Florence has some of the most famous art museums in the world. This is largely due to the collections started by the Medici and the House of Lorraine. In addition to museums dedicated to art such as the world-famous Uffizi, there are also a number of science museums.
Galleria degli Uffizi
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world. One and a half million visitors a year admire one of the largest Renaissance art collections in Florence. Only 660 visitors are allowed in at the same time, so booking is not a luxury.
The Galleria dell’Accademia is one of the most important museums in Florence and Italy. The main attraction in this museum is the original of Michelangelo‘s masterpiece David. Besides beautiful art, there is also a collection of musical instruments collected by the Medici family. Whoever has no time or inclination to visit the museum can go and see a copy at the Piazza della Signoria, which is almost a sculpture museum in itself.
Bargello National Museum
The Bargello National Museum (Museo Nazionale del Bargello) is the most important sculpture museum of the city. It is housed in a building that once served as a barracks and prison. Works by some of the most famous Florentine sculptors (Michelangelo, Ghiberti, Donatello and the brothers Della Robbia) can be seen in this museum.
National Archaeology Museum
The National Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Nazionale) proves that not all sights in the Tuscan capital originate from the Renaissance period. The collection includes Roman and Etruscan as well as ancient Egyptian objects and works of art. The seat is the 17th century Palazzo della Crocetta.
Santa Maria Novella Museum
The Santa Maria Novella Monastery has turned its cloisters into a museum. Highlights are a number of frescoes by Paolo Uccello and the so-called Chapel of the Spaniards.
San Marco Museum
The San Marco Museum (Museo Nazionale di San Marco) is housed in a former monastery from the Middle Ages. Fra Angelico lived, worked and painted in this monastery. His best and most important works can be seen here.
The Galleria Palatina is a museum housed in the Palazzo Pitti. The collection consists mainly of masterpieces from the late Renaissance and later periods. Most of them come from the private collections of the Medici‘s and the House of Lorraine.
The hall that leads from the Uffizi Gallery to the Pitti Palace is called the Corridoio Vasariano. The building is named after the architect Vasari. It was built in 1565 and is more than one kilometre long. A large part of the hall runs over the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge.
The Galleria Corsini is a private museum. The seat of the museum is the historic Palazzo Corsini. The collection consists mainly of masterpieces from the 16th to the 18th century.
Galleria d’Arte Moderna
When one thinks of Florence and Florentine art, one thinks of course first of all of the Renaissance period. However, the Modern Art Gallery, which occupies 30 rooms on the second floor of the Pitti Palace, is also worth a visit.
Specola Zoology Museum
The “La Specola” Museo Zoologico is the largest of its kind in Italy. The highlight is a somewhat lugubrious collection of wax models of human bodies on which section has been carried out. In the last room you can see what the dreaded plague could do to a medieval city.
Opificio delle Pietre Dure
In the Pietra Dura technique, a stone is inlaid with other types of stone. In Florence there is a museum dedicated to this technique, called the Museo Opificio delle Pietre Dure (“Museum of the Factory of the Hard Stones”).
The Porcelain Museum (Museo delle Porcellane) is located in the Casino del Cavaliere. This palace stands on top of the hill where the Boboli Garden is built. The collection consists of porcelain objects that belonged to the Medici and the royal family of Savoy.
The Horne Museum is named after the Englishman Herbert Percy Horne who left his private collection of works of art from the Renaissance to the city after his death. From household items to paintings by Giotto.
The Natural History Museum of Florence is named after Galileo Galilei. The collection consists largely of a number of magnificent mechanical instruments. Like many museums in Florence it started with a collection of the Medici family. The seat is the Palazzo Castellani, a former castle.
The Stibbert Museum is named after the Scotsman Frederick Stibbert. It is housed in the villa that this freebooter inherited from his Italian mother. The collection, spread over 60 rooms, is extremely eclectic, with the collection of armour from all over the world as its highlight.