Home / Museums of Florence

Museums of Florence

While Florence contains some of the world's most famous museums, including the Uffizi Gallery, it also has many other smaller but amazing collections that are well worth seeking out. Browse the entries below for more information about Florence's museums - and don't forget that some of the most amazing works of art in Florence are in her churches and piazzas.

A sensitive approach to frescoes

From physicsweb.org: Physicists in Italy have developed a new microwave-based technique for analysing fresco paintings without damaging them – something that was impossible until now. Roberto Olmi and colleagues at the National Research Council in Florence have already used their technique to assess the moisture and salt content of frescoes in several churches in Florence. The new tool cou... read more.

Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum was inaugurated in the presence of king Victor Emmanuel II in 1870 in the buildings of the Cenacolo di Fuligno on via Faenza. At that time it only comprised Etruscan and Roman remains. As the collections grew, a new site soon became necessary and in 1880 the museum was transferred to its present building. The museum houses Etruscan, Roman, Greek, and Egyptian collections... read more.

Bardini Museum

Stefano Bardini, an art dealer known for his flair for Renaissance art and his love of blue painted walls, donated his life's labor and the building he housed it all in to the city of Florence in 1922. The museum houses some of the most unique Renaissance art in Europe. Highlights of the collection include Roman sarcophagi, delicate wooden sculptures, and works attributed to Donatello and Pisano... read more.

Bargello Museum

The Bargello has an extensive collection of sculpture from the early and late Renaissance. It occupies an impressive building that was formerly a prison barracks and home to the military captain in charge of keeping peace and justice during riots and uprisings. The Museum holds extraordinary collections of sculpture and minor arts such as ceramics, shields, etc. Some of the most important sculptur... read more.

Botticelli, Lippi named as sketch creators

From the UPI: FLORENCE, Italy, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- A new exhibit in Florence, Italy, reveals Sandro Botticelli and Filippino Lippi were the creators of a number of previously anonymous Renaissance sketches. The news agency ANSA reported Italian researcher Lorenza Melli is set to reveal her findings regarding the 47 sketches and preparatory drawings at the Dutch University Institute for Art History... read more.

Caravaggio - the real thing

From the Times Online: A painting kept in a church attic and thought to be a copy of a masterpiece by Caravaggio is an unfinished work by the artist, according to Italian experts. The Crowning with Thorns, now on display at the church of San Bartolomeo della Certosa in Genoa, has been restored by art experts who say they detect Caravaggio's "unmistakable style" in the figure of Christ. More here... read more.

Casa Buonarroti

This museum was a property owned by Michelangelo. The house was converted into a museum dedicated to the artist by his great nephew, Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger. Its collections include two of Michelangelo's earliest sculptures, the Madonna of the Steps and the Battle of the Centaurs. The museum also houses paintings, sculptures, majolicas and archaeological sections. The museum is open e... read more.

Casa Martelli Museum

The Museum Casa Martelli is an interesting example of an 18th-century nobleman's home and of the family's tastes in collecting. In 1738 Niccolò and Giuseppe Maria Martelli employed the architect Bernardo Ciurini to transform several houses into the present palace. The interior was decorated in the taste of the period with paintings by Vincenzo Meucci, Bernardo Minozzi and Niccolò Conestabile, and... read more.

Certosa del Galluzzo

The Certosa del Galluzzo is a hill top monastery just outside of Florence - a short drive (out the Porta Romana and follow the Via Senese), or accessible by bus or taxi. The 37 bus used to service this route, but that route seems to have disappeared from the ATAF website - the 36 looks like the one to take now. You will have to walk up the hill (here is a large image of the route). The monastery ... read more.

Desiderio da Settignano at the Bargello

I had a chance Sunday afternoon to see the new Desiderio Da Settignano exhibit (it opened last Thursday) at the Bargello so I took it. This is an important show, drawing on works from the Bargello's own collection, the Lourve, The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna among others.... read more.

Furor Over Painting's Move

The NY Times had this nugget the other day: "Italy may have insured "The Annunciation," a Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece, for $132 million, but opponents of its planned loan to Japan have appealed to the culture minister, Francesco Rutelli, to cancel the trip, Reuters reported. Some protesters have even threatened to chain themselves to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence to prevent the 15th-century pa... read more.

