In Venice, the Gallerie dell’Accademia are a ‘must-see’ for art and history lovers. Follow Captain Ulysses on a tour of one of the city’s most iconic museums, home to the largest collection of Venetian art in the world. Let’s go, sailors! 🎨
A few words about the Gallerie dell’Accademia
Short history lesson
The Art Academy of Venice (Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia) was founded in 1750 at the request of the Venetian Senate, who wanted the city to have its own school of painting, sculpture and architecture.
Shortly, the Academy became a reference in the study of the visual arts and brought together a team of brilliant teachers, including famous Italian painter Giambattista Tiepolo. The avant-garde Art Academy of Venice was the first ever to start restoring ancient paintings at the end of the 18th century.
In 1807, Napoleon Bonaparte, who had conquered the city ten years earlier, created the galleries of the Art Acamemy (Gallerie dell’Accademia) to open the collections to the general public. On Napoleon’s orders, the Art Academy of Venice also moved to the museum’ current location.
In 2004, the Art Academy was transferred to another building to make room for the expansion of the museum’s galleries.
Over the years, the museum’s collections have been enriched, thanks in part to donations and patronage from wealthy collectors. The Gallerie dell’Accademia now possesses over 800 paintings and frescoes dating from the 14th to the 18th centuries, including an invaluable collection of paintings by Italian masters.
While it is tempting to talk about the Gallery of the Academy, it is actually incorrect!
In Italian, “gallerie” is indeed the plural of the word “galleria.”
So the Gallerie dell’Accademia actually means the Galleries of the Academy!
Visiting the Gallerie Dell’Accademia in Venice
The buildings of the Gallerie Dell’Accademia in Venice
The Gallerie dell’Accademia are located just a stone’s throw from the Grand Canal and the Ponte dell’Accademia. They occupy a large complex spread over three former religious buildings:
- the Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Carità
- the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Carità
- the Monastero de Canonici Lateranensi
Exploring the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice
The Gallerie dell’Accademia explore the evolution of Venetian art from the Middle Ages to the 18th century and offer a very nice overview of the various styles and pictorial movements that have punctuated Italian art history: Byzantine, Baroque…
The museum’s 24 rooms are arranged around two courtyards, the largest of which was designed by architect Andrea Palladio, who also designed the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice.
Since the transfer of the Art Academy to a different building in 2004, the Gallerie dell’Accademia are gradually being expanded.
⚓Attention, sailors! ⚓
Looking for more tips and suggestions for your trip to Venice ? Check out the Capitain’s article on the best things to do in Venice!
Artwork exhibited in the Gallerie dell’Accademia
The Gallerie Dell’Accademia in Venice are home to the largest collection of Venetian artwork in the world.
Visitors can admire hundreds of sculptures, drawings and paintings dating from the 14th to the 18th century, including numerous paintings attributed to some of the greatest Italian masters, among whom Titian, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, Canaletto, Veronese, Bellini, Giorgione and Vittore Carpaccio.
Captain Ulysses also fell in love with the sumptuous collection of medieval paintings of the museum.
What about the Vitruvian Man?
The ‘Vitruvian Man’, Leonardo da Vinci’s mythical drawing is indeed kept in the Gallerie dell’Accedemia in Venice.
By the way, why is this drawing famous? The Vitruvian Man, inscribed in a circle and square, represents the perfect proportions of the human body. Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing has become a symbol of rationalism and Humanism, and more generally of the Renaissance era.
The Gallerie dell’Accademia are open:
- on Monday from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. (final admission at 1 p.m.)
- from Tuesday to Sunday, 8:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. (final admission at 6:15 p.m.)
The museum is closed on December 25th and January 1st.
Getting to the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice
The Gallerie dell’Accademia are located in the sestiere (district) of Dorsoduro, just a stone’s throw from the Ponte dell’Accademia and the Grand Canal.
They are easily accessible on foot (10 to 15-minute walk from St. Mark’s Square) and by vaporetto. The nearest stations are Accademia and Salute. If you plan to take the vaporetto and/or the bus several times during your stay in Venice, Captain Ulysses suggests that you opt for a pass.
Tickets for the Gallerie dell’Accademia are:
- full price: €12
- discounted rate (young adults aged 18 to 25): €2
- Admission is free for people under the age of 18, people with disabilities, students…
To avoid queuing, especially during the high season and the school holidays, Captain Ulysses advises booking your skip-the-line ticket in advance.
Audioguides and guided tours of the Gallerie dell’Accademia
To make sure not to miss anything, you might want to consider opting for a guided tour.
If you don’t feel like following a guide and prefer visiting the museum at your own pace, Captain Ulysses advises you to take the audioguide (6 euros), which provides valuable explanations on the museum’s most famous pieces.
If you’d rather visit the museum with a guide, the Captain recommends this tour.
To learn more about Venice’s top sights and monuments, check out Captain Ulysses’ other articles:
- The Peggy Guggenheim Collection
- The Doge’s Palace
- St. Mark’s Basilica
- The Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute
- The Grand Canal of Venice
- The Venetian Arsenal
- The Rialto Bridge
- The Bridge of Sighs
Venice is a very touristy city and you’ll have plenty hotels to choose from, but, be warned: they are overall rather expensive. If your budget is tight, Captain Ulysses suggests staying in Mestre, just outside of Venice, where hotels are much more affordable and you’ll find regular buses to Venice. Find out more here. For intermediate budgets, Captain Ulysses highly recommends Hotel Le Isole: ideally located a few steps from St. Mark’s Square, this beautiful hotel boasts spacious and elegant rooms. And if you’re looking for a more luxurious option in Venice, then Captain Ulysses most definitely recommends the Londra Palace nestled in a Venetian palace on the Riva degli Schiavoni.
Tickets, guided tours, gondola tours, day-trips… There are plenty of things to do in Venice. But the city is often packed with tourists, which is why Captain Ulysses recommend that you book your activities online and opt for skip-the-line tickets. The Captain suggests having a look at Musement and Tiqets, which are online platforms specialised in selling tourist activities worldwide.
Venice is synonymous gondola and vaporetto. As an accomplished sailor, Captain Ulysses can only recommend that you embark on a boat ride on the Venetian canals. But beware of cams: some gondoliers tend to take advantage of tourists! That’s why the Captain advises that you book your boat tour on a reputable website like here or here.
If you’re planning on visiting all of Venice’s top sights, Captain Ulysses recommends you to opt for a Citypass,which will give you access to a selection of the city’s must-see sights and monuments. There’s a variety of citypasses to choose from. Find out more here.
To get to Venice from the airport, you’ll have four poptions: the bus, the vaporetto (orange Alilaguna Arancio line), the taxi or the water taxi. It’s up to you to choose the option that works best for you! 🙂 Be aware, however, that the historic centre is pedestrian, and buses and taxis are not allowed to operate there.
Get ready to walk. The historic centre is not accessible to buses or cars. The local type of public transport is the vaporetto: boats travelling on the water. If you’re planning on using the vaporetto regularly (in Venice or to visit the surrounding islands like Murano and Burano), or if you are staying in Mestre and have to take the bus to Venice everyday, you might want to consider opting for a Public Transport Pass. You can book it here.
Venice is a city easily accessible by plane, train and bus. To book your plane tickets, Captain Ulysses recommends Skyscanner, which allows you to compare countless flights to find the best deal. If your dates are flexible, you can also compare prices over several months to find the cheapest flights possible. Overnight trains are also a great way to save time (and money) ! For more information, visit Trainline.com.
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