The Bargello Museum in Florence, exhibits and photos

The Bargello Museum in Florence – a stunning collection within the walls of a former prison

museum vojvodina novi sad

Hello dear readers! We continue our acquaintance with Florence and today we will go to the Bargello Museum Florence. It’s not as popular as the Uffizi Gallery, not as well-known for its collection as the Accademia Gallery. But it’s very interesting, with many different exhibitions and exhibits.

It boasts a whole room full of sculptures by Donatello and works by Michelangelo! And not only that. Works by Andrea Verrocchio, who taught Leonardo da Vinci himself, are on display here. I think all lovers of classical art should definitely visit the Bargello Museum.

1. A brief historical overview

Welcome to the castle of Bargello, a beautiful medieval palazzo that was lucky enough to become a unique museum! It houses the interesting Museum of Medieval and Renaissance Art. It was created in 1865 by order of Victor Emmanuel II.

bargello museum

The building used to be the residence of the chief magistrate of the city, then became the Court and then just a prison. It comes from the Latin barigildus, that is, “judge, chief of guards.” Once in its dungeons the unfortunate convicts were tortured, but today any tourist can plunge into the world of beauty and elegance.

It looks, indeed, like a prison. But it is only from the outside:

bargello museum

2. Useful information

The main focus of the museum is sculpture and painting. In addition, there are many valuable bas-reliefs, statues and statuettes in the collection.

What will you see in the museum?

  • The famous bronze works of Benvenuto Cellini
  • Works by Antonio da Sangallo
  • A hall dedicated to Alessandro Algardi, Danese Cattaneo
  • Works by Andrea Verrocchio, who was taught by Donatello. And Verrocchio had already taught Da Vinci.
  • Donatto di Nicolo di Betto Bardi, or Donatello, and his sculpture David. Not to be confused with Michelangelo’s David.
  • Magnificent sculptures by Italian Renaissance masters.
  • Collection of objects and medals of the Medici family.
  • Weapons and armor.
  • Islamic art.
  • Porcelain collection.

As you can see, this place is a must-see! Interestingly, the Florentines themselves love this particular museum and prefer to visit it rather than the noisy Uffizi and Galleria dell’Accademia.

The National Museum of Bargello has several themed rooms, we’ll talk about them later.

It’s amazing how they take care of people with disabilities in Italy. The visually impaired can get special latex gloves in which they can touch the exhibits and try to see them with their hands. There is also an elevator for those who cannot climb the stairs.

On the tower of Bargello you will see the bell. It has rung only two times in its history. At the end of World War II, and during the terrible flood of 1966.

2.1 Where is it

Address: Via del Proconsolo, 4.

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Location of the Museo Bargello on the map:

2.2 How to get there.

Most of Florence’s attractions are concentrated in the historic center and are within walking distance, so the easiest thing to do is of course to walk .

If you live far from the center, take bus number C2 to the Ghibellina Bargello stop. The entire historic center of Florence is a pedestrian area. Yes, you will see cars and bicycles, but their number is limited and entry is strictly controlled.

Or you can remember the location of the museum during the sightseeing tour, and then return to it. I was on it myself – an interesting walking tour of the city, lasts 2 hours, and costs only 20 euros, the tour runs every day, starting at 15.15.

There is an option – a tour in English or Russian, costs 40 euros for 2 hours. It is a guided tour of the museum.

2.3.

Opening hours depend on the season, in season the museum is longer.

From April to November :

  • Daily from 8.15 to 16.50.
  • Closed 1,3,5 Mondays, 2,4 Sundays of the month.

From November to April :

  • Every day from 8:15 to 1:50 pm ;
  • November 17, 24 to 17.50.

2.4 The cost.

The cost of the ticket is 9 euros, you can buy either on site or in advance online on this site. By the way, with an electronic ticket you will get through without queuing. This option is relevant only in the season, if you’re going in late fall – winter, there are almost no queues.

bargello museum

I did something different. I bought a tourist card Firenze card, which costs 85 euros. It is valid for 3 days, most of the museums of the city can be visited with this card – it is convenient that there is no need to queue and calculate the budget. It is advantageous if you really want to see a lot of things.

2.5 Official website

The official website of the Bargello Museum: www.bargellomusei.beniculturali.it

2.6 Museum layout

The museum is divided into several halls and areas. I advise you to see all of them – take your time.

See the plan of the floors in the photo:

scheme of the bargello museum

Famous artists and sculptors have been given “personal” halls in the museum, as you can see. If you are only interested in some of the rooms, you can, as I was, run through the entire museum for 1.5 hours, paying attention only to what you’d like to see.

3. Photo review of the museum.

Let’s see, what is inside?

3.1 The Inner Courtyard

Once a place where prisoners were executed, the palazzo’s courtyard now has sculptures on display and bas-reliefs on the walls. Here you will see many sculptures of Catholic saints.

bargello museum

The Fountain for the Great Hall of the Palazzo Vecchio, commissioned by Cosimo de Medici and created by sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati, is interesting. It has been moved several times around the city, but has now found peace in the museum’s courtyard.

