National Museum of Bargello

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National Museum of Bargello: Our most recommended tours and activities

Florence: Reserved Entry Ticket to Bargello Museum

1. Florence: Reserved Entry Ticket to Bargello Museum

The National Museum at the Bargello is without a doubt one of the most important and well-known museums in Florence. Within, the museum exhibits a large collection of sculpture, including the famous bronze David by Donatello. Since 1865 the Palazzo houses the National Museum, bringing together many important Renaissance sculptures, including masterpieces by Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Verrocchio, Michelangelo and Cellini. The museum was subsequently enriched with splendid collections of bronzes, majolica, waxes, furniture and textiles from the Medici collections and those of private donors.   Palazzo del Bargello is one of the oldest buildings in Florence, was once prison, police headquarters and the site of public executions. Begun in 1255, the building was the headquarters of the Capitano del Popolo and later of the Podestà and Council of Justice. In 1574, it became the living quarters for the Captain of Justice (chief of police) and was used as a prison.  Despite a series of alterations and additions which altered the original plan during the 14th and 15th centuries, the palace preserved its pleasant severity, best seen in the beautiful courtyard, the balcony and the large hall on the first floor. 

Florence: Bargello Museum Tour

2. Florence: Bargello Museum Tour

The guide will start off with a little history about the Bargello Museum, which used to be the headquarters of the Capitano Del Popolo and later of the Podesta (the lord of the city). They will tell you how the palace became the residence of the head of the police and how it was later used as a prison. The guide will escort you through the museum for you to enjoy the very important works of art kept in Bargello. The ground floor rooms display the Tuscan works of the 16th Century. Your guide will particularly focus on four masterpieces by Michelangelo. Along with the local and expert guide you will then discover works by Bartolomeo Ammannati, Benvenuto Cellini, Giambologna, and many other treasures. You will discover precious ivories and bronzes that include several Roman and Byzantine examples. Then, you will immerse yourself in the early Renaissance, as your guide will explain the masterpieces made by Donatello and Verrocchio. Later, the guide will escort you to the second floor, which is solely dedicated to the glazed terracotta done by Andrea and Giovanni Della Robbia. The tour takes about two hours - the perfect amount of time to see this famous art collection, without feeling overwhelmed. You can also return to anything you might want to see again after the tour ends.

Florence: Walking Tour and Bargello Museum

3. Florence: Walking Tour and Bargello Museum

This exclusive walking tour will send you back in time to when Florence was living its Golden Age. Follow your expert multilingual guide and hear all the captivating stories that made Florence so iconic. Visit Duomo Square, gaze at the powerful Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with the largest dome in the world. Pass through the heart of Florence: Republic Square, where back in 58 BC Romans settled for the first time. Admire the finest statues of Signoria Square, Perseus by Cellini, Kidnapping of Sabines by Giambologna and, of course, David by Michelangelo. Built in 1255 Bargello was the main prison of the Florentine Republic which nowadays exhibits the biggest collection of Renaissance statues by Cellini, Bandinelli, Michelangelo and much more. Discover the secrets of the oldest Castle of Florence and visit Bargello museum.

Florence: Highlights Guided Walking Tour

4. Florence: Highlights Guided Walking Tour

Meet your expert guide in the heart of the ancient Roman city, the Piazza della Repubblica, where you will learn about the city’s foundation. Walk to Orsanmichele, a Medieval church with iconic Renaissance sculptures on its ornate facade, including work by the famous Donatello. At Piazza della Signoria you can hear the stories behind the Renaissance fountain, the statues and the Palazzo Vecchio which dominates the square with its soaring tower. Just beyond the palace is the Uffizi, a fine example of Renaissance architecture. Cross the Uffizi courtyard to reach the banks of the Arno River and admire the famous Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in town. Make a stop at Piazza Santa Croce. Once the stage for jousting tournaments, today it hosts the official sport of the city, Calcio Storico: an exciting mix of soccer, rugby and wrestling. The itinerary continues through the Medieval streets to the Bargello, then on to reach the Cathedral Square. Stop here to admire the record-breaking dome built by Filippo Brunelleschi and learn all about its construction. Just steps away from the Cathedral Square lies the Palazzo Medici. Learn about the history of the Medici family and how they created a golden age in Florence. See the beautiful palace courtyard with its elegant Renaissance architecture and ornamentation. The last stop on the itinerary is the church of San Lorenzo. With a foundation dating back to the 4th century, this was the original cathedral of Florence.

Michelangelo & Donatello: Bargello Museum Tour

5. Michelangelo & Donatello: Bargello Museum Tour

On this guided tour an English-speaking guide will take you through the exciting world of the Bargello Museum, an impressive medieval palace that has also served as a prison and a place of torture. The palace itself is worth an in-depth visit, as are the gems you’ll discover inside. Visit a room dedicated to the famous sculptor Donatello, with stunning originals of his David. The layout of the Museum makes it possible to get up close to and admire the work in great detail. Another of the Museum’s important rooms is dedicated to Michelangelo, where you’ll see some of his greatest works. Admire the Bacco-Bacchus (representing intoxication), the Pitti Tondo, (in which some experts see signs of the help of Leonardo), and the David-Apollo.  You’ll also have a chance to admire the original sculptures from Piazza della Signoria, as only copies are to be found in the square today. The originals were brought to the Bargello to protect them from the weather.