Hidden Leonardo drawings unveiled

ANSA is reporting: "The hidden drawings which lie underneath one of Leonardo Da Vinci's most famous works were shown to the public for the first time in Florence this week . A bloody battle scene, a clutch of figures rebuilding a ruin and even an elephant were all sketched by Leonardo in detail in the preparatory 'underdrawing' for his 'Adoration of the Magi' . Yet in the version of the paintin... read more.

Horne Museum

The Horne Museum takes its name from the English collector Herbert P. Horne (1864-1916) who left his palace and his collections of a lifetime to the Italian State. This palace had belonged to the Albertis and then the Corsis who gave it its present appearance at the end of the fifteenth century. With its balanced and elegant exterior and its restrained courtyard. The museum reflects its owner's ... read more.

Italians Feud Over Leonardo Loan

This story keeps heating up - here is an article from the AP with some juicy quotes from some Italian officials: ""It's absolute madness to send such works running around," Zeffirelli said. "The minister who authorized this must be stopped." Paolo Amato, a center-right senator, has demanded twice in parliament that Rutelli desist from the project, and now threatens to chain himself to the Uffizi... read more.

Italy to seek 'lost Leonardo' behind Florence wall

This is pretty interesting - while the actual painting in question is historically documented, I guess there really is not a definitive answer as to what state it what is when it was eventually covered over: FLORENCE: One of the art world's great mysteries may be about to be solved: Did Leonardo Da Vinci paint a masterpiece that was lost in time, and does it still survive today? Italy's culture m... read more.

Leonardo's Annunciation loan protested

We have been over to the Uffizi a couple of times this morning already to check on the removal of Leonardo da Vinci's Annunciation (the painting is heading to Japan for an exhibit). At around 8:00 I saw what was most likely the crate for the painting entering the museum. Curiously all the press that was around was on the other side of the building, waiting for Senator Paolo Amato to show up. Sena... read more.

More on the Annunciation

Finally a report that is more factual than hype about Leonardo da Vinci's Annunciation leaving Italy: "It's not like the painting was shipped in a cardboard box filled with bubble wrap and peanuts." It also mentions that this painting was done when Leonardo was an "apprentice" (hint, hint - it really isn't a "da Vinci"). The AP story that ran world wide also had Amato "chained to the gates" of t... read more.

Museo Galileo

Update: This museum has been renamed (and reopened after a major renovation) as the Museo Galileo on June 11, 2010. The (former) Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza in Florence is one of the foremost international institutions in the history of science. Founded in 1927, the Museum is heir to a five century-long tradition of scientific collecting, which has its origins in the central importa... read more.

Museo Novecento

The Novecento (Twentieth Century) Museum is dedicated to Italian art of the 20th Century and offers a selection of around 300 works, which are located in 15 exhibition areas, in addition to a study room, a cabinet of drawings and prints, and a room for conferences and projections. The museum is located in the ancient Spedale of the Leopoldine in Piazza Santa Maria Novella. Opening Hours Summe... read more.

Museum Opificio delle Pietre Dure

The Opificio delle Pietre Dure literally translates to mean Workshop of Semi-precious Stones. It is a public institute of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage based in Florence which is a global leader in the field of art restoration and provides teaching as one of two Italian state conservation schools. The museum is contained within the workshop. It displays examples of Pietre Dure works... read more.

Museum of Palazzo Davanzati

Also known as the Museum of the traditional Florentine house, The Palazzo Davanzati was erected in the 14th century by the Davizzi family, who were wealthy members of a wool guild. In 1516 it was sold to the Bartolini family, and, later that century, to the Davanzati family, who held it until 1838. After the suicide of Carlo Davanzati, it was split into different quarters and modified. After escap... read more.

Museum of San Marco

The museum occupies a vast area of the Dominican convent and offers visitors an example of a perfectly preserved 15th century convent, based on the rational and harmonious plan inspired by Bruschelleschi's innovations. The complex also contains the works of Fra' Angelico, one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance. A Dominican monk, he closely collaborated with Michelozzo and his pupils to cre... read more.

Museum of the Medici Chapels

The Medici Chapels form part of a monumental complex developed over almost two centuries to serve as a proper family mausoleum for the Medici family. Michelangelo began working on the structure around 1520, and until 1533 he worked on the sculptures that wonld have decorated the walls and the sarcophagi. The only ones actually completed were the statues of Lorenzo Duke of Urbino and of Giuliano Du... read more.

