Bargello National Museum Overview

The Palazzo del Bargello, also known as the Bargello Palace or Gallery, is a former palace in Florence, Italy. It houses the Bargello National Museum, which consists of a large collection of sculptures by Italian artists from the 14th to the 17th century. The palace was built in 1255 and houses the largest collection of Renaissance and Gothic sculptures in Italy. In 1859, after the unification of Italy, it became a national museum.

Bargello National Museum in Florence is one of the oldest public buildings in the city. It was once a prison and now houses some of the world’s finest sculptures from the Renaissance period. The museum is small and intimate, making it the perfect place to see some of the most important works by artists such as Michelangelo, Donatello, and Ghiberti.

The Bargello National Museum was built in 1255 as a private residence for Florence’s powerful political leader, Farinata degli Uberti. Later it became a courthouse and then, it was converted into a jail. The prison cells were in the basement while the upper floors were used for courtrooms and offices.

After Italy’s unification, the building was remodeled to house Florence’s collection of 15th-century sculptures in 1859. These had previously been displayed in various churches around the city. Today, the Bargello National Museum is home to an outstanding collection of Carrand and Renaissance art, featuring works such as Mercury, Bacchus, Tondo Pitti and Brutus. The museum is accessible enough to see everything in one visit but also provides ample opportunity for return visits to spend more time admiring your favourite pieces.


• Explore a large collection of Italian and Florentine applied arts. These applied arts include ceramics, metalwork, glasswork, tapestries, and manuscript illuminations.
• Visit the prominent museum that holds some of the greatest pieces from the medieval and Renaissance periods.
• The museum also houses the Carrand collection, which is made up of precious pieces of ivory from Roman, Byzantine and mediaeval times, french enamels, Baroque jewels and other scientific instruments.
• Explore the sculptures found in the museum from various artists such as Ghiberti, Michelangelo, and Donatello.
• Admire the artworks such as Tondo Pitti, Bacchus, David-Apollo, Mercury and Brutus in the museum.
• After exploring the museum, treat yourself to a coffee or a light bite in the cafe located on site. This is the perfect opportunity to sit down and reflect on all of the amazing art you’ve just seen!
• Learn about the culture and history of Florence Italy through remarkable artworks and paintings that depict various scenes from Florentine history and everyday life.

How To Reach

  1. By Bus: You can reach the Bargello National Museum by using bus lines 23A, 23L, 30A, 6AL, 9, C2 and CF, as they have stops at 2- 10 minutes walking distance from it.
  2. By Train: Train line that has a stop near this museum is the R line, which is at about 10 minutes' walking distance. 
  3. By Light Rail: T1 and T2 light rails lines are the ones with the nearest stops from the museum. 

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Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit the Bargello National Museum is in the early morning hours as the crowd is less during this time. You can admire the artifacts and interior of the museum taking your time without any hassle and have a peaceful visit if you decide to stop by during opening hours. If you want to have a pleasant experience then consider visiting between May and September as the weather is warm and the city is lively with art and music festivals, and open-air dining.

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Other Essential Information

Location: Via del Proconsolo, 4, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

Timings: Wednesday to Monday from 8:15 am to 1:50 pm

Tuesday: Closed

Entry Fees: Tickets for the Bargello are around €2 for EU nationals, approx €12 for other visitors, and free for children up to 18 years of age. On every first Sunday of the month, entry to the Bargello National Museum is free.

Tips To Visit Bargello National Museum:

  • The Bargello Museum is wheelchair accessible. 
  • You are not allowed to carry large bags, backpacks, and umbrellas in the museum and must leave them at the free coat check.
  • Many of the art pieces have short descriptions in Italian and English so that you can have a great visit even on your own.
  • You can choose for an audio guide or even a guide to accompany you through the museum and make the most out of the visit.
  • Food or drinks are not available inside the museum and you are also not allowed to carry them with you but there are a lot of cafe and restaurant options available nearby.

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Day Wise Timings
Normal Timings:
08:15 AM to 01:50 PM
Normal Timings:
Normal Timings:
08:15 AM to 01:50 PM
Normal Timings:
08:15 AM to 01:50 PM
Normal Timings:
08:15 AM to 01:50 PM
Normal Timings:
08:15 AM to 06:50 PM
Normal Timings:
Point of Interest for Bargello National Museum
Impressive Building

Impressive Building

Bargello National Museum has an impressive exterior with beautiful interiors, making the building a part of the many reasons people visit it from all over the world. The huge entrance hall with heraldic decorations on the walls from the 13th - 14th centuries with the coats of arms of podesta will leave you mesmerized. And as you enter the building, the open courtyard, the different halls and the open staircase decorated with numerous sculptures, ornamentals, and artworks will keep you hooked.

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Louis Carrand Collection

Louis Carrand Collection

Louis Carrand was a dealer of antiques from Lyon in the 19th century and he donated a total of about 2,500 items to this museum. These pieces are displayed in two different collections, the Islamic art and textile collection can be found straight out of the Donatello room on the second floor and in the next hall you can find the eclectic treasure trove. This collection has only one link, donated by Carrand, and thus it is a mix of many eras and cultures.  

Donatello Room

Donatello Room

The Donatello Room, the largest room in the palace, situated next to the external staircase on the second floor displays the most famous works of Donatello. Take your time going through all the sculptures in this room and appreciate the revolutionary statue of David, a small, naked sculpture with boots and hat, the first nude statue in thousands of years. Another less popular but intricate work of Donatello displayed in this room which you should not miss out on is the head of Goliath.

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Michelangelo Room

Michelangelo Room

This room in Bargello national museum has many sculptures by Michelangelo on display like Bacchus, Pitti Tondo, Brutus, David- Apollo, and many more which you can admire as you explore the museum. Apart from the works of Michelangelo, this room also displays a few sculptures by other artists like the oft-copied large bronze Flying Mercury by Giambologna, oversized sculptures of Adam and Eve by Baccio Bandinelli, works of Benvenuto Cellini like the wax statue of Perseus with Medusa’s head.

Sculptures in the Courtyard

Sculptures in the Courtyard

The museum of Bargello has a huge open courtyard and around it are the halls and galleries of the building. You can see the shields of families which were qualified to be the judges on the wall above the open staircase. There are many sculptures and reliefs on display in the galleries that can be seen from the courtyard. Get immersed in the beauty of statues of many Bacchus on the staircase with a large Janus with fleece at the top. Also don’t forget to take a look at the bronze animal figures originally made for Medici garden and the sculptures at the ground floor showing the coronation ceremonies. 

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Mary Magdalene Chapel

Mary Magdalene Chapel

The Mary Magdalene Chapel dates back to the 13th century and is the oldest section of this building. It is covered with the 14th century frescoes known to be the works of Giotto. This chapel was used as a prison in 1574 and prisoners used to spend their last nights here. You can see Dante’s death in this fresco with two sides, heaven and hell portrayed beautifully in the artwork.

Maiolica, Bronzes and Weaponry

Maiolica, Bronzes and Weaponry

The museum is also known to have an extensive collection of maiolica, bronzes and weapons. These include the maiolica pieces by Andrea and Giovanni della Robbia like household items, vases and decorative art pieces from palaces and churches. The small bronzes from the Medici era to the 18th century and weaponry with armors can also be found in Bargello.

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