If you plan on seeing one monument in Florence, it would be impossible to miss its most famous and arguably most divine.
Michelangelo's David is that famous for a reason, and to skip out on seeing it would almost be sacrilegious.
Not only is it one of the best examples of Michelangelo's prowess as an artist, but it's also an incredible tribute to the entire Renaissance era.
A view of the spectacular "David" by Michelangelo — Photo courtesy of Alex Schnee
Commissioned to the young Michelangelo at the age of 26, the work did not start out as the image we have today. When he chose a piece of abandoned marble from Carrara, Michelangelo's peers believed him crazy for claiming that this is what he would sculpt the figure of Florence's biblical patron David from.
Two years later, the David completely changed the way artists viewed the young sculptor from the area. They hauled the massive structure to the center of town in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, where it would regard the Medici home for several decades; the David soon became a symbol for the city.
Despite its fame, the sculpture experienced plenty of wear and tear as it stood in Piazza Della Signoria. A couple of toes were broken off not long after World War II.
After seeing the destruction Florence's symbol was facing, the city decided to try and preserve it in the best way they knew how, which was to redesign and create a space for it in the Accademia Gallery, away from potential destruction.
What resulted was the perfect exhibition for the sculpture. The thought and care that went into the design of the space truly makes the David look his best.
You'll not only find several of the great master Michelangelo's works at the Accademia (including some of his incredible Captives), but they also have a quality collection of Lippi paintings and early Byzantine altarpieces.
In order to keep up with modern technology and social media, you can now find an app that allows you to tour the Accademia building and learn information. You can now also take your own picture of the work, which was previously not allowed for fear that it might harm it.
Feel free to snap a photo or two. Just remember to turn your flash off: the light from your camera can potentially harm the marble after many pictures.
The Accademia is open every day except Mondays from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at 23 euro, but if you're a student in the EU under 25, you can get your ticket for half price.