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13 Best Museums in Florence to Visit

13 Best Museums in Florence to Visit

Italy is home to some of the world’s most famous museums, including Florence’s museums the Uffizi Gallery and the Galleria dell’Accademia. If you’re planning a visit to Florence, you’ll definitely want to check out these two museums. But there are many other great museums in Florence that you should also consider visiting.

As a home to some of the oldest and most famous museums in the world, Italy is a must-visit destination for any art lover. And especially Florence, Italy. However, even if you’re not particularly interested in art, visiting one of Florence’s many museums can still be a great experience.

Florence is not only home to two of the most famous museums in the world, but also many other great museums that are often overlooked by visitors. The top museums in Florence offer a glimpse into the country’s rich history and culture and provide an opportunity to see some of the world’s most famous works of art up close.

If you’re looking to get a more well-rounded view of Italian culture, the city and its history, be sure to check out some of these great museums in Florence.

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Skip the line and enjoy a comprehensive walking tour of Florence's most iconic landmarks. Cross the Ponte Vecchio bridge, stroll around Piazza della Republica and Piazza della Signoria, and admire the Pitti Palace and Duomo. Then, enjoy skip-the-line entrance to the Accademia museum to see Michelangelo's world-famous David sculpture. This is the perfect way to experience all that Florence has to offer!

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Best Museums in Florence, Italy to Visit

1. Galleria degli Uffizi (Uffizi Gallery)

Uffizi Gallery Exhibit
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Address: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most famous museums in the world, and the best of the Florence museums. And for good reason. It houses an incredible collection of art from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance period, much of which was created by some of the most famous Italian artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

The gallery was originally founded in 1560 as the Magistrates’ building and subsequently a government offices building. Over the years, the gallery’s collection grew and it eventually became one of the most important art museums in the world.

Today, the Uffizi Gallery is home to some of the most famous Renaissance paintings in the world, including several by Leonardo da Vinci. Art lovers, if you’re interested in Italian art, or art history in general, this is definitely a museum you won’t want to miss.

The Uffizi Gallery offers guided tours and is closed on Mondays and is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 8:15 am to 6:50 pm. Get your skip-the-line entrance ticket now.

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2. Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze (Gallery of the Academy of Florence)

David by Michelangelo
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Address: Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy

One of the most important museums in the world, the Galleria Academy was founded in 1784 by Pietro Leopoldo, Grand Duke of Tuscany. This is the second-most visited museum in Florence behind the Uffizi Gallery, largely due to it being the home of Michelangelo’s famous David. Michelangelo’s David makes this museum worthwhile on its own, making it one of the best Florentine museums, even if copies of sculpture are seen everywhere in town and elsewhere in the world.

The Accademia is one of the places where viewers of Michelangelo’s sculptures can feel, and are inspired by, his artistic process. Also in the museum, in Galleria del David, there are four unfinished figures known as Michelangelo’s Slaves that he planned for the tomb of Pope Julius II, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The Galleria’s opening hours are from 8:15 am to 6:50 pm, with last admission at 6:20 pm. Purchase an admission ticket in advance and join a museum guided tour.

3. Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Museum)

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo Exhibit
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Address: Piazza del Duomo, 9, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

When in Florence, you must make sure to visit the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, or the Cathedral Museum. This is because it houses some of the most priceless paintings from the Cathedral of Florence, as well as originals of the most fragile works of art.

The Museum was founded in 1891 but in 2015 it was radically renovated. 6,000 square meters of surface structured into 28 beautiful rooms and divided over three floors.

Inside, you’ll find preserved, original masterpieces of art that over the course of seven centuries have decorated its walls: from Michelangelo to Donatello, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, and countless others.

The theme of the majority of the pieces is religious, but because of the different mediums used and the craftsmanship involved, the collection is quite diverse. You’ll find Michelangelo’s unfinished Pietà, early 15th-century marble galleries by Luca Della Robbia and Donatello, silk and bronze artworks, and more. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

A museum tour is available and the museum is open every day from 9 am to 7:45 pm and closed every first Tuesday of the month.

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4. Casa Buonarroti

Casa Buonarroti Exhibit
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Address: Via Ghibellina, 70, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

Casa Buonarroti, the former home of Michelangelo, is now a museum dedicated to the great artist’s work. Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger, Michelangelo’s great nephew, converted the 17th-century building into a museum, enlisting the help of some of the most important artists of that period.

