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National Museum of Bargello

National Museum of Bargello: Our most recommended tours and activities

Florence: Reserved Entry Ticket to Bargello Museum

1. Florence: Reserved Entry Ticket to Bargello Museum

The National Museum at the Bargello is without a doubt one of the most important and well-known museums in Florence. Within, the museum exhibits a large collection of sculpture, including the famous bronze David by Donatello. Since 1865 the Palazzo houses the National Museum, bringing together many important Renaissance sculptures, including masterpieces by Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Verrocchio, Michelangelo and Cellini. The museum was subsequently enriched with splendid collections of bronzes, majolica, waxes, furniture and textiles from the Medici collections and those of private donors.   Palazzo del Bargello is one of the oldest buildings in Florence, was once prison, police headquarters and the site of public executions. Begun in 1255, the building was the headquarters of the Capitano del Popolo and later of the Podestà and Council of Justice. In 1574, it became the living quarters for the Captain of Justice (chief of police) and was used as a prison.  Despite a series of alterations and additions which altered the original plan during the 14th and 15th centuries, the palace preserved its pleasant severity, best seen in the beautiful courtyard, the balcony and the large hall on the first floor. 

Florence: Bargello Museum Tour

2. Florence: Bargello Museum Tour

The guide will start off with a little history about the Bargello Museum, which used to be the headquarters of the Capitano Del Popolo and later of the Podesta (the lord of the city). They will tell you how the palace became the residence of the head of the police and how it was later used as a prison. The guide will escort you through the museum for you to enjoy the very important works of art kept in Bargello. The ground floor rooms display the Tuscan works of the 16th Century. Your guide will particularly focus on four masterpieces by Michelangelo. Along with the local and expert guide you will then discover works by Bartolomeo Ammannati, Benvenuto Cellini, Giambologna, and many other treasures. You will discover precious ivories and bronzes that include several Roman and Byzantine examples. Then, you will immerse yourself in the early Renaissance, as your guide will explain the masterpieces made by Donatello and Verrocchio. Later, the guide will escort you to the second floor, which is solely dedicated to the glazed terracotta done by Andrea and Giovanni Della Robbia. The tour takes about two hours - the perfect amount of time to see this famous art collection, without feeling overwhelmed. You can also return to anything you might want to see again after the tour ends.

Florence: 1.5-Hour Bargello Museum Private Tour

3. Florence: 1.5-Hour Bargello Museum Private Tour

The Bargello Palace is one of the foremost art collections in the world, and today with your private guide you'll have the chance to experience the art in a personal, up-close way that is simply impossible with large group tours. We enter into the fortress, a marvel in its own right, to experience some of the greatest Renaissance masterpieces Florence has to offer. You will have a chance to see the David and St. George by Donatello, the Bacchus and the Round Pitti by Michelangelo, Mercury by Giambologna, just to name a few! The museum makes a nice alternate after having visited the highly touristed Uffizi Galleries, and for a true Florence Art experience, there is no better place to be than the Bargello's halls. The building itself was constructed during the Italian Middle Ages (1200s). Originally called Palazzo del Podestà, it is the oldest public building in Florence. You will have a chance to explore its history and splendor at your own pace with your private guide!

Florence: Highlights Guided Walking Tour

4. Florence: Highlights Guided Walking Tour

Meet your expert guide in the heart of the ancient Roman city, the Piazza della Repubblica, where you will learn about the city’s foundation. Walk to Orsanmichele, a Medieval church with iconic Renaissance sculptures on its ornate facade, including work by the famous Donatello. At Piazza della Signoria you can hear the stories behind the Renaissance fountain, the statues and the Palazzo Vecchio which dominates the square with its soaring tower. Just beyond the palace is the Uffizi, a fine example of Renaissance architecture. Cross the Uffizi courtyard to reach the banks of the Arno River and admire the famous Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in town. Make a stop at Piazza Santa Croce. Once the stage for jousting tournaments, today it hosts the official sport of the city, Calcio Storico: an exciting mix of soccer, rugby and wrestling. The itinerary continues through the Medieval streets to the Bargello, then on to reach the Cathedral Square. Stop here to admire the record-breaking dome built by Filippo Brunelleschi and learn all about its construction. Just steps away from the Cathedral Square lies the Palazzo Medici. Learn about the history of the Medici family and how they created a golden age in Florence. See the beautiful palace courtyard with its elegant Renaissance architecture and ornamentation. The last stop on the itinerary is the church of San Lorenzo. With a foundation dating back to the 4th century, this was the original cathedral of Florence.

Florence: Guided City Bike Tour

5. Florence: Guided City Bike Tour

Explore the heart of Florence on a guided bike tour around the city’s most unforgettable spots. Ride down characteristic streets, through popular squares, and across historic bridges. Learn about the city through commentary from your local guide. The itinerary begins where the Medici family began to wield their power in Florence. See their stately palace and the Basilica of San Lorenzo. Next, pass by the medieval baptistery on your way to Piazza della Republica, the site of the ancient forum where the city’s history began. Then, reach the Arno River stopping to admire the Renaissance architecture. Cross the bridge designed by Michelangelo and get a stunning view of the famous Ponte Vecchio. Continue on to explore the other side of town. Ride through Piazza Santo Spirito and stop to admire the grand Pitti Palace. Ride alongside the Arno to cross back over the river and proceed to Santa Croce and Piazza della Signoria. Later, head to Cathedral Square as the tour circles around the landmark site with its incredible dome.

