Bargello Museum Tour

bargello museum tour

  • David by Donatello

  • Bacchus by Michelangelo

  • San Giorgio by Donatello

  • Dama col mazzolino by Verrocchio

  • Sculptures by Giambologna

Duration of the tour: 3 hours

Difficulty: low

Accessibility for different ables: yes

Suitable for children: yes

difference in level: 5 metri

Other important information at the bottom

One of the most important buildings of medieval Florence

The tour of the Bargello Museum allows you to fully understand Renaissance art in Florence. It is in fact not only through painting that one can come to appreciate that great season of cultural renewal known as Renaissance, but also and above all thanks to sculpture. If you come away from Florence without seeing the works of Donatello, Giambologna and Benvenuto Cellini, you would have only a partial idea of what Renaissance art was for this city.

Visiting the Bargello Museum also means immersing oneself in the lesser-known history of Florence, the one linked to the medieval era, when the town was an independent Commune which, thanks to its class of enterprising merchants, was beginning to assert itself as a great political and commercial power in Tuscany; at that time, the Bargello had an important function in Florence, since it was the Podestà’s palace.

bargello museum tour

The David by Andrea del Verrocchio

The elegant courtyard

Also in the Bargello is where some of the most dramatic events in Florentine history took place, such as the public execution of some of the conspirators who took part in the famous Pazzi’s conspiracy, at the time when the building had become the police headquarters town and also served as a prison.

The visit of the complex starts from its elegant courtyard, where we will already have the opportunity to appreciate some important sculptural works, starting with Giambologna’s Neptune (originally in the Boboli Garden), or the elegant fountain by Bartolomeo Ammannati with the representation of Juno together with other allegorical figures that were made to furnish the Salone dei Cinquecento.

The Carrand Collection and the astonishing Donatello’s hall

Going up to the first floor of the building, we discover the wonderful Carrand Collection, a series of precious paintings, ivory sculptures and jewellery objects that in the nineteenth-century were purchased by the French collector Louis Carrand who, then donating them to the museum, went on creating the first nucleus of Bargello works. Carrand also wanted a medieval-looked refurbishment for the rooms of this building, a thing that has certainly helped to create a suggestive atmosphere to the visitor.

Adjacent to the Carrand rooms is the Chapel of the Palace where, in a fourteenth-century fresco by the Giotto school, it is possible to recognize one of the earliest preserved Dante Alghieri’s portrayals. After seeing the Palace Chapel, we go to visit what is the highlight of the museum: the Donatello’s hall.

This imposing space was the ancient Podestà’s hall and today appears as a majestic environment in which some of the greatest Florentine quattrocento sculptural masterpieces are kept, such as the David by Donatello, the San Giorgio – also by Donatello –, the David by Andrea del Verrocchio, and the beautiful glazed terracottas by Luca della Robbia. Leaving the room, we will be in a loggia known as del Verone, a space where you can admire the beautiful bronze birds made by Giambologna and destined for some of the Medici family’s villas. By accessing the second floor, we will have the opportunity to see the precious delicacy of the Dama col mazzolino (the Lady with small bunch of flowers), a celebrated marble work by Andrea del Verrocchio.

David by Donatello

The David by Donatello

verrocchio

The Dama col mazzolino by Andrea del Verrocchio

The masterpieces by Michelangelo and Bernini

The other important artist present in the Bargello collections – an absolute protagonist of Baroque sculpture that you would never have thought to find in Florence – is the great Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Of the Roman sculptor we can admire here the bust of Costanza Bonarelli, a marble work whose rendering of the woman’s portrait – who was the artist’s lover – is characterized by a great sensual charge. From the second floor we return to the ground floor to visit the last room of the museum, the one dedicated to Michelangelo. It is here where we will be able to admire some works by the great Florentine artist, including his first full relief sculpture – the Bacchus – together with other works, such as the Tondo Pitti and the Apollo-David.

The works by Benvenuto Cellini and Giambologna

The Michelangelo’s room also preserves important masterpieces of sixteenth-century Florentine sculpture, such as the works by Benvenuto Cellini. Of this artist – one of the most important European sculptors and goldsmiths of that time – we will see the extremely elegant Ganymede and the original pedestal of the Perseus located in Piazza della Signoria.

We conclude the tour of the Bargello Museum with the works by Giambologna. Artist of Belgian origin – whose name was Italianized from the French “Jean de Boulogne” –, Giambologna was one of the undisputed protagonists of Florentine art in the second half of the sixteenth-century. Of this sculptor, able to master with great skill both marble and bronze, we will see the statues of Mercury and Florence subjugating Pisa. The latter is a work that, thanks to its ‘screwed’ line, is the emblem of a sculpture evolution from the initial ‘frontal’ models towards more and more complex elaborations, even getting to prelude what will be the spectacular Baroque sculpture results in the following century.

The rooms are many, the works of art are wonderful: as you will see, the tour in the Bargello Museum remains an unmissable experience if you want to ‘savour’ the very essence of Florentine history and, above all, of Renaissance plastic art.

Michelangelo Florence

The Bacchus by Michelangelo

donatello tour

The San Giorgio by Donatello

This tour can also be combined with the other available tours on Florence and Siena and which can be consulted in the Menu.

The guide is not a tourist agency; therefore he cannot book external services but only provide information for external services.

The guide does not provide private transportation service. For organized groups by touristic bus, there are drop-off/drop-on points for passengers in the centre of Florence (click here to view all the points). Touristic buses are subject to the payment of a checkpoint (further information by clicking here). 

The entrance ticket to the Bargello Museum is not included in the tour rate. There is a cumulative ticket for this museum which also allows to access the other museums managed by the Bargello (more information here)  A convenient way to access the museums and to use Florentine public transport is by the Firenze Card.

To get further information about the tour, or to get the contact of a licensed driver providing private transfer service, write to:

info@guidaturistica-michelebusillo.com

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  • Michele Busillo

    Official tourist guide of Florence and Siena
    P.Iva: 05245900658
    Pec: michele.busillo@pec.it
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    Contacts

    To get more information about the visit, to have a quotation of customized itinerary, please contact me at:
    Mail: info@guidaturistica-michelebusillo.com
    Mobile: +39 3332591526

    About me

    My name is Michele Busillo and I am an official tourist guide of Florence and Siena, in Italian, English and Spanish language. I live in Chianti, midway between Florence, the cradle of Renaissance, and Siena, the city of the Palio. I love passing on the others my excitement of my job, accompanying people to discover the beauties and the secrets of Tuscany…

    Copyright © 2018 by Guida Turistica Michele Busillo

    Michele Busillo Tourist guide enabled for the territory of Siena and FlorenceTourist guide in Tuscany, enabled for Siena and FlorenceTour of Florence walking through the elegant historical center of the city.