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“An intriguing way to see Renaissance art work” 4 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 #12 of 213 Attractions in Florence
Type: Government Buildings, Historic Sites, Art Museums, Museums
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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.
Amman, Jordan
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“An intriguing way to see Renaissance art work”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

i think the Bargello Museum is often overlooked but really it is a charming way to see some very important crafts and artwork of the Renaissance--and earlier. It doesn't have the lines--but get your ticket ahead! The Bargello was a jail, but today as you enter the open courtyard immediately you catch the ambiance. The September day we visited it was awash in sunlight, with dramatic shadows over the open corridor up the flight of stairs that joins the two sections of the building. It was exciting to see the masterpieces of Rafael's sculpture, and to also see the lovely fabric and needlework from that era. Inside the rooms are bright so you can see the details of the artwork, and the public restrooms are easily accessible and clean. This is a wonderful experience to see on your own some of the masterpieces of not only painting and sculpture, but also architectural elements of some of the famous buildings in Florence. From there it was a short walk to Il Doumo, and the square---Don't miss it!

Visited September 2012
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Brisbane, Australia
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33 attraction reviews
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93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Amazing selection of art without the queues”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013 via mobile

Enjoyed an hour here exploring the delights on offer without the queues in an amazing historical building dating from 1255. Sculptures tend to predominate however there are also collections of ivories, Renaissance jewels and Islamic art. Not bad value for 4€. Unfortunately the second floor was closed the day I visited.

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London, United Kingdom
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53 reviews 53 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
111 helpful votes 111 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
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23 reviews 23 reviews
12 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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451 attraction reviews
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2,202 helpful votes 2,202 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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