World ? Europe ? Italy ? Florence

Florence: The Best Museums

  • Gallerie degli Uffizi (Florence): One of the world's top museums, the Uffizi houses some of the seminal works of the Renaissance, including Giotto's MaestȤ, Botticelli's Birth of Venus and Allegory of Spring, Leonardo da Vinci's Annunciation, and Michelangelo's only panel painting, the Holy Family. Few rooms go by without three or four masterpieces. Thoroughly brain-draining . . . but worth it.

  • Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Florence): Past early Michelangelo marbles and Giambologna bronzes, the main attraction at the primary sculpture museum of the Renaissance is a room full of famous works that survey the entire career of Donatello, the greatest sculptor since antiquity.

  • Palazzo Pitti (Florence): The Pitti, with thousands of paintings hung thickly in the dozens of rooms of the Medici's old palace, all sumptuously frescoed and decorated, makes the Uffizi look like a preamble. Not only is room after room full of works by Raphael, Rubens, Titian, Caravaggio, Andrea del Sarto, and countless others, but once you get through the paintings, you've got the lavish Medici apartments, a costume gallery, a decorative arts collection, a modern art museum, and the baroque Boboli Gardens to see. You could spend a week here and still not be done.

  • Galleria dell'Accademia (Florence): The line stretches for blocks from the door, everyone waiting to get in and see Michelangelo's David, easily the most famous sculpture in the world. Once inside, you're also treated to his unfinished and powerful Slaves, along with works by Perugino, Giambologna, and Botticelli.

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