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“Much better than the Uffizi” 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
055 238 8606
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Ranked #16 of 224 Attractions in Florence
Type: Art Museums, Historic Sites, Government Buildings
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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.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
“Much better than the Uffizi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

If you have time to see only two museums in Florence - go to the Academia and Bargello. Uffizi is tired, crowded, and not even comparable I really don't know what the fuss is about. You don't have to be a sculpture nut to go to Bargello. The building itself is a gem. It is the oldest public building in Florence and used to be a palace, a police station and a prison. The courtyard is adorned with sculptures, coat of arms and other beautiful objects. Every piece is a masterpiece, carefully chosen and well-kept. Frankly I was disappointed with the so-called "Gallery of Statutes" in the Uffizi. Go to Bargello, sit on the bench in front of the "Fisherboy" or the "Juno and Two Peacocks", and you'll appreciate the art of sculpture like you've never had before.

Visited February 2013
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atlanta
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“My favorite over the Uffizi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

It really depends on what you are looking for in the museums but everything about the Bargello is worth exploring. It has many famous pieces by Donatello and the courtyard is a place of pure loveliness.

Visited November 2012
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Warren, Massachusetts
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426 attraction reviews
Reviews in 256 cities Reviews in 256 cities
2,197 helpful votes 2,197 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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34 reviews 34 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
21 helpful votes 21 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 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 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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