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3.2 Ground Floor

Schematic diagram of the first floor:

scheme of the bargello museum

First Floor Halls:

  • Magdalen Chapel;
  • Carrand Hall;
  • Islamic Culture Exhibition;
  • Donatello Hall;
  • Loggia;
  • Maiolica Exhibition;
  • Tricento Hall;
  • Exhibition of ivory.
3.2.1 Sculpture of the 14th and 15th centuries

Here you will see sculptures by Giambologna, Ammannati, Michelangelo, Tino da Camaino. See the famous bust of Cosimo de Medici by Cellini.

museum bargello florence

bargello museum

3.2.2 The Great Council Hall or Donatello Hall

In the Great Council Hall are the sculptures that everyone has seen many times before. Only now the originals.

There are copies in every museum in the world. For example, two Davids by Donatello and Verrocchio. John the Baptist by Antonio da Sangallo.

David by Donatello, his most famous statue:

bargello palace

bargello palace

There are several works by Francovillo in the Donatello Hall, such as Jason:

bargello palace

And the famous Birds by the sculptors Giambologna and Ammannati:

bargello palace

These birds have an interesting fate – originally they were made to decorate the grotto of the Villa in Castello, then they visited both the Boboli Gardens and the Uffizi, and only in 1865 came into the Bargello collection.

3.2.3 The Treasure Room and Islamic Art

Islamic art, Oriental porcelain. Decorative art from various countries:

bargello palace

Look at the fine work:

bargello palace photos

3.2.4 Salon del Podesta – Hall of Maiolica

This small room is dedicated to the fine art of the Middle Ages. Majolica and ceramics and enamel:

bargello palace photos

3.2.5 Ivory works

The museum has a huge collection of all kinds of ivory objects – very interesting to look at:

palace bargello collections

palace bargello collections

The Museum has such a rich collection, so many different objects of everyday life, culture and art, that I found the Bargello to be one of the most interesting museums in Florence, I wanted to capture every detail:

bargello palace

The ivory comb:

bargello palace

Chessboard and Box:

bargello palace

Interesting carved boxes:

bargello palace

3.2.6 Magdalena Chapel

museum in florence bargello palace

In the hall in front of the chapel is an exhibition of religious objects and jewelry.

museum in florence bargello palace

Some of the decorations are so small that magnifying glasses are attached to them to get a better look:

museum in florence bargello palace

museum in florence bargello palace

museum in florence bargello palace

museum in florence bargello pictures

An ancient Bible used to be placed on this stand:

bargello palace photos

Gold Jewelry, Icons:

bargello

Armillary sphere – used to determine the coordinates of celestial bodies in the twelfth century, amazing:

bargello

3.3 Second Floor.

Going up to the second floor:

bargello palace photos

Diagram of the second floor:

bargello palace photos

  • Hall of Armor and Weapons;
  • The Room of Baroque and Medallic Sculpture (Medici);
  • The Verrocchio Hall;
  • Hall of Bronzes;
  • Hall of Adrea Robbia;
  • Hall of Giovanni Robbia.
3.3.1 The Baroque Hall

The Capella del Podesta features examples of wall paintings. See Giotte’s frescoes on religious themes. Here the prisoners of the castle spent their last hours before execution in prayer.

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bargello palace photos

A collection of medals of the Medici family:

bargello palace photos

3.3.2 Works of the Robbia Family

The works of the Renaissance sculptors, the Robbia family, are well represented in the Bargello Museum. Several generations of the famous family were involved in sculpture. The majolica technique, incidentally, was first used in sculpture by the Robbia family.

A pietà by Andrea della Robbia:

bargello palace photos

Sculpture by Giovanni della Robbia, a third-generation member of the Robbia family (one of Andrea della Robbia’s seven sons):

bargello palace photos

4. Conclusions

The museum is very cool, while being less popular than the Uffizi or the Galleria dell’Accademia. Objectively, the exhibits here are even more interesting – a very large variety, lots of all sorts of different exhibitions. It’s more modern, in a way.

I went through all the halls very quickly, but even so the visit took 1.5 hours. And a detailed tour, according to tourist reviews, should not take less than 4 hours. A must-see, even if you are in Florence for 1-2 days. If time is short, it is better to go here rather than to the Uffizi Gallery.

I liked that the queue is not so big. In the Uffizi, people are often afraid to go just because of the huge line. Even for those who bought electronic tickets there will be a small line. And the Bargello is not as popular, or just tourists after the Uffizi and the Academy no longer have the energy to go to another museum.

For children of high school age it might be nice, but I don’t recommend it with little ones – there are a lot of rooms, as I said, it’s a hike for a few hours. I strongly advise to make an appointment for one of the excursions – then the tour will bring lots of pleasure and discoveries.

Have you already been to the Bargello Museum in Florence? How long did it take you to see the whole exhibit? What was it that interested you the most? We appreciate your comments and tips for readers, so feel free to tell us about your experiences. By the way, if you haven’t signed up for blog updates, then sign up now. We have a lot of interesting things about Italy and not only.

