The Loggia del Bigallo is located in the Piazza di San Giovanni in Florence. This building, where Florence’s first city view is painted on a wall, contains a small museum on the ground floor and an exhibition devoted to Leonardo Da Vinci on the second one.
Loggia del Bigallo Florence
Address, admission and opening hours
The address of the Loggia del Bigallo is Piazza di San Giovanni – 50123 Florence. Nearest bus stop: Studio (line C1). Phone: +39 055 27180304/306. Entrance fee: 5 Euro. Opening hours: From 10.00 to 14.00 and from 15.00 to 19.00 hours. Closed: Tuesday. The ticket is valid for both the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition and the Bigallo Museum.
History Loggia del Bigallo Florence
The Loggia del Bigallo was built between 1352 and 1358, at the same time the Cathedral of Florence was constructed. It was originally the seat of an orphanage. The name of the institution, which had been founded in 1244, was Compagnia di Santa Maria della Misericordia. The architect of the building was Alberto Arnoldi, who was also responsible for part of the construction of the Duomo.
In 1425, it became the seat of the Compagnia del Bigallo.
Madonna della Misericordia
The oldest depiction of the town itself is part of a fresco in the Loggia del Bigallo. The painting even shows the cathedral at the time it was built, with its facade unfinished. The work was created in 1342 by the circle of artists around Bernardo Daddi. Its title is “Madonna della Misericordia”.
Part of the building is now a museum. The collection consists mainly of 14th century paintings, but also some frescoes and sculptures.
The museum was created in 1904, when multiple works that used belong to the order, but had been dispersed for one reason or another, were returned to the building.
Many of the works of art on display were made by anonymous artists.
Bigallo Museum Forence highlights
One of the most striking works on display shows a number of orphaned children assigned to their new mothers. The artist was Niccolò di Pietro Gerini.
An artist known as the “Master of Bigallo” was responsible for a beautiful crucifix (1240).
Another highlight is a triptych painted in 1333 by Bernardo Daddi. The main panels depict the “Madonna and Child with Saints”, “Birth” and “Crucifixion”.
There are various sculptures by Alberto Arnoldi.
Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition
The second floor of the building houses a permanent exhibition devoted to Leonardo Da Vinci. Exhibits include a number of aircraft designed by him, designs for warships and plans for a kind of precursor to the telephone.
The latter was a system that consisted of a system of 100 towers, with 100 sentries that within fifteen minutes could send a message about a distance of 100 miles.
There are also drawings of a plan to elevate the Baptistery of Florence and a precursor to the camera based on the use of perspective.
Leonardo even had an idea for a primitive airbag.