Florence: Accademia & Bargello Museum Ultimate David Tour

6. Florence: Accademia & Bargello Museum Ultimate David Tour

Learn how the David became such an important symbol of Florence in the Renaissance, and how this hero became the subject of works of art by great masters. Visit the Bargello Museum to see works by Donatello, Brunelleschi, and Michelangelo housed in a historic medieval palace. Stroll through the streets of Florence, passing through Piazza Duomo to admire the great Cathedral dome, on the way to the Accademia Gallery. Enter inside the Accademia with priority skip-the-line tickets. Admire Michelangelo’s world-famous statue and discover all about its making. Satisfy your tastebuds with traditional Italian Gelato and take home a free souvenir of Florence as a lovely reminder of your visit. Leave with a better understanding of the artworks that you’re most interested in with a personalized tour.

Best of Florence: 2-Hour Walking Tour

7. Best of Florence: 2-Hour Walking Tour

If you’re interested in the culture of Florence and the beauty of its architecture, join this 2-hour guided walking tour that takes in the most important monuments of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The walking tour begins at the Piazza San Firenze; home of the Bargello and the Tribunale Fiorentino. Walk first to the Church of Santa Croce, home to many well-known masterpieces and burial place of some of Italy's most important personages. Next come to Piazza Signoria known for Neptune's Fountain, the Palazzo Vecchio, and the lovely Piazzale degli Uffizi. Cross the Ponte Vecchio; the medieval stone bridge famous for its gold jewelry shops, and arrive at the spectacular Pitti palace; former residence of the Medici family. Head back toward the Arno and the historic center along Via Maggio and Ponta Santa Trinita, passing along Via Tornabuoni where you will see some of Florence's top fashion boutiques. Stop at the Strozzi Palace; prototype of Renaissance architecture and then finish with the impressive Piazza Republica and the magnificent Florence Cathedral.

Florence: Duomo Complex Guided Tour

8. Florence: Duomo Complex Guided Tour

Discover the heart of Florence and learn all the secrets and the history that lies behind the Duomo Complex. Santa Maria del Fiore, designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, is the third largest church in the world and was the largest church in Europe when it was completed in the 15th Century. Your local guide will show you the main sights while telling you interesting anecdotes on how this masterpiece was created. You’ll also visit the Duomo Museum in which you’ll discover masterpieces of Arnolfo, Ghiberti, Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Antonio Pollaiolo, Verrocchio, and Michelangelo. This is the largest concentration of Florentine monumental sculpture in the world. Last but not least, admire the stunning Baptistry of San Giovanni, one of the most ancient churches in Florence, which sits opposite the city's cathedral, the church of Santa Maria del Fiore and its incredible East Door - that Michelangelo called the Gates of Paradise.

Florence Self-Guided Audio Tour

9. Florence Self-Guided Audio Tour

Discover the Cradle of the Renaissance at your own pace using your mp3 player to guide you through the historic city center of Florence by audio guide. Fall in love beautiful monuments as you are led along the cobblestone streets, and escape the restricted timetables of guided tours. Take a break to enjoy a gelato or coffee whenever you like! Learn the history of highlights such as the Museo Nazionale di San Marco, Bargello (Palazzo del Popolo), Piazza della Signoria, and Ponte Vecchio. Marvel at the produce on display at the Mercato Centrale, and take an optional visit to the impressive Basilica di Santa Croce. See the homes of magnificent art, including Michelangelo's legendary statue of David at the Galleria dell 'Accademia, and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Da Vinci’s Annunciation at the Uffizi Gallery. Fall in love with the terracotta tiles and dome of the Duomo and Giotto's Bell Tower. 

Florence: Guided City Bike Tour

10. Florence: Guided City Bike Tour

Explore the heart of Florence on a guided bike tour around the city’s most unforgettable spots. Ride down characteristic streets, through popular squares, and across historic bridges. Learn about the city through commentary from your local guide. The itinerary begins where the Medici family began to wield their power in Florence. See their stately palace and the Basilica of San Lorenzo. Next, pass by the medieval baptistery on your way to Piazza della Republica, the site of the ancient forum where the city’s history began. Then, reach the Arno River stopping to admire the Renaissance architecture. Cross the bridge designed by Michelangelo and get a stunning view of the famous Ponte Vecchio. Continue on to explore the other side of town. Ride through Piazza Santo Spirito and stop to admire the grand Pitti Palace. Ride alongside the Arno to cross back over the river and proceed to Santa Croce and Piazza della Signoria. Later, head to Cathedral Square as the tour circles around the landmark site with its incredible dome.

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What people are saying about National Museum of Bargello

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 416 reviews

Our tour guide Constanze was born and raised in Florence and incredibly friendly and knowledge. She spoke perfect English and was obviously an art enthusiast which came across in her tour. She answered all our follow-up questions, pointed out her favourite restaurants and shops, and was generally just a delight to talk to as we explored Florence. We were also gifted ice cream tickets for Florence’s oldest ice cream shop at the end of the tour and it was amazing! Nicest of the trip. 10/10 would recommend.

Friendliness, willingness to provide services and information also via whatsup day and night impeccable organization. In particular, I had a very well prepared and extremely available guide who fascinated me with all the strangest historical and artistic curiosities of Florence and I ..... I am an architect and I know architecture a little bit. Congratulations

This was a highly recommended museum and it did not disappoint. I may say it was one of my favourites. I especially enjoyed the armoury display. “Brutus” by Michelangelo was captivating. I am becoming quite a fan of his work. It was not crowded, being mid March, and the timed entrance tickets keep things manageable.

Giacomo very good, professional and helpful. A big surprise! And visit the Bargello, it's worth it

The two hour bike tour was awesome with our English speaking guide Claude.