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Michelangelo's room in the uffizi gallery one of the most important of the museums in florence
It is impossible to talk about all places you can visit in Florence in a single post (I doubt anyone is willing to read 5000+ words). That’s why in this post I decided to show you more widely the best (or most popular) palaces and museums in Florence.

In Florence, the palaces are museums, the museums are galleries and the galleries are often inside palaces … or something like that. The thing is that you can admire not only artworks exhibited but the buildings as well (which are art in themselves).

Galleria Degli Uffizi

For me (and many Florentines) this is the most important gallery among the museums in Florence. Here are works by the most prominent Renaissance artists. The visit begins on the second floor, where the most important and/or popular collections of the museum are located. Along the main hall, there are many Greek and Roman sculptures from the Medici collection.

Uffizi Gallery is one of the most important museums in Florence
Galleria degli Uffizi

Great Renaissance masterpieces

 The 2 most popular rooms on this floor are those of Sandro Botticelli and Michelangelo. Botticelli’s paintings are a gift for the eyes, you cannot miss them. His most outstanding paintings are La Primavera and Nascita di Venere (The Birth of Venus). They are large, in soft colors and delicate shapes. In Michelangelo’s room, there is only one painting of him. They call it Tondo Doni, and due to its importance, is enough to fill the room.

The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, a masterpiece in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence
Nascita di Venere by Sandro Botticelli
Tondo Doni by Michelangelo, a masterpiece of the Renaissance in Uffizi Gallery in Florence
Tondo Doni by Michelangelo

We should not overlook other beautiful artworks and artists of the Renaissance. For example Giotto and Filippo Lippi’s works. By the way, in the room dedicated to Filippo Lippi, there is a painting that is worth noting. I mean the diptych of the Duchess and the Duke of Urbino by Piero de la Francesca.

diptych of the duke and duchess of Urbino by Piero de la Francesca, painting in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence Italy
Duke and Duchess of Urbino by Piero della Francesca

Foreign and Venetian painting

On the ground floor, there are the halls of Spanish, German, French, Dutch and Flemish painting, from the 15th to the 18th centuries. works of painters such as Rubens, Rembrandt, Velazquez and El Greco stand out. Also here is the Leonardo da Vinci room. It seems like it was on the top floor before, although I don’t know if they moved it permanently. He does not have many works displayed and some were in restoration.

Annunciation by Leonardo Da Vinci, a masterpiece in the Uffizi Gallery one of the most popular museums in Florence
Annunciation by Leonardo Da Vinci

There are other Italian artists such as Andrea del Sarto, Titian and, one of my favorite painters, Caravaggio. At this point, I was already dragging my feet from tiredness. We spent about 4 or 5 hours touring the museum without hurry. Our apartment’s hostess told us that it’s the least amount of time that this museum deserves. And she was happy that we understood the importance of the museum for the Florentines.

Medusa by Caravaggio, shield displayed in Uffizi Gallery in Florence
Medusa by Caravaggio

Tickets

I recommend wearing comfortable shoes and eating well before going (or take a snack, but don’t eat it at the museum!). We did not reserve and the line moved more or less fast about 40 minutes. Obviously, if you go on a flash trip then better reserve. The ticket cost €8,00 ($9.47 USD) if you buy it at the entrance.

Apparently, there will be new rates since March 1, 2018. They will assign different prices for high and low season. In the low season, the ticket will cost €12,00 ($14.21 USD) and in high season €20,00 ($23.68 USD). There will also be a combined ticket to visit the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli gardens too. It will cost €18.00 ($21,31 USD) in the low season and €38.00 ($45.00 USD) in the high season. If you book, add €4 euro ($4.75 USD) more, and if there are temporary exhibitions the price also increases. Here you can read more information.

Galleria dell’Accademia

 David sculpture, that’s it, I’ve said everything. Next!! 😀
 

We spent 2 hours waiting in line with an umbrella, on a rainy day (and there was not even a small roof to shelter). At least we had time to lose, but if you do not have it, book! Once inside, seeing the majestic statue of David, I realize that it had been worth the wait. Nothing like seeing a celebrity so close.

