18 Dec 2013 Museums in Florence (and nearby): top 7
No visit to Tuscany would be complete without an overview of the many wonderful works of art in Florence. If you’re visiting during high season (April-October), advance reservations are a good idea for the most popular museums. Reservations can usually be made online. If you’re on a tight schedule, check the hours of any museums you plan to visit shortly before you go, as hours can change without warning. In general, Sundays and Mondays are not good days to visit museums in Florence, as many are closed or have reduced hours on those days. Discounted tickets are available at most museums.
1. UFFIZI GALLERY
Perhaps the first stop on the discerning traveler’s Florentine art itinerary is the Uffizi Gallery, Italy’s most-visited museum. You’ll want to spend about three hours here, falling in love with Italy’s Old Masters and seeing such well-known works as Botticelli’s Primavera and Birth of Venus and Filippino Lippi’s Madonna and Child with Two Angels. The Uffizi is open from 8:15 a.m.-6:50 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday. Tickets are about 6.50 euro, slightly higher if you book online.
You might plan a trip to the Accademia Gallery on the same day as your Uffizi visit. The Accademia is almost as popular with tourists as the Uffizi, so advance reservations are advised if you don’t want to risk long lines. Hours are 8:15 a.m.-6:50 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday, and a ticket runs around 6.50 euro. Plan on spending about an hour and a half enjoying Michelangelo’s sculptures the David and his unfinished “Slaves.” Don’t miss Botticelli’s paintings Madonna of the Sea and Madonna and Child.
3. BARGELLO MUSEUM
The Bargello Museum, inside Florence’s oldest public building, is another must-see for many, and the highlights can be viewed in just an hour or so. Here you’ll see Donatello’s early marble David and more mature bronze David, as well as several masterpieces by Michelangelo. Hours are 8:15 a.m.-1:50 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and some Mondays.
4. PITTI PALACE
If possible, don’t miss the Pitti Palace (8.50 euro) and the adjacent majestic, sculpture-filled Boboli Gardens (7 euro), which together should take three to four hours to tour. Inside the grand Pitti Palace, former home of the Medici family, you’ll tour the Palatine Gallery and the Royal Apartments. While strolling through the Boboli Gardens, try not to miss the Medusa Shield and Cigoli’s whimsical Dwarf Morgante. To visit the Palace and Gardens together, plan to go between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday.
5. GALILEO MUSEUM AND LEONARDINO VINCI
For all the children, try not to fail to see the Galileo Museum and the Leonardiano Vinci one, which are both dedicated to two great scientists and personalities of the Italian history: Galileo Galilei and Leonardo da Vinci.
Consider a Friends of the Uffizi Membership (around 100 euro for a family of four) if you’re looking for a museum pass in Florence. With this card, which is good for a year, you won’t need reservations and can still skip the long lines. For an insider’s experience, Ticket Florence offers the possibility to book online the tickets and gives you all the information you need to plan your cultural trip in Tuscany.
6. LUGNARNO SIMONELLI
If you’re interested in museums in Pisa, the city best known for its Leaning Tower, consider stopping by the Lungarno Simonelli Museum. Housed here are restored wooden Roman ships and riverboats and many artifacts they once contained. Hours are 10-1 and 2-6, Tuesday-Sunday.
Nearby, archaeology and ceramics fans should consider the Etruscan Academy Museum of Cortona (closed Mondays) or the Museum of Alabaster in Volterra. These are considered an Italian cultural heritage, thanks to the great work done by AMAT, whose main purpose is to development and give value to the museums and archaeological parks in Tuscany
Whatever you choose, take some time to enjoy the diversity of cultural riches in beautiful Tuscany!