Florence: Walking Tour and Bargello Museum

6. Florence: Walking Tour and Bargello Museum

This exclusive walking tour will send you back in time to when Florence was living its Golden Age. Follow your expert multilingual guide and hear all the captivating stories that made Florence so iconic. Visit Duomo Square, gaze at the powerful Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with the largest dome in the world. Pass through the heart of Florence: Republic Square, where back in 58 BC Romans settled for the first time. Admire the finest statues of Signoria Square, Perseus by Cellini, Kidnapping of Sabines by Giambologna and, of course, David by Michelangelo. Built in 1255 Bargello was the main prison of the Florentine Republic which nowadays exhibits the biggest collection of Renaissance statues by Cellini, Bandinelli, Michelangelo and much more. Discover the secrets of the oldest Castle of Florence and visit Bargello museum.

Florence Self-Guided Audio Tour

7. Florence Self-Guided Audio Tour

Discover the Cradle of the Renaissance at your own pace using your mp3 player to guide you through the historic city center of Florence by audio guide. Fall in love beautiful monuments as you are led along the cobblestone streets, and escape the restricted timetables of guided tours. Take a break to enjoy a gelato or coffee whenever you like! Learn the history of highlights such as the Museo Nazionale di San Marco, Bargello (Palazzo del Popolo), Piazza della Signoria, and Ponte Vecchio. Marvel at the produce on display at the Mercato Centrale, and take an optional visit to the impressive Basilica di Santa Croce. See the homes of magnificent art, including Michelangelo's legendary statue of David at the Galleria dell 'Accademia, and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Da Vinci’s Annunciation at the Uffizi Gallery. Fall in love with the terracotta tiles and dome of the Duomo and Giotto's Bell Tower. 

Michelangelo & Donatello: Bargello Museum Tour

8. Michelangelo & Donatello: Bargello Museum Tour

On this guided tour an English-speaking guide will take you through the exciting world of the Bargello Museum, an impressive medieval palace that has also served as a prison and a place of torture. The palace itself is worth an in-depth visit, as are the gems you’ll discover inside. Visit a room dedicated to the famous sculptor Donatello, with stunning originals of his David. The layout of the Museum makes it possible to get up close to and admire the work in great detail. Another of the Museum’s important rooms is dedicated to Michelangelo, where you’ll see some of his greatest works. Admire the Bacco-Bacchus (representing intoxication), the Pitti Tondo, (in which some experts see signs of the help of Leonardo), and the David-Apollo.  You’ll also have a chance to admire the original sculptures from Piazza della Signoria, as only copies are to be found in the square today. The originals were brought to the Bargello to protect them from the weather.

Florence: Private 4-Hour Walking Tour with Eugenia Gasheeva

9. Florence: Private 4-Hour Walking Tour with Eugenia Gasheeva

Discover Florence with a local on a private guided tour with Eugenia Gasheeva. Stand on the famous Piazza dei Signori, stroll across the Ponte Vecchio, and see the Duomo Complex. Begin your journey through Florence in the Piazza della Repubblica with Eugenia. Hear how a small village became one of the power centers of Renaissance Europe. Stroll through the narrow streets and hear about the ups and downs of Florence's fascinating history. Discover why the Renaissance began in Florence, and see the buildings and statues from this period of artistic evolution. Head to the Palazzo Medici and hear about the underhanded techniques of the powerful Medici family. Continue through the city and hear what caused the downfall of the Medici Dynasty and who benefited from the power vacuum. Stop in front of the massive Florence Cathedral and learn about its Giotto Bell Tower and famous Dome. As you walk through the city, stop to visit modern artisan workshops. Finish your tour with a stunning view of the city and river from the Ponte Vecchio. Before you leave Eugenia, get some local tips on the best restaurants and bars in town.

Florence: Private Guided Walking Tour with Eugenia Gasheeva

10. Florence: Private Guided Walking Tour with Eugenia Gasheeva

Learn about Florence's rich history with Eugenia on a guided walking tour. Walk through the iconic Piazza dei Signori, see the Palazzo Bargello, and stroll through Dante's Quarter with a local guide. Meet Eugenia at the Piazza della Repubblica and hear how Florence began as a small village and evolved into a cultural and economic center of Europe. Get closer to the Duomo (Florence Cathedral) and gaze at its magnificence. Discover why the Florentines built this massive building, and hear the secrets of the church and its dome. Learn how to read the reliefs on the baptistery doors and the meaning of Giotto's Bell Tower decoration and statues. Next, head to the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, and learn how the Medici rose to power. Stroll through the medieval streets of Dante's Quarter and see historic tower houses and the ex-prison of Bargello. Walk out onto Florence's famous Piazza dei Signori and marvel at the Palazzo Vecchio, the city's long-time center of political power. Hear about the square's evolution and see the ruins of previous buildings. As you walk past the square's many statues, hear from Eugenia what they represent and who created them. Continue walking through town and hear about the later generations of Medici and why they constructed the Uffizi and Vasari corridors. Finish your tour with a visit to the iconic Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge). Stroll across the bridge, learn its long history, and enjoy the many jewelry shops.

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What people are saying about National Museum of Bargello

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 523 reviews

Absolutely wonderful. Best Tour Ever. Eva is absolutely dedicated and extremely knowledgeable. She was caring, thoughtful and aware of the right pace and the family needs. I strongly recommend a this tour. Eva is the definition of a perfect guide.

Our guide was very helpful! The audio guide itself almost felt less than an hour so it gave us more time to the museum. She was very informative about the statue of David and the prisoner pieces by Michelangelo. Would recommend

This was an amazing experience. My guide was prompt, passionate and incredibly well informed. She took her time, answered questions and never rushed the experience. It made me a fan of private tours.

Eva had an incredible knowledge of Firenze and the Medici family. We spent 4 hours touring the city and key landmarks. Highly recommend

Instructions were very thorough and easy to get there and reedeem tickets...