David by Michelangelo in the Accademia Gallery, another popular gallery among the museums in Florence
David by Michelangelo

There is an extensive collection of sculptures by Lorenzo Bartolini. They had paintings from the 13th to the 16th centuries as well. Among the paintings are those of artists such as Paolo Uccello, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Fra Bartolome. Ancient musical instruments are also exhibited.

sculptures by Lorenzo Bartolini in Accademia Gallery in Florence
Lorenzo Bartolini’s sculptures
The ticket price is €8.00 ($9.47 USD). If there are temporary exhibitions it costs €12.50 ($14.85 USD) If you book online add €4.00 ($4.75 USD) more. It opens Tuesday through Sunday from 8:15 a.m. to 6:20 p.m. You can spend 1 to 2 hours there.
If you like museums and galleries maybe you want to check out this post: Top 10 Art Museums in Europe you must visit

Palazzo Pitti

The Palazzo Pitti was the (new) home of the Medici family. It is known as Palazzo Pitti because it belonged to a banker named Lucca Pitti. Eleanor de Toledo, the wife of Cosimo I de Medici, Duke of Florence, bought it in 1549. Before, the Medici family lived in the Palazzo Vecchio.

Palazzo pitti yard in museums in Florence
inside Palazzo Pitti

It houses the Palatine Gallery, which is, according to me, second in importance after the Uffizi Gallery. Then you can visit The Royal Apartments and the Modern Art Gallery. There are other minor museums like The Costume Gallery, the Silver Museum, the Porcelain Museum and the Boboli Gardens.

Palatine Gallery and Royal Apartments

The Palatine Gallery is a large collection of art belonging to the Medici. There are important works by Raphael, Caravaggio, Titian, Rubens and Van Dyck. The paintings don’t have a specific order. There are some cards in each room where they state the names of the paintings and their creators.

la donna velata by Raphael in the palatine Gallery in Palazzo Pitti in Florence
La Donna Velata by Raphael

The royal apartments are 14 sumptuous rooms where the Medici family lived. They are not very large and also contain some paintings including family portraits. They are very nice although it would have been better if they had a better lighting

The gallery of modern art has 40 rooms with a large collection of paintings. Their dates are from the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.

The Treasury of the Grand Dukes

 Formerly called the museum of silver, it contains the silverware of Lorenzo de ‘Medici. As well as jewelry, cameos, metal craftwork, personal objects, and furniture. What struck me the most were the rooms themselves. Beautiful frescoes with impressive details decorate their walls.

What disappointed me a little was the gallery of costumes or fashion. The exhibition was not very large, and there were only nineteenth-century dresses. I was not particularly attracted to the Porcelain Museum neither. Or was it that my feet had already got numb? It was nice, but not spectacular.

It is worth mentioning that we did not visit the palace in one day. First, we toured the Palatine Gallery and the Royal Apartments. Another day we did the smaller museums and the Boboli Gardens.

The Boboli Gardens

The Boboli Gardens, like many other spots in Florence, have become famous due to the movie and book called Inferno. They are a good place to relax, to walk and enjoy the day. There are some fountains, tree tunnels and sculptures that deserve to make a halt to take some photos.

Boboli gardens in palazzo pitti Florence
Boboli Gardens

 The first thing you will notice is an amphitheater with an obelisk in the center. From there you will have to climb the stairs (Uff! It’s tiring) to admire the Fountain of Neptune. Following the path, there is a building that houses the Porcelain Museum. Also from this height, you can appreciate the landscapes of Tuscany.

neptune fountain in boboli gardens, palazzo pitti florence italy
Neptune Fountain

Rates

The ticket to enter the Palazzo Pitti, including Palatine Gallery, Royal Apartments, and Modern Art Gallery, costs €8.50 ($10.00 USD). If there are temporary exhibitions it costs €13.00 ($15.39 USD). To visit the Boboli Gardens, including the museums of silver, porcelain and costume gallery costs €7.00 ($8.29 USD).
By the way, since March 2018 there will be price changes. The cost will be €10 ($11.85 USD) for Palazzo Pitti in the low season and €16 ($19.00 USD) in the high season. Admission to the gardens will be €6 ($7.10 USD) in the low season and €10 ($11.85 USD) in the high season. More information here

Palazzo Vecchio

Another of the palaces and/or museums in Florence that you should visit if you have time is the Palazzo Vecchio. It was the Medici’s residence since 1540 before they moved to the Palazzo Pitti. Its construction began in 1299 by the architect Arnolfo di Cambio. When he died, other artists continued with the work.

palazzo vecchio the old palace now one of the museums in Florence
palazzo Vecchio

There are archaeological remains of an ancient Roman theater under the palace. They have found many artifacts now exhibited in 3 rooms which available to visit

Salone dei Cinquecento

One of the most outstanding rooms, located on the first floor of the palace is the Salone dei Cinquecento. Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo, two great artists of the time, were assigned the task to paint murals in this room. Da Vinci worked in the Battle of Anghiari painting, while Michelangelo worked in the Battle of Cascina. Unfortunately, these frescoes were never finished.

