • Conclude your tour at the Galleria dell’ Accademia 
  • Learn about Renaissance artwork, and skip-the-line to see Michelangelo’s David
Discover the highlights of Florence and follow an expert and entertaining guide to the most significant places through the historical center and learn about the amazing history of the city from the time it was the capital of Renaissance to the time it became the capital of early unified Italy.

Start your experience touring the religious center of the city: admire the Duomo, whose impressive Dome was designed by Brunelleschi, and the Baptistery of Saint John, one of the oldest buildings in Florence.

From the religious center, you will walk to the political center, and enjoy a pleasant stroll through Piazza della Signoria, surrounded by its ancient buildings and the Loggia dei Lanzi. In this open air museum we will see original masterpieces by Giambologna and Cellini. From there, you'll cross the famous Ponte Vecchio, the medieval bridge on the Arno River, we will end this tour in the prestigious Accademia Gallery, where, at your own pace, we will explore stunning artwork, including Michelangelo's David.
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