Below are some of our most recent entries posted in the Museums category - use the links at the end of the page to access all the articles individually.
This information was updated on January 16, 2012
New dates for visiting the Vasari Corridor have just been announced - it is now scheduled to be open from January 17th to April 27th, 2012.
There are currently two ways to see the Corridor - do it yourself as described here, most likely with an Italian speaking guide (except on Fridays as mentioned in the comments below), or booking with a tour company. The first option is cheaper - but will take some diligence in calling Italy, the second is more expensive, but much easier.
The official website of the "Corridoio Vasariano" is here: http://www.uffizi.firenze.it/en/musei/index.php?m=vasariano.
If you want to try to make a reservation, call immediately - the Italian country code is 39, and the number to call is 055 294883. The best part - tickets are only €10.50 plus a €4 reservation fee.
Since we are Friends of the Uffizi (I will post about this soon) our entrance is actually free, and we will only have to pay the 4 euro reservation fee on the day we visit. Good luck!
Alternatively, if the tour sells out, or you can not get through, there is a tour company selling guided tours in English. This is a more expensive option, but it may be your last and best chance to see the corridor for years if it closes for renovations (as planned - but not done yet for a lack of funding).
The museum was founded by Frederick Stibbert (1836 - 1906), who was born into a huge inheritance from his grandfather and did not work for the rest of his life. Instead of working, Frederick Stibbert dedicated his life to collecting various objects, antiques, and artifacts and turned his villa into a museum. When the size of the collections outgrew the villa, Stibbert hired architect Giuseppe Poggi, painter Gaetano Bianchi and sculptor Passaglia to add on rooms. In 1906, when Stibbert died, his collection was given to the city of Florence and was opened to the public.
The villa has 57 rooms that exhibit all of Stibbert's collections from around the world. Most of the walls are covered in leather and tapestries and the rooms are crowded with artifacts. Paintings are displayed throughout every room, including still lifes and portraits. There is also valuable furniture, porcelains, Tuscan crucifixes, Etruscan artifacts, and an outfit worn by Napoleon I of France. It also contains around 12,000 pieces of European, Oriental, Islamic, Japanese arms and armour from the 15th century through the 19th century. The Cavalcade room is a grand hall filled with 14th-16th century knights on horseback and 14 foot soldiers dressed in armour and holding weapons. The collection of Samurai armour contains over 80 suits and hundreds of swords.
The museum is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10-14, and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10-18. Closed on Thursday.
This museum was a property owned by Michelangelo. The house was converted into a museum dedicated to the artist by his great nephew, Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger. Its collections include two of Michelangelo's earliest sculptures, the Madonna of the Steps and the Battle of the Centaurs. The museum also houses paintings, sculptures, majolicas and archaeological sections.
The museum is open everyday except Tuesday from 9:30-14.
Orsanmichele is one of the most unique buildings in Florence and a great source of Florentine civic pride. It is famously known for the sculptures of saints placed in the niches or tabernacles on all four sides of the church by the various guilds of Florence. Executed between 1340 and 1602, together they form a timeline of gothic and renaissance art that is perhaps unrivaled in one location. The first sculpture, of St. Stephen by Andrea Pisano, was executed in 1340 - 150 years before Columbus discovered America - the last, St. Luke by Giambologna - was completed over 260 years later.
The Orsanmichele Museum is currently open on Mondays only from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Via Arte della Lana 1
The Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore is a lay institution founded by the Republic of Florence in 1296 to superintend the construction of the new Cathedral and the Campanile. As of 1436, the year in which Brunelleschi's dome was completed and the church was consecrated, the principal task of the Opera became that of conserving the monumental complex which was joined in 1777 by the Baptistry of San Giovanni and in 1891 by the Museum (Museo dell'Opera del Duomo - photo below) founded to house the works of art which, in the course of centuries, had been removed from the Duomo and the Baptistry. The museum is in Piazza Duomo, behind the dome.
The collection boasts masterpieces that range from the 14th to the end of the 16th centuries, and is characterized by the fact it is forced to expand continually as the result of the impossibility of conserving many other monuments in the open air where they are exposed to atmospheric pollution. The most famous work of art in the Museum is Michelangelo's Pietà which he had sculpted for his own tomb.
