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The Bargello, Florence Italy Travel Guide, touring Museo Nazionale del Bargello, visiting Museo Nazionale del Bargello - Indian Chief Travel
ITALY  |  Florence, Italy Travel Guide
Saturday, June 15, 2024
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The Bargello

Palazzo Bargello, Florence, Italy
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The Bargello

The Bargello can be reached from the Piazza Santa Croce through the well-preserved medieval streets once frequented by Dante and Boccaccio. For your quickest means of arrival, take Via dell’Anguillara and then a right up Via del Proconsolo. The main attraction here is of course the National Museum (Museo Nazionale del Bargello).

[ Related pages: Top 10 Picks in Florence and Best Art Museums of Florence ]

Museo Nazionale del Bargello

Museo Nazionale del Bargello is housed in the austere fortress-like Palazzo Bargello (formerly known as the Palazzo dei Priori), which dates from 1255 when it was constructed to house the Capitano del Popolo (the commander of the local militia). It went on to become the seat of the podestà, (the city magistrate who replaced the previous aristocratic rule) and then of the Capitano di Giustizia (the town magistrate) or Bargello, from which it takes its present name. Since 1859, it has been the home of Florence’s National Museum, important for its displays of Renaissance sculpture, which includes works by Ghiberti, Donatello (Niccolò da Uzzano, Marzocco, Cupid, David, St. George), Brunelleschi (including panels from the Baptistery doors), Verrocchio, Ammannati and Cellini (including his Bust of Cosimo I). You will also see works by Giambologna (such as Florence Defeating Pisa and the splendid bronze Mercury) and terracottas by the della Robbia brothers. Look out for Michelangelo’s drunken Bacchus (his first major sculpture, created when he was 22), Brutus, Tondo Pitti and an unfinished David in bronze.

Almost directly in front of the Bargello is the Badia Fiorentina (Via del Proconsolo), the city’s oldest monastery. It was built for the Benedictines in 978 but completely restructured by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1285. Inside, it has a few artworks of note, including a striking marble tomb by Mino da Fiesole. Up in the Chiostro delle Aranci (to the right of the presbytery) is Filippino Lippi’s Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Bernard (1485), while in the Chapel Pandolfini you’ll find the spot where Boccaccio is said to have held the first public reading of Dante’s The Divine Comedy.

Last updated June 17, 2011
Posted in   Italy  |  Florence
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