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Galleria dell' Accademia, Florence

Arcetri, Italy, Europe: One of the most famous statues in the world, Michelangelo's David, in the Galleria Dell'Accademia.
58–60 Via Ricasoli
Italy 50122
Tel: 39 055 238 8612; advance tickets 39 055 294 883's insider take:

The vast majority of the people in the mile-long line outside this former art school are here for one reason only: to ogle what is probably the most famous nude sculpture in the world, Michelangelo's monumental David. The statue, finished in 1504, was carved from a single, particularly long and narrow piece of marble and is top-heavy; the artist intended it to be placed on a high plinth. The hands and feet are huge; other parts famously aren't. It's awesome, nonetheless. Besides David, don't neglect Michelangelo's other masterpiece, the nonfiniti ("unfinished") or Slaves. There are also some fine Quattrocento and Mannerist paintings and a magnificent collection of musical instruments that includes several Stradivari. It is possible to reserve tickets beforehand by calling the advance tickets telephone number, but the museum won't accept reservations more than two months in advance.

Open Tuesday through Sunday 8:15 a.m. to 6:50 p.m.

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Michelangelo's David

Many have an idea what to expect when they approach the Galleria dell'Accademia to spend some time viewing this masterpiece by Michelangelo, but rarely can they... more