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“Breathtaking Collection of Renaissance Sculpture” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Bargello Museum)

Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Bargello Museum)
Via del Proconsolo 4, 50122 Florence, Italy (Duomo)
055 238 8606
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Private Tour
$106*
and up
Private Tour: Florence Sightseeing Tour
Ranked #19 of 427 things to do in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Housed in the Palazzo del Podesta (1255 AD) as the residence of Florence's chief magistrate, this museum houses an unrivalled collection of Italian Renaissance sculpture.
Warren, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
832 reviews
497 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,380 helpful votes
“Breathtaking Collection of Renaissance Sculpture”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

The Bargello is a veritable fortress built in 1255 to serve as Florence's first city hall. It was later turned over to the chief of police who used the structure as a prison. Executions used to be held in the internal courtyard until the death penalty was abolished in 1786. It became a national museum in 1865.

Dedicated to Renaissance sculpture, the Bargello has immense galleries on three floors and also in the courtyard. One room is dedicated to Michelangelo. Here you can see his very early round bas relief of a Madonna and Child as well as his first freestanding sculpture - a rather drunken looking Bacchus. There is also his bust of Brutus, the only portrait bust he produced during his long career. This gallery suffered terrible damage in the 1966 flood and has been completely renovated since that time. Here you can also see several bronzes by Cellini.

The first floor houses two splendid bronzes by Donatello - his St. George and his David - the David is very different from Michelangelo's. Donatello depicts a very thin, almost androgynous youth wearing a helmet and wielding a sword almost as tall as he is. Also in this room are bas-reliefs depicting the Sacrifice of Isaac by Brunelleschi and by Ghiberti. Both of these were entered in the competition for the contract for the Baptistery doors. Other galleries are dedicated to the decorative arts of Renaissance Florence. Here you'll see silver, ceramics, glass, metalwork, rugs, cut velvets, and other applied arts. You could spend hours in these rooms. These are a feast for the senses. After many visits to Florence, this was my first time in this museum. I'll be back to digest more of this splendid collection. Please note that no photos are allowed in the galleries, but can be taken in the courtyard without flash.

Visited November 2012
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Gravesend, United Kingdom
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60 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“This Museum is a gem!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

If you love sculpture as I do then this museum is a must see. Reasonably priced and housing some wonderful statues, Zeus, Jason and the Golden Fleece, Donatello's Davids and many, many more...don't miss it!

Visited February 2013
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Vancouver, Canada
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10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fantastic gallery and great value”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

This converted palazzo is just gorgeous and being tucked away can be easily missed. If you like sculpture and architecture this is the perfect combination and at €4 is most definitely worth a long visit. Sit in the courtyard for a while and enjoy the arrangements of the various coats of arms or spend some time indoors where you can see some amazing bronze and marble sculptures by the likes of Donatello.

Visited February 2013
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Coppell, Texas
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23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Underappreciated!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

Houses many tpieces of art that Uffizi could not hold. They have done an amazing job of restoring pieces of art with great care. It is very diverse in its collection. Once a prison and then a police station you can see the many transformations it went through to becoming a great galleria!

Visited January 2013
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London
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20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Sheer delight but”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

why oh why does delight so often turn to disappointment when one discovers that the top floor is so often closed, at all times of the year. If one is lucky someone will know when it might be open but mostly it is a secret and a shame. This deprives the visitor of so much pleasure but particularly of the finest examples of Della Robbias work. Apart from the obvious delights on the ground and first floor don't miss the Umbrian painted figures on the first floors and the carved ivory travelling alters.

Visited January 2013
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