The museum offers the pleasure of seeing two famous marble artworks, masterpieces of the young Michelangelo: the Madonna of the Stairs, an intense witness to his passionate study of Donatello, and the Battle of the Centaurs, a wonderful testimony of undying love for classical art.

Visitors to the museum can also see a number of drawings and sketches by Michelangelo, as well as some of his personal belongings. Casa Buonarroti is a must-see for any fan of Michelangelo’s work.

The museum is closed on Tuesdays, and open from 10 am to 4:30 pm.

5. Museo Galileo

Museo Galileo Building

Address: Piazza dei Giudici, 1, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

The Museo Galileo, or Galileo Museum, is dedicated to the history of science with a focus on the Medici family and their contributions to the Renaissance. You’ll find many interesting instruments used by Galileo and other scientists of his time, as well as artwork from the period.

The museum is located in Florence, and if you’re interested in the history of science, it’s definitely worth a visit. You can see globes, telescopes, sundials, and much more. The highlight for many visitors is the collection of Galilei’s instruments.

Museo Galileo is a fascinating museum that offers a guided tour and will give you a new appreciation for the achievements of the Medici family and the Renaissance scientists. The museum is open every day from 9:30 am to 6 pm, except on Tuesdays when it closes at 1 pm.

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6. Galleria Palatina

Galleria Palatina Exhibit
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Address: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy

The Galleria Palatina, or Palatine Gallery, houses one of the most remarkable art collections in the world. Housed in the Pitti Palace in Florence, the Galleria Palatina features an incredible array of paintings by Italian masters, including Giorgio Armando, Giulio Tintoretto, and Botticelli. In addition to these well-known names, the Galleria Palatina also features works by Rubens and Raphael, two of the most important artists of the Renaissance.

The Galleria Palatina is just one of three art galleries in the Pitti Palace; the other two are the Galleria d’Arte Moderna (Gallery of Modern Art) and the Museum of Costume and Fashion. There is also the Treasury, which is filled with gold and silver jewelry, as well as other Medici treasures. Visitors to the Galleria Palatina will be amazed not only by the quality of the paintings on display but also by the lavish decoration in the gallery itself.

The paintings and sculptures in the Galleria Palatina are not arranged chronologically; instead, they are displayed within the context of the rooms in which they were originally hung. Exhibits to see on a tour of the museum. As a result, visitors to the Galleria Palatina can get a true sense of what it would have been like to live in a Renaissance palace.

The Galleria is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 8:15 am to 6:30 pm, closed on Mondays.

7. Ospedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents)

Ospedale degli Innocenti Building

Address: Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, 12, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy

Ospedale degli Innocenti, or the Hospital of the Innocents, is a Renaissance building in Florence, Italy. It was designed by architect Filippo Brunelleschi and built-in 1419.

The Ospedale was originally established as a hospital for foundlings. Until 1875, a ruota, or revolving wooden wheel, was in the Ospedale’s portico so that mothers who wanted to leave their babies anonymously could do so without being seen.

The Ospedale is also known for its loggia, a column arcade with frescoes underneath the arches and in the lunettes above the doors. However, its most famous feature is the 10 glazed mosaics in terracotta that adorn its façade. If you’re ever in Florence, be sure to check out this fascinating piece of history!

The Ospedale is open every day from 10 am to 7 pm, and in the winter season from 11 am to 6 pm. You can book a guided tour of the museum.

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8. Museo Salvatore Ferragamo

Museo Salvatore Ferragamo Entrance

Address: Piazza di Santa Trinita, 5R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Named in honor of Salvatore Ferragamo, who had an incredibly important role in footwear design history, the museum is in the 13th century Palazzo Spini Ferroni.

Museo Salvatore Ferragamo was inaugurated in May 1995 thanks to the desire of the Ferragamo family not only to celebrate and to pay tribute to the creativity of the company’s founder, Salvatore Ferragamo, but also to make known to the public the artistic qualities of Ferragamo, the limitless imagination and inventions, which changed the role of footwear throughout the world.

The museum contains 10,000 models of shoes created and owned by Ferragamo from the 1920s until his death in 1960. Besides the permanent collection telling the brand’s story, the Museum offers exhibitions and temporary events.

The Salvatore Ferragamo museum is open every day from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm.

9. Galleria d’Arte Moderna (Gallery of Modern Art)

Galleria d’Arte Moderna Exhibit
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Address: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy

Palazzo Pitti used to be the largest palace in Europe when it was bought by the Medici family in 1549. It reflects the wealth and power of its owners over the centuries, the Medici family, who were among the most influential families in Italy.

