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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 24 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Nicky Swallow

A one-stop-shop of Venetian painting, the Accademia Gallery is to Venice what the Uffizi is to Florence and one of Italy’s foremost repositories of art.

From the glittering Byzantine-style devotional works to Carpaccio’s scenes of Venetian life, complete with lissom gondoliers and little white dogs and Tintoretto’s magnificent portrayal of the Transport of the Body of Saint Mark, it is not only a dazzling collection of masterpieces but also a voyage through the history of Venice itself.

The collection was made possible by Napoleon, who closed many Venetian churches and convents, moving their artworks here not only for storage but also to be used by students for study.

Don't miss

Carpaccio’s extraordinarily vivid fresco cycle illustrating the Life of St. Ursula (1490-95).

While you’re there

The views of the Grand Canal in both directions from the highest point of the Accademia Bridge (right outside the gallery) are magnificent.

Logistics

Price from: £15
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The museum lies a 20-minute walk – or a 40-minute vaporetto ride – from the train station. For independent visitors, there are audio and multimedia guides available for a fee; highly recommended for anyone keen to delve beneath the surface of the Accademia’s masterpieces.

Five minutes’ walk from the Accademia, the large, standing-room-only Cantinone gia Schiavi is brilliant stop for a glass of wine and a selection of cichetti and you can perch of the wall of the fondamenta outside.

When to do it

The gallery is open all year round, seven days a week (closed Monday afternoon). In high season, there are likely to be queues to get into the gallery, but at other times of the year (and especially during the week) is relatively empty. Nevertheless, if you can brave an early start when the doors open, you’ll have its breathtaking beauty to yourself.

Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Venice

Veneto, Italy

Venice

Crammed with picturesque canals, Renaissance palazzos and artistic masterpieces, this unique and alluring city is heaven-on-earth for art lovers and romantics.