Alessandra Gardin

Florence tourist guide

MUSEUM OF THE OPERA DEL DUOMO AND BARGELLO


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Would you like to do an alternative itinerary off the beaten tracks? Something letting you appreciate great masterpieces without elbowing in the crowd? Your tour guide of Florence suggests a private tour including the visit of two museums, not too big, but full of masterpieces. Follow her in the Museum of the Opera del Duomo and in the Bargello Museum. The museum of the Opera del Duomo is the museum of the Cathedral of Florence. It recently had a renovation providing natural light to the rooms, but several more works are in progress to enlarge it and to display the magnificent collection in monumental new rooms. Waiting for the new arrangement, let us get in and let us stop in front of the splendid Pietà by Michelangelo, carved by the artist when already very old and finished by a follower of his. Let's go upstairs, at the first floor the largest room is dedicated almost entirely to Donatello's works: the statues for the Campanile, the very famous wooden Mary Magdalen, the Choir stall for the transept of the Cathedral.
A narrow passage take us back to Brunelleschi'yard showing instruments and items uded for building the huge dome: vertical bridges, pulleys, ropes, hooks and moulds for the bricks. At the ground floor the large and bright courtyard hosts the astonishing Ghiberti's door, the so called Gate of Paradise. After an almost thirty year restoration the famous door is back to its splendour, preserved under controlled atmosphere, in a imposing glass box. The long, accurate restoration has pointed out the impressive artistic and technical qualities of the cast which kept Ghiberti busy for twenty years.
The second stage of our itinerary is the Bargello Museum. The massive medioeval buildings, built since the second half of the XIII century as the seat of the Podestà (mayor), hides inside its severe walls an excellent collection of art pieces: marble and bronze statues, terracotta madonnas, little bronzes, ivory items, ceramics, enamels, jewels. Here some of the most famous and important statues of Renaissance are preserved: the bronze David by Donatello, the Baccus and the Tondo Pitti by Michelangelo, the wax model of the Perseus by Benvenuto Cellini and the Baccus by Giambologna. Absolutely two must see museums, do not miss them!