Today, the Palazzo Pitti is a complex of museums with a rich collection of artworks spanning centuries. If you’re interested in Italian art, a tour of the Palazzo Pitti is a must-see.

The Gallery of Modern Art is housed in the former stables of the Palazzo Pitti and contains works by Antonio Canova, Francesco Hayez, Giacomo Balla, and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. The gallery also has a collection of fashion drawings from the 18th century to the 1920s.

The Galleria d’Arte Moderna is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:15 am to 6:30 pm, and closed on Mondays.

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10. Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace)

Palazzo Pitti Exterior

Address: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy

In addition to the Modern Art Gallery, there are several other museums housed in the Palazzo Pitti museum complex, including the Silver Museum, Porcelain Museum, and Costume Gallery.

So if you’re interested in Italian fashion, you can go shopping in the Costume Gallery, or the Galeria del Costume, which is located in the Palazzo Pitti complex. You can also take a tour of the royal apartments where you’ll get a first hand look of what it was like to live as a royal during the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Finally, don’t forget to explore the Boboli Gardens, one of the largest and most beautiful gardens in Italy. The Boboli Gardens are located behind the Palazzo Pitti and were originally created in the 16th century. Today, the garden is home to a number of sculptures, fountains, and grottoes, as well as an amphitheater where concerts and other events are held in the summer months.

The Palazzo Pitti is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:15 am to 6:30 pm, closed on Mondays.

11. Museo di Palazzo Vecchio

Museo di Palazzo Vecchio Building
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Address: Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

Palazzo Vecchio is one of the most famous buildings in Florence, and for good reason. It is a beautiful and historical building in Piazza Signoria that has been the city hall of Florence and was even used as a residence for the Medici family. It’s a wonderful example of Italian Renaissance architecture, and it’s also one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. You can book a guided tour of Palazzo Vecchio.

The Palazzo was originally built to house the city’s government officials but then transformed into a house for the Medici family, and today is one of Florence’s most iconic buildings. It is a towering symbol of the city’s rich and powerful past that stands as proud today as it did all those centuries ago.

The Palazzo Vecchio is located a just short walk from the Uffizi Gallery in the center of Florence, and is open every day, except Thursday, from 9 am to 7 pm (closes at 2 pm on Thursday). The Palazzo itself remains open for browsing till 10 pm.

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12. Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Firenze (Archeological Museum)

Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Firenze Entrance
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Address: Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, 9b, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy

The Medici family’s Museo Archeologico in Florence is based on the vast Etruscan artifacts collected during their time period. The collection of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities is also impressive. Not too far from the Accademia Museum, the Archaeological Museum is located in the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata inside a beautiful building.

The most incredible objects in this museum are the Etruscan treasures. If you love uncovering hidden gems and lesser-known works, make sure you also check out vast collection of some of the smaller objects on display throughout the museum. These include Roman mosaics, Greek vases, and a collection of amulets from the ancient world.

Make sure to visit the corridor upstairs where you can admire a wide variety of ancient gems from the Medici collections, and out back, the garden housing Etruscan tombs. When you visit Florence, be sure to check out this amazing museum for yourself.

13. Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Bargello National Museum)

Museo Nazionale del Bargello Building

Address: Via del Proconsolo, 4, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

The Bargello Museum is one of the oldest buildings in Florence, and it’s also one of the most important. This museum is home to a number of important Renaissance statues by famous artists like Michelangelo, Donatello, and Verocchio.

It was my favorite art museum in Florence because it generally wasn’t overcrowded with tourists but yet contained amazing art, exhibition rooms, and marble sculptures, including a different form of Michelangelo’s David done in bronze form (and much, much smaller than the main David).

If you’re interested in Italian Renaissance art, this is definitely the place to go and a museum to book a tour. The Bargello Museum is located near the Palazzo della Signoria, which is also home to the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery.

The museum has opening hours of Monday to Sunday, from 8:15 am until 5 pm.

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Final Thoughts

Florence is a city rich in history and culture, and its museums are a testament to that, featuring some of the most world-renowned museums such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze. From the Medici family’s Museo Archeologico to the Palazzo Pitti complex of museums, there is something for everyone when visiting Florence.

And what all of these museums have in common is that they showcase the best of Italian art, famous paintings, history, and culture. So if you’re planning a trip to Florence, be sure to add these unique museums to your itinerary.

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