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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: Dark Mysteries and Legends Guided Walking Tour

2. 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: 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: 1.5-Hour Bargello Museum Private Tour

4. Florence: 1.5-Hour Bargello Museum Private Tour

The Bargello Palace is one of the foremost art collections in the world, and today with your private guide you'll have the chance to experience the art in a personal, up-close way that is simply impossible with large group tours. We enter into the fortress, a marvel in its own right, to experience some of the greatest Renaissance masterpieces Florence has to offer. You will have a chance to see the David and St. George by Donatello, the Bacchus and the Round Pitti by Michelangelo, Mercury by Giambologna, just to name a few! The museum makes a nice alternate after having visited the highly touristed Uffizi Galleries, and for a true Florence Art experience, there is no better place to be than the Bargello's halls. The building itself was constructed during the Italian Middle Ages (1200s). Originally called Palazzo del Podestà, it is the oldest public building in Florence. You will have a chance to explore its history and splendor at your own pace with your private guide!

Florence: Walking Tour and Bargello Museum

5. 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

6. 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.

Florence: Private 4-Hour Walking Tour with Eugenia Gasheeva

7. 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.

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: Accademia & Bargello Museum Ultimate David Tour

9. 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. Leave with a better understanding of the artworks that you’re most interested in with a personalized tour.

Florence: Private Guided Walking Tour with Eugenia Gasheeva

10. Florence: Private Guided Walking Tour with Eugenia Gasheeva

Learn about Florence's rich history with Eugenia on a guided walking tour. Walk through the iconic Piazza dei Signori, see the Palazzo Bargello, and stroll through Dante's Quarter with a local guide. Meet Eugenia at the Piazza della Repubblica and hear how Florence began as a small village and evolved into a cultural and economic center of Europe. Get closer to the Duomo (Florence Cathedral) and gaze at its magnificence. Discover why the Florentines built this massive building, and hear the secrets of the church and its dome. Learn how to read the reliefs on the baptistery doors and the meaning of Giotto's Bell Tower decoration and statues. Next, head to the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, and learn how the Medici rose to power. Stroll through the medieval streets of Dante's Quarter and see historic tower houses and the ex-prison of Bargello. Walk out onto Florence's famous Piazza dei Signori and marvel at the Palazzo Vecchio, the city's long-time center of political power. Hear about the square's evolution and see the ruins of previous buildings. As you walk past the square's many statues, hear from Eugenia what they represent and who created them. Continue walking through town and hear about the later generations of Medici and why they constructed the Uffizi and Vasari corridors. Finish your tour with a visit to the iconic Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge). Stroll across the bridge, learn its long history, and enjoy the many jewelry shops.

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What people are saying about National Museum of Bargello

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 475 reviews

Absolutely wonderful. Best Tour Ever. Eva is absolutely dedicated and extremely knowledgeable. She was caring, thoughtful and aware of the right pace and the family needs. I strongly recommend a this tour. Eva is the definition of a perfect guide.

What a wonderful tour for those interested in dark history, legends etc! Angela our host was fantastic, she kept our group hooked from the start. I would absolutely recommend this tour!

Kathleen was a great tour guide! It was a change from all the churches, etc. Recommend!

This was a very interesting tour and our guide was very informative. Thank you!

Instructions were very thorough and easy to get there and reedeem tickets...