I’ll be honest with you; I’m not the biggest appreciator of art, but the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries are at the top of most top-10 lists of things to see in Florence. Because these galleries are so popular among tourists, though, the lines can be daunting hours-long affairs.
To avoid the lines, though, here’s a hot tip: Buy your tickets in advance, and you can avoid the long lines. When you do so, you need to choose an “appointment” time, so make sure you can make it.
Our Europe trip in 2015 was my first big trip planning experience, and I’ll admit, I made a couple of mistakes. But you know what they say, the best way to learn is to make a mistake. And so, I want to make sure you also learn from my mistakes.
Tip #1: Give yourself plenty of time when you’re there, especially if you’re an art aficionado because there is a lot to see, particularly the Accademia Gallery.
We ended up rushing our way through both galleries, but especially the Uffizi because it’s larger than you’d expect. I did research ahead of time on Trip Advisor, looking specifically for reviews that said how long it took them to get through the gallery, and I planned accordingly—but realistically, I shouldn’t have backed one museum visit right against the other with no breathing room, which leads me to
Tip #2: Don’t pack your activities too tightly when you’re planning your itinerary.
Tip #3: Make sure, if you’ve got something else planned for the day, that you’re sure what time you’re supposed to be there.
When I booked our half-day trip to Pisa, for some reason I thought it was a morning excursion. But it was not. It was an afternoon excursion, and I had booked our museum visits for that morning.
So, what did we do? Basically, we showed the men at the door our tickets, hoping they wouldn’t take note of the time. When they did, we simply explained the situation and they were lovely enough to let us in anyways—bless them.
Now, as I mentioned before, I don’t have the greatest affinity for art. After a while, marble statues all start to look the same to me. And there are about a million marble statues spread out between the two galleries.
I will say, however, that the statue of David lives up to all the hype. It is an exquisite work of art. Sculpted from one giant block of marble, discarded by a couple other sculptors but the time Michaelangelo got to it, it is incredibly detailed, right down to the veins in his arms and each rib and every ab muscle, even dimples in his knees.
I don’t know much about art, but I knew enough to be impressed. The Accademia Gallery also hosts a bunch of unfinished Michaelangelo sculptures.
After a while, all the art sort of runs together, but if art is your thing, the millions of annual visitors to these galleries prove that they’re definitely worth seeing when you’re in Florence.
- italy travel tip: take a cooking class in tuscany with accidental tourist
- italy travel tip: take a day trip to cinque terre from florence
- italy travel tip: take an inexpensive half-day trip to pisa from florence
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