By the way, if you are going to Florence, but have not chosen a hotel, I advise you to look at the site search engine hotellook (you can find the best deals from 40 booking systems), or choose a hotel directly through this form:

And I used airbnb service in Florence and stayed in an apartment (room) – it was much cheaper and more convenient. If you also want to choose an apartment instead of a hotel, be sure to use our link – so you get a bonus (about 30 euros) and can save on your first booking.

National Museum Bargello

National Museum of Bargello

The National Museum of Bargello is located in an ancient palace built in 1255. It is an imposing fortress built for the city authorities. The word “bargillus” means “fortified castle, fortress”. In the Middle Ages Florence also called the chief of the city police, hired from another city to avoid corruption. It was his residence that the castle built. At different times, the podesta, the head of the city administration, and the city magistrate were also located here.

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The building of the fortress was damaged by fire in 1323, after which it was reconstructed. At that time the third floor was added. In 1574 the building was given entirely to the needs of the city police. Since then there was a prison here and the courtyard of the fortress turned into a place of execution. And even after executions were officially abolished in Florence, the prison worked for more than 75 years. In 1859 the city council decided to house the National Museum in Bargello, which still exists to this day.

Ivory Hall

Exhibits

The first thing the visitor sees is the inner courtyard of the museum, in the center of which there is a fountain created at the time by the sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati, commissioned by Cosimo de Medici. On the walls are a large number of coats of arms of city rulers and judges, and along the walls are sculptures of famous masters such as Bartolomeo Ammanati, Giambologna, Cellini and Tino da Camaino.

On the first floor there are the Magdalena Chapel, the rooms of Carranda, Donatello and Trecento, exhibitions of Islamic culture, majolica, ivory works and the Loggia, accessible through the staircase created in the XIV century by Neri di Fioravante. The loggia displays sculptures of the XVI century that do not fit on the first floor.

The Magdalena Chapel was painted by Giotto and his pupils. In one of the surviving compositions we can see a portrait of the young Dante Alighieri, who in 1302 was sentenced to banishment from the city in this very chapel.

National Museum of Bargello

In Donatello’s hall are original sculptures, copies of which can be seen in many museums around the world. They are “David” by Donatello, “John the Baptist” by Antonio da Sangallo, “David” by Verrocchio. There are works by Francovillo, such as Jason. The famous “Birds” by the sculptors Giambologna and Ammannati are also housed in the hall.

The Bargello has a large number of ivory, jewelry and bronze pieces, much of which were generously bequeathed to the museum by the antiquary Louis Carran.

The second floor of the museum occupies the halls of armor and weapons, bronzes, Baroque sculpture and Medici medals. There are also the rooms of such masters as Verrocchio, Adrea and Giovanni Robbia, where famous works and world-famous masterpieces are on display.

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Bust of Cosimo de Medici by Cellini

The Bargello contains centuries of achievement by artists and sculptors of Italy. The work of Michelangelo is represented in the museum from the earliest period. The key exhibit of the museum is considered to be the statue of Bacchus, which brought the young sculptor fame and recognition. In the Palazzo Bargello are represented Minerva, Mercury, Ganymede and Narcissus by Cellini, Lady with a Bouquet of Violets by Verrocchio.

The museum is unique in its importance. Although it is close to the Uffizi, it is less popular with tourists, which means there are rarely queues and you can enjoy the exhibits in peace, away from the noisy crowds.

Giovanni Robbia

Tickets

In addition to the main exhibition, the museum hosts various exhibitions. You can visit the temporary exhibitions at the same time as the permanent exhibition; the price of a visit is already included in the ticket price. You can find out about all the events going on at the moment on the official website of Palazzo Bargello.

The cost of a museum ticket, if there are no temporary exhibitions at the moment, is 12 euros for one adult. A preferential ticket costs only 2 euros and can be purchased by young people from 18 to 25 years old. For visitors under 18 years, as well as persons with disabilities and their accompanying persons, tour guides in tourist groups – admission is free. It is possible to buy tickets directly at the entrance, or in advance on the website, but in this case you have to pay 3 euros for the reservation. It is worth considering that an electronic ticket gives you the right to enter the museum without queuing, and this may be relevant in the peak tourist season.

In the museum you can take an audio guide. It is available in two languages – English and Italian. The cost per device is 6 euros for one person, and 10 euros for a device with two headphone outlets.

The museum is open daily from 8:45 to 19:00, and on Tuesdays from 10:00 to 18:00 (the box office closes 50 minutes before closing time). Visitors will be asked to start leaving the museum 10 minutes before closing time. December 25 and January 1 are not open.

Small Bronze Sculpture Hall

How to get there

Palazzo Bargello is located in the historic center of Florence. It is completely pedestrianized and almost any of the sights can be reached on foot. Bargello is no exception. The easiest way to get to the center from outlying areas of Florence is to take bus number C2 to the Ghibellina Bargello stop. Or take a cab using mobile apps: KIWI, itTaxi, apptaxi.it, 4390.it

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