The Accademia Gallery is the most important among Venice museums. Over 800 paintings and sculptures dating from Medieval times to the 18th century. It is also the largest collection of Venetian art in the entire world. Accademia is a paradise for art fans and those who see art as the reflection of the history of Venice. With veniceXplorer, you'll discover why it's a must-see Venice museum and the best way to experience it.
Getting to the museum
The Accademia Gallery stands on Campo della Carità in the artsy Dorsoduro neighborhood. You will find it on the foot of the Accademia Bridge, which goes over the Grand Canal and connects us to San Marco. According to the Venice map, the world-famous St Mark's Basilica is only 15 minutes away. You can get here by vaporetto. The nearest stops are Accademia or Salute. The latest is the stop to use if you want to see the magnificent Santa Maria della Salute. The gallery can get crowded, so buying your ticket online and booking a guided tour is best. This way, you won't miss anything important and will explore the museum at a comfortable pace.
History of the museum
The gallery's history began in 1750 when Giovanni Battista Piazzetta founded the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice. Its collection was the basis of the gallery. In 1807 Napoleon moved it to its current location, and in 1817, it welcomed its first visitors. That's when the gallery became independent from the academy. During this time, many works from the Venice churches expanded the museum's collection. The Accademia Gallery is housed in the complex of Santa Maria della Carità - the Venice church, the monastery, and the Scuola Grande. This Scuola is the oldest brotherhood in Venice. Built by Andrea Palladio and with the facade by Bartolomeo Bon, the building's a fine architectural sight.
Inside the museum
You'll know you are in for a treat as soon as you enter the gallery and see its gorgeous gilded ceilings. Here you will find the finest Venetian art from the Byzantine period through Renaissance to Rococo. You can expect works by Tintoretto, Titian, Bellini, Veronese, Canaletto, and Giorgione. In addition, there are works by Molin, Contarini, Renier, and Manfrin. The collection follows a chronological order, but some displays follow specific themes. There are 24 rooms for you to see, and temporary exhibitions, too. Some paintings are impressive not only in their message and technique but in size too. Make sure to see Bellini's Procession on St. Mark's Square, an artwork 7.7 meters wide and 3.5 meters high. And if you want an ideal gift for the art lover, stop by the gallery's bookshop with many titles focused on Venetian art.
The Vitruvian Man
The Accademia Gallery is a world-famous museum, in many ways thanks to Leonardo Da Vinci's drawing, Vitruvian Man. This art piece has been part of the collection since 1822, but it's rarely on display. Since the drawing is on paper, it's susceptible to light and needs special conditions to stay safe.
Things to do in the area
Dorsoduro is really a fantastic place for artsy explorers. About 5 minutes from Accademia, there is a modern art museum, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Walk five more minutes, and you'll stumble upon Punta della Dogana, another of the best-known Venice museums. You can also explore some of the finest Venice churches like Santa Maria della Salute, Saint Barnabas or Gesuati. After visiting Accademia, you can proceed to St Mark's Square, where you'll find some of the best Venice attractions. You can always use our interactive Venice map to plan your ideal Venice itinerary.