salone dei cinquecento of palazzo vecchio in florence italy
Salone dei Cinquecento

When Cosimo I de Medici moved to inhabit the palace, he commissioned the artist Giorgio Vasari to create some murals for this room. Some believe that Vasari protected the murals of Da Vinci under his own paintings as he was his admirer. Nevertheless, they have made some investigations and they didn’t find any evidence of this

Room of Lilies and Dante’s mask

The apartments of Eleanor de Toledo are on the second floor. As well as the apartments of the elements, named according to Roman deities. There is also a beautiful room called the Room of Lilies. Its walls are decorated with le Fleur de Lys which is the emblem of Florence. Here you can admire the sculpture Judith and Holofernes made in bronze by Donatello. Next to this room, there is another room where they displayed old maps.

In this palace, you can also see Dante’s famous death mask. There are recent studies that suggest that this mask was not made directly from Dante’s face. Anyway, it’s interesting to take a look.

dante's death mask in palazzo vecchio florence
Dante’s death mask

Rates

The entrance to the palace costs €10.00 ($11.85 USD). If you also want to visit the tower you can buy the ticket that includes the palace and tower for €14.00 ($16.58 USD). To visit the entire complex, including the recent archaeological excavations, you have to buy the ticket for €18.00 ($21.31 USD).
 

If you want to know more about other palaces in Florence, on this site there is a list of them.

Museo dell’Opera del Duomo

This museum is located right in front of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral. The museum’s theme is the construction of this church. Upon entering there is a reproduction of the old facade with the original sculptures which, in the church, were replaced by replicas. Among the first important masterpieces that you will see are the original doors of the baptistery: The Gates of Paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti.

You can see several machines, models and original sketches that were used in the construction of the Duomo. Among the most important works exhibited are Mary Magdalene by Donatello and Pietà Bandini by Michelangelo.


The price for the ticket to the museum is €15 euros ($17.76 USD). This also includes the entrance to the cathedral, the baptistery, the bell tower and the Duomo. I was lucky to be in Florence when the museum was reopened after several years of remodeling. The admission that day was free.

National Museum of the Bargello

The museum is inside the Bargello palace, which once functioned as a jail. Here they gathered a lot of sculptures made by Florentine masters. Among the works you can see here, are Baco with a Satyr by Michelangelo and David by Donatello. Sculptures on the sacrifice of Isaac by Brunelleschi and Ghiberti are noteworthy too

Unfortunately, I could not enter this museum, since it closes at 1:50 PM. By the time I decided to visit it, for one reason or another I did not manage to find it open. The price of the ticket is €4.00 ($4.75 USD). If you are fond of sculpture or Michelangelo, you will like this museum.

San Marco Museum

San Marcos is actually a former convent, now converted into one of the museums of Florence. Mostly you will find frescoes by Ghirlandaio, Fra Bartolome, and Fra Angelico. The latter painted frescoes in each of the convent cells.

It opens at 8:15 a.m and closes at 1:50 PM, so you have to come early. The price of the ticket is €4.00 ($4.75 USD). The last admission is one hour before closing.

If you want to know a little more about the churches that you can visit in Florence, check my post A guide to the most famous churches in Florence

Leonardo Da Vinci Museum

This museum is focused on the painter, sculptor, architect and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci. It contains 52 interactive models of the inventions made by Da Vinci. They also display reproductions of his paintings and drawings. They played on a screen, details of his studies about human anatomy too.

Leonardo Da vinci

The ticket price is €7.00 ($8.29 USD). Actually, I was not very interested, even though I’m a Da Vinci fan. I had already visited the palace where he lived in his last days in France and had models of his inventions as well. Our hostess told us that it was a museum more intended to tourists and in her opinion, not so worth it.

Galileo Museum

This museum, contrary to the other museums in Florence on the list, is not art related. As you can deduce by the name is a museum of science or astronomy. They exhibit Scientific instruments collected by the Medici and Lorena families. You can also see the only instruments built by the scientist Galileo Galilei.

It’s inside Palazzo Castellani, an ancient palace dating from the 11th century located on the banks of the Arno River. The cost of admission is €9.00 ($10.66 USD). I also did not have the opportunity to come, but as far as I know, it is recommendable.

Well, what do you think about my list of the most recommended and popular museums in Florence? What is your favorite museum in Florence or which one would you like to visit? Leave your impressions in the comments section ⇓

The most popular palaces and museums in Florence
Tags : artBoticelliDonatelloFlorencehistoryLeonardo da VinciMediciMichelangelomuseumpaintingpalacesRenaissancesculpture
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