The museum is open Monday to Friday from 8-19 and on Saturday from 8-2.
In 1738 Niccolò and Giuseppe Maria Martelli employed the architect Bernardo Ciurini to transform several houses into the present palace. The interior was decorated in the taste of the period with paintings by Vincenzo Meucci, Bernardo Minozzi and Niccolò Conestabile, and stucco ornamentation by Giovan Martino Portogalli. The fine collection of art works belonging to the family was arranged in a specially designed suite of rooms. This is the last example of an 18th-century Florentine collection, with the exception of the Corsini collection, that has been preserved intact.
The paintings include works by Piero di Cosimo, Beccafumi, Salvator Rosa, Luca Giordano and Netherlandish painting of the 17th century.
The Museum is open for guided tours on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings only, and you must have a reservation (€3 - but the "ticket" is free), made by calling 055 294883. You can not walk up and enter without a prior reservation. Via Zannetti is a small side street less than five minutes from the Duomo area.
Casa Martelli Museum
Via Ferdinando Zannetti, 8
50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 294883
Update: This museum has been renamed (and reopened after a major renovation) as the Museo Galileo on June 11, 2010.
The (former) Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza in Florence is one of the foremost international institutions in the history of science. Founded in 1927, the Museum is heir to a five century-long tradition of scientific collecting, which has its origins in the central importance assigned to scientists and scientific instruments by the Medici and Lorraine families.
The Institute has been continuously involved in research into topics connected with the history of science and technology as well as the history of scientific instruments, collections and museums.
Piazza dei Giudici, 1
50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 265 311
Official website: http://www.museogalileo.it
Stefano Bardini, an art dealer known for his flair for Renaissance art and his love of blue painted walls, donated his life's labor and the building he housed it all in to the city of Florence in 1922.
The museum houses some of the most unique Renaissance art in Europe. Highlights of the collection include Roman sarcophagi, delicate wooden sculptures, and works attributed to Donatello and Pisano. Newer acquisitions now grace the halls as well as many others thought to be from between the 12th and 15th centuries. All are presented in a unique setting where columns, altars, and even stairs from original Romanesque and Renaissance-era buildings lend the museum's spaces an authentic, ethereal feel.
The museum is open from Saturday to Monday from 11-17.
Via dei Renai, 37 (Ponte alle Grazie)
Florence, Italy 5100
+39 055 2342427
This palace had belonged to the Albertis and then the Corsis who gave it its present appearance at the end of the fifteenth century. With its balanced and elegant exterior and its restrained courtyard.
The museum reflects its owner's taste in layout; Horne was a man of letters, an architect and a critic of some standing who came to Florence at the end of the last century to study the Italian Renaissance. He particularly favored works of art, furniture, ornamental and useful household objects, the contents in fact of the type of Florentine home which he wished to recreate for himself. The result was a large and rich collection, which has been recently rearranged after the damage of the flood of 1966 and which preserves the character of an inhabited home. The most precious piece is the painting representing "St. Stephen" by Giotto. The sculptures include works by Desiderio da Settignano, Giambologna and the "Angels in Glory" by Bernini.
The museum is open from 9-13 from Monday to Saturday.
The museum occupies a vast area of the Dominican convent and offers visitors an example of a perfectly preserved 15th century convent, based on the rational and harmonious plan inspired by Bruschelleschi's innovations. The complex also contains the works of Fra' Angelico, one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance. A Dominican monk, he closely collaborated with Michelozzo and his pupils to create the fresco of the large alms-house, the refectory, the cloister and the monks' cells on the first floor.
Other works by Fra Angelico, of various provenance, were assembled here in the 20th century, resulting in a remarkable collection of the artist's works. There is also an important collection of 16th-century paintings including numerous works by Fra Bartolomeo. The museum has a section devoted to fragments of sculpture and architecture from buildings of the city center which were demolished in the 19th century.
The museum is open from Monday to Friday from 8:15 to 13:50 and on Saturday and Sunday from 8:15 to 16:50.
Museum of San Marco
Piazza San Marco, 1
Florence, Italy 50123
+39 055 294883