National Museum of Saint Mathew

National Museum of Saint Mathew, Pisa: Hours, Address, National Museum of Saint Mathew Reviews: 4.5/5

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National Museum of Saint Mathew

National Museum of Saint Mathew
4.5
Temporarily closedClosed until further notice
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National Museum of San Matteo, which is housed in the Benedictine Monastery, features a group of paintings from the 12th- to 18th- centuries, and a rich collection of sculpture from the Pisano School.
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4.5
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MissAnthropologist
Oxford, UK28 contributions
Oct 2021
This museum is a hidden treasure, possibly a little bit too well hidden. However, it is well worth seeking out and the quiet of the museum's galleries is a welcome respite from the tourist madness of the Campo dei Miracoli. The museum currently allows entry a few times per day on weekdays and Saturdays and just two entry times on a Sunday. Furthermore, management limits capacity to 15 people per time slot, so make sure you arrive well ahead of the entry time or reserve a space by phone. Once inside, you will be glad that you made the effort as the collection is of the highest quality, with notable works by Pisan, Sienese and Tuscan masters of the medieval and Renaissance periods, including a spectacular reliquary sculpted by Donatello. The museum is also very well curated, with educational commentary noting significant trends and artistic developments, without ever being too dry or didactic.
Written October 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Edmond Marc d
Iroquois, Canada30 contributions
Apr 2019
This is a hidden gem by its collection of Pisan/Tuscan medieval art, in a gorgeous setting around a cloister by the Arno River. The vast majority of tourists just get of the train, head to the Piazza dei Miracoli and the Leaning Tower and go away to the crowded museums of Florence.
Unfortunately, the Museum doesn't care for visitors. I even heard that the curators claim that the museum should be for specialists...!
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Roving5040
Owestry, England1 contribution
The collection of early Italian art here seriously rivals the Uffizi.
In fact, if you can forget the fact that many items are by provinicial artists rather than the Big Names, it eclipses the best galleries in the world.
Written October 5, 2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chloe Lim
Oxford, UK87 contributions
Apr 2018 • Couples
We barely saw anyone else in the museum while we were there! It was such a hidden gem and we loved spending an afternoon here learning about the history, architecture and art of Pisa. This is really worthwhile, and the collection boasts 12th-13th century painted crucifixes, the statues moved from the Chisea di Santa Maria della Spina and other artefacts from the currently closed Duomo museum. Only cost us 2 euros each for students.
Written April 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jacw2000
Bristol, UK856 contributions
Jul 2016 • Couples
North bank of the river. It's a former convent or monastery, and a nice place to stroll round. Not mobbed by the hordes which visit the Piazza dei Miracoli. In fact we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

The courtyard / cloisters was a bit worn out. Its best friend might call it shabby chic. The golden Reliquary of San Rossore by Donatello is the museum's big thing, and rightly so. Be sure not to miss that. (It's gilded bronze rather than solid gold, if you were thinking of stuffing it into your rucksack...)
Written September 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

valnowell
Nantwich, UK115 contributions
Apr 2016 • Couples
If you are keen on thirteenth and fourteenth century religious art - and I am - then the collection is of a surprisingly high quality. But you will need to have a high tolerance for rooms full of Virgins and Childs with Saints and for depictions of the Crucifixion. There is one room at the end of the tour with a few nice Renaissance pieces - Ghirlandaio and Gozzoli for example- but the collection's focus is predominantly late Medieval. I know there's a kind of belief currently that people visit Pisa only to gawp at the Leaning Tower and then rush heedlessly on into Tuscany and the Renaissance, thus missing this hidden gem, but I'm not too sure about this. I honestly don't know just how many people actually enjoy fourteenth century church paintings and sculpture and this is what this museum is about. Of course, this does produce one huge advantage - the place is virtually empty and you can have it almost to yourself: a treat indeed in Italian art galleries. (When we visited a week ago, there more guards than tourists.) Once past the rather forlorn and crumbling courtyard, the interior is well fit for purpose and the collection is carefully and imaginatively curated. The narrow room flanked on both sides by dimly lit medieval wooden statues is positively creepy. So - I really don't know, although I kind of can understand it, why more people don't visit this museum, but I'm very glad that I did.
Written May 7, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AllyMac46
Worcester Park, UK19 contributions
Sep 2019
We were lucky to arrive 10 minutes before opening times. It only opens for 15 minutes every two hours to let people in - not sure why. However we were the only two people going round so like a private viewing. Great medieval church art and some OK sculptures. Unfortunately lots of little black flies in ground floor sculpture room so we were bitten to death. I still have the red marks! Just the right amount of art to enjoy. Worth a visit plus church next door.
Written September 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Renato T
New York City, NY27 contributions
Jun 2018 • Solo
Spent two hours viewing the exhibits; only three other people were there during my visit. It was an experience akin to meditation. There was no rush to try to see everything and no one elbowing you to move along.
Written June 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Simon C
Neston, UK147 contributions
Mar 2016 • Friends
Having watched Italy uncovered, Locateli and Graham-Dixon recommended this museum highly and they were not wrong. For 1 1/2 hours we had the place to ourselves to examine and enjoy some of the best Renaissance Art gathered in one place. Just brilliant and enjoyable I would put it above the crowds at the Leaning Tower of Pisa as the place to go to Pisa for.
Written March 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tom L
Berkeley, CA33 contributions
Oct 2015 • Friends
Reviewers cannot resist the word, and for good reason. Italy's premier collections are normally mobbed. This one you can have to yourself. Once you find this 11th century nunnery, your first impression is that restoration has yet to begin. But once through the front door, brilliant museum spaces open up with careful lighting and illuminating texts on the walls in both Italian and English. There cannot be more inviting galleries of 13-14th century works, especially of wood sculpture, seen here with stage lighting that makes for a performance. Even visitors who are sure they have seen one too many crucifixion scenes in Italy will want to spend time with these. The collection of Romanesque stone capitals from local churches is as impressive as the display in Toulouse and, for that matter, the Louvre. Uniquely, the National Museum has the Islamic ceramics that Pisa gathered in its military and trading adventures and used to decorate local churches. If you have to choose between the two unheralded museums along the Arno in Pisa, Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Reale and this one, Museo Nazionale di San Matteo, it is the old home of the nuns that you want to visit.
Written October 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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National Museum of Saint Mathew is open:
  • Sun - Sun 8:30 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Tue - Sat 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
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