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National Museum of Bargello

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. 

Best of Florence: 2-Hour Walking Tour

2. 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: Bargello Museum Tour

3. 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: Duomo Complex Guided Tour

4. Florence: Duomo Complex Guided Tour

Discover the heart of Florence and learn all the secrets and the history that lies behind the Duomo Complex. Climb up the dome for a breathtaking view from the top. 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. Finally, 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: Dark Mysteries and Legends Guided Walking Tour

5. Florence: Dark Mysteries and Legends Guided Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the macabre side of Florence on this guided walking tour. Hear about local superstitions, conspiracies, saints, and miracles. Find out about the bloody serial killer known as the Monster of Florence and engage with unsettling topics like mysteries and torture. Meet your guide near the statue of General Fanti in the centrally-located Piazza San Marco. Make your way to the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata where you can admire the design created by Brunelleschi, the father of Renaissance architecture.  Pass through the colorful Via dei Servi street on your way to marvel at the iconic dome on the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Connect with the city's dark past as you walk along old streets like Via del Campanile, Via dello Studio, Via del Corso, Via Santa Margherita, and Via Proconsolo. Admire the Italian Gothic architecture of the Palazzo del Bargello and enter the political heart of the city at Piazza della Signoria. End your tour at the famed Ponte Vecchio bridge.

Florence: Private 4-Hour Walking Tour with Eugenia Gasheeva

6. Florence: Private 4-Hour Walking Tour with Eugenia Gasheeva

Discover Florence with a local on a private guided tour with Eugenia Gasheeva. Stand on the famous Piazza dei Signori, stroll across the Ponte Vecchio, and see the Duomo Complex. Begin your journey through Florence in the Piazza della Repubblica with Eugenia. Hear how a small village became one of the power centers of Renaissance Europe. Stroll through the narrow streets and hear about the ups and downs of Florence's fascinating history. Discover why the Renaissance began in Florence, and see the buildings and statues from this period of artistic evolution. Head to the Palazzo Medici and hear about the underhanded techniques of the powerful Medici family. Continue through the city and hear what caused the downfall of the Medici Dynasty and who benefited from the power vacuum. Stop in front of the massive Florence Cathedral and learn about its Giotto Bell Tower and famous Dome. As you walk through the city, stop to visit modern artisan workshops. Finish your tour with a stunning view of the city and river from the Ponte Vecchio. Before you leave Eugenia, get some local tips on the best restaurants and bars in town.

Florence: Highlights Guided Walking Tour

7. 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

8. 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: Walking Tour and Bargello Museum

9. 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 Self-Guided Audio Tour

10. Florence Self-Guided Audio Tour

Discover the Cradle of the Renaissance at your own pace using our APP or 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. 

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What people are saying about National Museum of Bargello

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 575 reviews

Our guide was fabulous! The passion that Ciarre feels for her home city of Florence was clearly evident throughout the tour. She shared historical information with us that would not typically be found in travel guides or history books. Ciarre interwove facts with myths and legends in such a manner that all seemed believable. This, and her enthusiasm for the subject, are what made the tour so incredibly fascinating. My husband and I agreed that this was one of the most interesting tours we experienced during our stay in Italy. We highly recommend this tour.

Andrea took over when our other guide couldn’t make it. He is very knowledgeable and showed us the heart of Florence. It would have been nice to sit down a couple of times for a few minutes to hear what he had to say, as we are both over 60/70 and three hours is a lot of time to stand/walk.

Hello, today the professionalism, seriousness and friendliness of our guide Alessio has enriched us with history and anecdotes in the streets of splendid Florence. We highly recommend it. Thanks Alexis

Really wonderful and memorable museum. Loved the open space and time allotted.

Walking tour organized in detail, two hours without getting bored.