Sightseeing in Florence.
the tips for the Academy are similar to those for the Uffizi.
Buy the tickets in advance, online, and get the audio guide if you want to know what you are looking at.
Here is the link to the street view of the entrance to the Academy. Move it to see the two ends of the street and look at the size of the lines...
The one on the left is for ticket holders, the one on the right is for non ticket holders, no reservations. Some people in that line booked their trips in 1997, they are still waiting to enter.
This link will also take you to the google map and the location of the Academy. From there you can get direction to and from any place in Florence or Italy.
Info on tickets and entrance and stuff:
- This is the official page for the museums in Florence. I don't know if they have an english version...
- Orario di visita (opening hours)
Da mercoledì a domenica: ore 8:15-18:50, entrata ogni 15 minuti. (Wednesday through Sunday: 8:15 am to 6:50 pm, entering every 15 min.)
Tutti i martedì e giovedì dal 4 giugno al 26 settembre orario prolungato: 08:15 - 22:00 (tuesday and thursday from June 4 to september 26, longer hours: 8:15 am to 10 pm)
La biglietteria chiude alle 18:20 (ticket office closes at 6:20 pm)
Le operazioni di chiusura iniziano alle 18:35 (Closing and clearing out starts at 6:35 pm)
Chiusura (Dates closed)
Tutti i lunedì, 1° gennaio, Natale. (closed: every monday, Jan 1, May 1 and Christmas)
Giornate a ingresso gratuito (Free entrance days)
24 marzo (march), 26 maggio (May), 2 giugno (June), 23 giugno (June), 11 agosto (August), 6 ottobre (October), 11 ottobre (October), 31 ottobre (October), 3 novembre (November), 6 novembre(November), 1 dicembre (december)
Biglietto singolo intero: € 12 (Single, full ticket)
Biglietto singolo ridotto: € 2 (Single reduced)
Costo della prenotazione: € 4 (reservation cost)
(So each person is 14 Euros)
Disponibili in italiano, inglese, francese, spagnolo, tedesco, e giapponese. (available in English too, Cost: 6 Euros for single one, 10 Euros for double ones.)
Costo: € 6,00 per apparecchio singolo, € 10,00 per apparecchio doppio
(They'll probably ask you to leave some form of ID or pay in advance.)
Other sites offer to sell tickets without the line waiting or with a guided tour, and depending if you want the tour or not, it might be a decent deal. But they do have audio guides and sometimes even tours run by the museum itself. Several are in English.
Do not bring large bags, backpacks or umbrellas, they will ask you to leave it at the coat check place, and then you have to go back to the beginning to get it back.
Go to the link above for more information.
At the Academy the main focus is on Michelangelo's David, which is spectacular, and the size alone takes your breath away. But do not miss the sculptures around it, in the room leading up to it, the one called the Prisoners.
They are unfinished sculptures by Michelangelo, they were going to be used in a tomb set that was never finished. In those you see the genius and the mastery of Michelangelo, where the shapes of the bodies seem to wrestle to get their freedom from a block of marble, and where the texture goes from the roughness of the raw marble to the smoothness of the muscles and flesh of the statues. They are amazing works, and most people barely look at them because they are unfinished and they are not the David!
Definitely worth a visit! Even with the lines!
My suggestion, go on a day they have late closing hours, go to the Uffizi early, in the first cycle at 8:15 am, spend the morning and part of the afternoon there. Then go out, eat a quick lunch, and go to the academy in the late afternoon or early evening. And stay till later, since they close at 10 pm in the summer.