In the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence’s museums are state of the art. From stunning ceiling frescoes in an unassuming church to the famed and gilded hallways that hold some of the world’s most recognizable artworks, the city swells with masterpieces. Here are five must-sees.
Uffizi Gallery — all about the Renaissance
The Uffizi Gallery is the Colosseum of Italian Renaissance art—everyone goes, and for a good reason. With 50 rooms full of paintings by Botticelli, Raphael, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and da Vinci all displayed below impressive frescoed ceilings, Uffizi justly earns its title as one of the most famous art museums in Europe. Head for highlights: Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Allegory of Spring, Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation, and Michelangelo’s Holy Family. And after the visit. recommend your clients to refuel with some prosciutto-topped pie at Mangia Pizza around the corner.
This is one of the best tours I have ever taken. A great history of painting by a very knowledgeable guide with the material right in front of you. Must do, you owe it to yourself!
Insider tip: Definitely suggest your clients to book an early-access ticket. Since the tour starts very early in the morning when the museum is less crowded, your clients will not be annoyed by the throngs of tourists. The itinerary has been rigorously selected with the help of art historians in order to show more than just the great masterpieces everyone knows.
This worked great! I can’t believe how long the lines were and we were able to just skip the line. We were not rushed through the exhibit and felt we had a great experience. I highly recommend.
We saved so much time bypassing the line that stretched completely down the street. Just walk up with your reserved ticket and in two minutes you are staring up at David! Spectacular!
Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens — an eclectic gallery complex fit for a king
Once belonging to the Medici family, the Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti) now houses a gallery, with collections displaying everything from modern art to porcelain to 16th-century ball gowns once worn by the royal family. Your clients will probably want to see the Palatine Gallery (Galleria Palatina) with works by Raffaello, Tiziano, Rubens, and Caravaggio, but don’t have them leave the palatial museum without strolling the adjacent Boboli Gardens, full of fountains, sculptures, and beautiful grottoes.
Wonderful and insightful tour. We would never have understood or fully appreciated the meaning and importance of many of the works, nor known what to single out on our own, as the collection is vast and overwhelming. Grazie to Maurizio, an excellent professional guide with a nuanced grasp of English. Highly recommend this tour.
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the Gardens. We had never been before and we were delighted to be able to see them. The Gardens are very large and it was extremely helpful to have a guide with us. Our guide, Samuele, was terrific. Very knowledgeable and extremely pleasant. He was also appreciative of the many hills in the Gardens and how best to avoid the steepest ones! I would definitely suggest a half day here. The views are fantastic as well!
National Museum of the Bargello (Museo Nazionale del Bargello) — a fortress full of Renaissance sculptures
The Bargello houses an outstanding (and underrated) display of Gothic and Renaissance sculptures in a former prison barracks dating back to the 13th century. Highlights include Michelangelo’s Bacchus, Brutus, and David-Apollo, plus Donatello’s David, but you’ll also find works by Brunelleschi, Verrocchio, and Cellini. After the visit, it’s nice to relax in the museum’s tranquil courtyard or head out for gelato at Grom along Via del Campanile. Enjoy the gurantee of having skip the line entry on this Bargello Museum Tour for a hassle-free experience.
This was a wonderful tour. The guide was incredibly knowledgeable and an excellent presenter. It was a special Verocchio exhibit which was a bonus. It was morning which made for a quieter more pleasant tour. Overall delightful!
Vasari Corridor — an art-filled secret passageway
The Vasari Corridor connects Palazzo Vecchio and the Pitti Palace by way of a near-mile-long walkway that snakes through Florence’s most famous landmarks. It’s also an art gallery (only accessible via guided tour) and holds an impressive collection of self-portraits from the 16th century onward. Visitors can find paintings by Bernini, Guido Reni, Rubens, Ingres, and Delacroix, plus exclusive views of the city. The Vasari Corridor passes over the iconic Ponte Vecchio.