Museums free this weekend!

This weekend Italy is taking part in "European Heritage Days" which is part of a European wide event organized in part by the Council Of Europe. What this means: state museums, galleries and monuments are free to visit this Saturday and Sunday. More here, in Italian.... read more.

Official Florence Museum websites

Their seem to be several "official" websites to many of Florence's museums and churches. Sometimes it is just overlapping bureaucracy (the Commune may have a site, the state may have a site, the museum itself may have a site), and sometimes it is people pretending to be an official site, either to try to get you to click on an ad or book a hotel or something else that either makes them money or br... read more.

Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore

The Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore is a lay institution founded by the Republic of Florence in 1296 to superintend the construction of the new Cathedral and the Campanile. As of 1436, the year in which Brunelleschi's dome was completed and the church was consecrated, the principal task of the Opera became that of conserving the monumental complex which was joined in 1777 by the Baptistry of San Gi... read more.


Orsanmichele is one of the most unique buildings in Florence and a great source of Florentine civic pride. It is famously known for the sculptures of saints placed in the niches or tabernacles on all four sides of the church by the various guilds of Florence. Executed between 1340 and 1602, together they form a timeline of gothic and renaissance art that is perhaps unrivaled in one location. The f... read more.

Pitti Palace

The Palazzo Pitti is a grand Renaissance palace built in the second half of the 15th century based on the project of Filippo Brunelleschi and Luca Pitti. Today, it houses several important collections of paintings and sculpture, works of art, porcelain and a costume gallery, besides providing a magnificently decorated historical setting which extends to the Boboli Gardens, one of the earliest Ital... read more.

San Marco Audio Guide

"The Jane's Smart Art audio guide to San Marco is an adaptation of a now out-of-print book written by William Hood, the renowned Fra Angelico scholar. One in the series The Great Fresco Cycles of the Renaissance, Professor Hood's book treated the Fra Angelico frescoes of San Marco in the context of their religious, artistic, and historical significance." This looks sounds interesting - and is av... read more.

State museums free Sunday?

We heard that the state museums (The Uffizi, The Accademia, The Pitti Palace, etc.) were free this Sunday, the 18th (tomorrow) - but I have not been able to find anything about it on the web anywhere. The Italian/Florentine museum websites are pretty notorious for not being up to date unfortunately. We are going to go over to San Marco Sunday anyway to see if it is true. Update: There is also a C... read more.

Stibbert Museum

The museum was founded by Frederick Stibbert (1836 - 1906), who was born into a huge inheritance from his grandfather and did not work for the rest of his life. Instead of working, Frederick Stibbert dedicated his life to collecting various objects, antiques, and artifacts and turned his villa into a museum. When the size of the collections outgrew the villa, Stibbert hired architect Giuseppe Pogg... read more.

The Vasari Corridor

vasari-corridor-from-uffizi.jpg The Vasari Corridor: A Unique Aerial Corridor in Florence Currently Closed! The Vasari Corridor is still closed to the public as of September 2023. It was scheduled to be open this year but no official date has been released. One source of the delay was new a new archeological discovery.The Vasari Corridor is the enclosed elevated passageway that connects the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace.... read more.

Uffizi Expansion Is Finally (Well, Maybe) to Begin

This project is definitely under way, one crane is up and the other is going up. I will try to get some pictures and add them when I get a chance. From the NY Times (behind the subscription wall for some reason): "A bright yellow crane has recently gone to work, the most solid sign yet that the reconstruction of the Uffizi Gallery here may really, finally, actually happen." The article goes on t... read more.

Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi is one of the oldest and most famous museums in the world and a must-see for any visitor to Florence. Its collection of Medieval and Renaissance paintings comprises several universally acclaimed masterpieced, including works by Giotto, Simone Martini, Piero della Francesca, Fra Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Mantegna, Correggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo and Caravag... read more.

© 2005-2024 florence-on-line.com | About | Glossary | Newsletter | Site Map

Some links to external websites may be affiliate links (hotel bookings, guide books, activities, etc.). Using these services helps to support our efforts here with no additional costs to the user (you!).