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Where to See the Statue of David in Florence

Updated: November 14, 2023

This post will help you find Michelangelo’s David in Florence.

Tourists are always asking our guides about the best ways to see this magnificent sculpture, and we've used their advice to compile this list.

We include 2 free opportunities to see copies of the statue as well as information on how you can see the original work of art.

The statue of David is known worldwide as one of the finest works of art ever created, and it’s an excellent example of a Renaissance period sculpture.

Over the years since its creation, David came to represent the defense of civil liberties in Florence.

And it has become world-famous due to its incredible attention to detail and focus on realism.

Who is David?

Even if you're not familiar with the stories of the bible, chances are you've heard of the battle between David and Goliath.

This statue depicts David, the victor of that battle. If you look closely, you can even see the sling over his shoulder.

Michelangelo chiseled this masterpiece out of a giant block of marble originally commissioned by the Opera del Duomo and intended for the Cathedral of Florence.

Before Michelangelo got his hands on the block, it had previously been thought impossible to sculpt.

Both Agostino di Duccio and Antonio Rossellino tried to sculpt the block, but failed in their endeavor, insisting there were too many imperfections.

Ironically, the marble block used for this statue was once known as "the giant," so it is fitting that David would be the one to remain standing after it was finally sculpted.

Typical of the Renaissance era, you'll also note pronounced muscles, tendons, and veins, as realism was one of the core aspects of the artistic movement.

Perhaps it's not the most accurate depiction of the biblical David, but in terms of showing what is possible even with materials deemed imperfect, this iconic statue is one of the finest examples of Italian art during the Renaissance.

Statue of David at Accademia Gallery

If you want to see the original sculpture of Michelangelo’s David, it’s located in the Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia), a museum filled with many other beautiful and historic works of art.

Although entry is ticketed, there are many ways to save money on admission, which we cover in our post about discounts at the Accademia Gallery.

This museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:15 am - 6:15 pm (18:15). The gallery is closed on Mondays. It is also closed on January 1st and December 25th.

The Accademia Gallery is also open late (until 10 pm) Tuesdays & Thursdays between June-September.

Tickets are usually 19.50€ for adults and 7€ for educators and EU citizens between the age of 18-25.

Statue of David at Piazza della Signoria

If a ticket to see the real statue is out of reach, then it’s definitely worth visiting Piazza della Signoria to see this incredible copy of the sculpture.

This is one of two free opportunities to see the David statue for free, and it’s also arguably the most historic location.

After all, this is where the original statue once stood for centuries before being moved to the Accademia Gallery.

You’ll find this almost perfect copy of Michelangelo’s David right in front of Palazzo Vecchio, just South of the Fontana del Nettuno in Piazza della Signoria.

The introductory tour provided by Another Florence actually stops at this copy of Michelangelo's David, so that might be a good way to get here if you're having trouble finding this location.

This piazza is included on our free self-guided tour of Florence.

So, if you’re interested in learning about the history of the city as well, consider using our tour as a guide.

Statue of David at Piazzale Michelangelo

This is another location where you’ll find a copy of Michelangelo’s David.

If you’re interested in getting a good look at the city, you’ll probably want to visit this piazzale anyways.

In addition to the statue, you can also see the entire city from here, including Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio, and Brunelleschi’s Dome.

Even if you’re planning to see the David in Piazza della Signoria or the original sculpture at Accademia Gallery, we recommend visiting this location to enjoy the views.

The Controversy of David

The main controversy over this sculpture is his depiction as an adult instead of a teenager, which is not how David was described in the bible.

That said, the popularity of this statue has clearly stood the test of time, despite a few other challenges from more recent cultural movements.

While Americans in the past few decades have taken issue with David's nudity, even Queen Victoria wasn't a fan of this detail when she received a replica as a gift from the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1857.

Even today, some school districts in the United States attempt to remove the image of David from public school curriculum.

Ultimately, the issue of the David statue controversy may never fully end, but Michelangelo's David Sculpture still stands strong as one of the more important pieces of Renaissance art.


About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: November 14th, 2023
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