TOP 10 museums in Florence

Despite the fact that the beautiful Renaissance city of Florence seems to be, in itself, a vast open air museum, there are a large number of actual museums to visit; each one containing fascinating artistic, sculptural and scientific masterpieces.
But where do you start?
In no particular order, here’s our list of the top ten must-see museums in Florence.

Top Museums in Florence - Uffizi

Photo Credits: lindsaygustave

1. What is one of the main reasons that tourists visit Florence? The Uffizi Gallery of course. While originally created as a building for judiciary offices, the structure is now home to one of the oldest and most famous art museums in Europe. This explosion of 13th to 18th century Renaissance pieces by the likes of Botticelli, da Vinci and Caravaggio will astound and amaze you like no art gallery has done before. Beware the long lines; try and book in advance.

2. Another well-known Florentine gallery is the Academia; the original result of the many local drawing schools being united during the 18th century. While there are many works by great artists here, the main attraction is undoubtedly Michelangelo’s David sculpture; one of the most recognised works of the Renaissance era.

Boboli Park - Best museums in FlorencePhoto Credits: muchabarba

3. Continuing with the theme of grand museums, make sure that the Pitti Palace is on your list. This enormous palace actually houses several museums, including the Porecelain museum and Costume Gallery. Built in the 15th century, it’s a truly incredible structure. Don’t miss the elegant Boboli Gardens at the rear of the property; you could spend hours wandering around here.

4. The Palazzo Vecchio, which was a great symbol of Florentine civic power, was built toward the end of the 13th century and has benefitted from several splendid restorations. Overlooking the Piazza della Signoria, it’s home to numerous courtyards and frescoed rooms filled with artwork and statues; don’t miss the imposing Salone dei Cinquecento.

Bargello Museum - What to see in Florence
Photo Credits: camicimini

5. Here’s another smaller, yet no less important art gallery to check out- the Bargello Musuem (or National Museum). This is a good option for those of you who want to avoid the massive, Uffizi-scale crowds, yet still wish to see some incredible art. Containing sculptures by the likes of Michelangelo and Donatello, here you can find a wonderful collection of Gothic and Renaissance styles.

6. It’s not all about art you know! Head to the Museo di Storia della Scienza (Museum of the history of science) to see how the Renaissance period was just as important for the development of science as it was for art and sculpture. Here you can see a great collection of scientific instruments, including those used by Galileo.

7. The Medici were the most prominent and powerful family in Florence’s history, and luckily for us, they left behind a vast collection of valuable jewellery, vases and clocks. You can see these treasures in the elegant, frescoed rooms of the Museo degli Argenti.

8. And now for something completely different! La Specola, or Museum of Natural History, is also home to more Medici family collections, but there are no vases in sight here. Next to the Pitti Palace you’ll find this museum, which contains 34 zoological themed rooms and 10 rooms which are dedicated to fascinating (and perhaps a little strange) anatomic waxes.

Ferragamo Museum - Florence, Tuscany

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9. If you’re keen on fashion, then look no further than the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, located in the Palazzo Spini Feroni. The famous designer’s talent is showcased here by means of impressive drawings, sketches, photos and a gigantic shoe collection.

10. Finally, the façade of the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo may not be grand or intimidatingly beautiful, but inside you will find a impressive collection of sculptures, by the likes of Michelangelo and Donatello (did you expect any less?), that were previously in Florence’s Duomo (Cathedral).

For your stay check the selection of the best hotels in Florence.

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