The Academy Gallery is a must-see on a trip to Venice, especially for history and art lovers. It is one of the most famous museums in the city and Italy as a whole, home to a vast collection of Venetian art. Over the years, the place became richer and richer in particular works, with the help of generous donations from wealthy collectors. Today it contains over 800 prestigious and rare pieces by great artists. The results are very diverse and were created from different periods, from the 14th century to the 18th century.
A bit of history – the place was founded in 1705 after the Italian government demanded that a professional school for painting, sculpture, and architecture be established in Venice. Upon its establishment, the school became a household name and attracted brilliant and well-known teachers, including the famous Italian painter Giambattista Tiepolo, whose works are now displayed there. The institution began collecting ancient works of art at the end of the 18th century. At the beginning of the 19th century, the city of Venice was conquered by the French ruler Napoleon Bonaparte, who decided to turn the place into an art gallery open to the general public. In 2004 the museum relocated to accommodate the growing collection of artworks, and that’s not the end yet.
What’s inside – The art on display in the museum is very diverse. The works span no less than 400 years, starting from the Middle Ages, and accordingly they present different styles: Baroque, Renaissance, Byzantine and more. The large building consists of 24 rooms and courtyards designed by the best Italian architects. Wandering around the place you can be impressed by hundreds of sculptures, paintings, and drawings, including works by great and well-known Italian artists such as Bellini, Giorgione, Canaletto and Veronese. Suppose you are not particularly familiar with the history of Italian art. In that case, you will be happy to find out that there are also works by Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most famous painters in history, on display. You can see a mainly mythological painting of his called “Vitruian Man,” and it attracts many enthusiastic visitors.
What’s around – The Academy Gallery of Venice is located in the district of Dorsoduro (sestiere of Dorsoduro), near some beautiful and well-known city sites. You will find the Grand Canal and the Ponte dell’Accademia water fountain in the area. There is also an impressive complex of Christian religious buildings in the vicinity: the Catholic school the Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Carità, the Canonici Lateranensi monastery, and a church known as the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Carità. The famous St. Mark’s Square is about an hour away.
Guidance – visiting the place as part of day tours at tourist sites in the city is possible. You can find out about the matter at the hotels or the local travel agencies. You can also purchase the services of an attached guide. If you prefer to travel at your own pace, you can and should buy audio guidance on the spot (with headphones). The focus will provide good and exciting explanations about the significant works in the museum at a relatively affordable price of 6 euros per person.
When to visit – the gallery is open to visitors every day of the week. Tuesday through Sunday at 8:15-19:15 and Mondays at 8:15-14:00. Note that the latest entry will only be possible at least one hour before closing time. The gallery closes its doors for a week in honor of Christmas, from December 25th to January 1st.
Regarding peak tourism periods (holidays and summer months) – to avoid long lines at the entrance, order a ticket online in advance. In addition, stay at the place is limited to 300 people at a time, so sometimes you can wait at the entrance until the place empties.
How to get there – The address of the place is Campo della Carita 1050. The nearest water bus (Vaporetto) stops are Accademia and Salute.
Prices – a regular entrance ticket costs 12 euros. Young people up to 25 have a discounted access that costs 2 euros. Entry is free for students, the disabled, and under 18.