Tuscany is an area steeped in History. With plenty of museums on offer, you will find plenty to broaden your mind. In fact, there are so many museums scattered around Tuscany that we could never hope to provide an exhaustive list of those worth visiting during your holiday. However, we hope that this at least gives you information on some of the best museums that the region’s principal cities have to offer and provides a helpful starting point to your holiday planning.
Museo delle Sinopie
The museum houses the monochrome sketches for the frescoes of the Camposanto.
Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo
Housing an array of statues and paintings by artists such as Pisano, the museum is open daily throughout the year.
If you’re heading to Siena, you should try to see the following museums and attractions. Further information and tickets can be purchased at www.comune.siena.it. Discounts are given if you buy multiple tickets at once so it usually makes sense to pick up a pass or joint ticket (biglietto cumulativo) covering entry to several sites.
Museo Civico, Siena
Open throughout the year (although with shorter opening times in the winter months), this museum located in the Palazzo Publico is full of wonderful works of art from past centuries.
Torre del Mangia, Siena
Just opposite the entrance to the Museo Civico is the entrance to the Torre del Mangia. With over 500 steps to climb to reach the top of the tower, it’s one that will certainly test your fitness levels. But the views from the top are well worth it!
Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo, Siena
This museum houses works by, amonst others, Pisano and Duccio. Don’t miss the entrance to the Panorama dal Facciatone once in the musuem. This leads you up a spiral staircase out of the top of the building, and once again, you are rewarded with terrific views of the city
Museo Diocesanom, Siena
This museum houses an array of devotional art from the 13th to the 17th century.
Admission to the state museums in Florence is free for all EU citizens under the age of 18 or over the age of 65. You will need to take your passport with you to qualify for free entry though. 18-25 year olds get a 50% discount on admission prices as do teachers!
For those not lucky enough to qualify for free admission to the Florence museums, it may be worth your while investing in an ‘Amici degli Uffizi’ card. It’s not cheap at 60 euros (40 euros for those under 26) but it is valid for a year and gives you unlimited access (with no queuing) not just to the Uffizi but also to the other of Florence’s state museums which include the Accademia, the Bargello, the Palazzo Pitti museums (including the Boboli gardens), the Medici chapels in San Lorenzo, the Archaelogical museums and the San Marco Museum.
It’s also worth checking opening times of the Florence museums before you go. Many of the museums are closed on Mondays and opening hours do vary depending on the time of year.
This must surely rank as Italy’s best art gallery, and the staggering number of visitors each year reflects this. Visitors are keen to get a glimpse of works of art by, amongst others, Giotto, Paolo Uccello, Masolini, Piero della Francesca, Boticelli, Michelangelo, Titian, Rubens, Van Dyck and Leonardo da Vinci.
The palaces exquisite inner courtyards and chambers house a staggering collection of works of art.
Whilst the copy of Michelangel’s David might be in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, you’ll find the original in the Accademia Gallery along with other wonderful works of art,
Museo Nazionale del Bargello
This is certainly another ‘must see’ during your stay, housing a wonderful sculpture collection.
The Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo
This includes works by Donatello, Michelangelo and others.
Museo del Bigallo
Open daily, except on Tuesdays, it’s certainly not the best of the museums in Florence.
Museo di Storia della Scienza
Florence’s science musuem, housing many of Galileo’s original instruments.
Alinari Photography Museum
Dedicated to the history of photography, the museum houses hundreds of thousands of vintage prints and numerous photographic instruments.
Museo Marino Marini
The museum houses around 200 works of art left to the city of Florence in Marini’s will.
Museo di Santa Maria Novella
A museum housing yet more remarkable works of art.
Museo di San Marco
A gallery within the museum houses one of the most important collections of Fra Angelico’s work as well as including the works of some of his pupils.
If you want to escape the crowds, this is one of quieter of the museums in Florence, housing Etruscan, Roman, Greek and Egyptian collections.
Museo della Fondazione Horne
This houses a collection left to Florence by the art historian Herbert Percy Horne
Galleria d’Arte Moderna and Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti
Founded in 1914, the museum’s collection includes works of art from the nineteeth and early twentieth centuries.
Museo degli Argenti (Silver Museum), Palazzo Pitti
The museum displays the beautiful collections of the Medici family.
Like the Horne museum, this was built around the bequest of a private collector, this time Stefano Bardini who was most the most important art dealer in Italy.
Museum of Anthropology
This unique museum houses an interesting collection of artefacts from different cultures around the world as well as an extensive bone collection.
Museum of Natural History (La Specola)
The museum contains 24 rooms dedicated to zoology and a further 10 to anatomic waxes. Those dedicated to zoology are crammed full of specimens preserved through the use of taxidermy.