If you are wondering about the simply overwhelming range of architectural marvels and art pieces to visit during your holidays in Florence, this time and already considering cutting it short with some exclusion here and there from your tour itinerary, then we would tell you in advance that whatever priority or choice of sites suits your preference, as the national museum and one of the most important castle that houses a great array of art pieces from different historical eras, Bargello Museum is just the inevitable one in your tour itinerary. It is also the oldest palace in Florence which for a long time was a functioning prison and then renovated as the museum to house the most astounding range of art pieces from Middle Ages to the European Renaissance. By many this stupendous stone edifice symbolizes the high culture and pride of European Art and consequently across the globe it is regarded as must see stop on the Italy tour itinerary.
History of the Bargello Castle
As per etymological root Bargello means castle in Latin and during the Middle Ages it served as the tower from which peacekeeping, justice and local governance was administered in the city of Florence. The typical castle or fortified tower is the extended part of the main palace where from this governance and peacekeeping practices used to be administered at that time, whereas the main palace consists of the greater part of the premise which made it to be one of the famous attractions of Florence tour. Bargello Palace or Bargello Museum as it is popular in tourist map of the city is the oldest public building in the city to this date. In 1261 it housed the highest magistrate of the city council.
After long years of serving as the public office of the magistrate, in 1574 with the dispensation of the city council the building became the house from where city administration was administered and it housed the Bargello, the then police chief of Florence and so it is named in such a manner. For more than two hundred years the building served as a prison until it was dismissed by the decree of Grand Duke Peter Leopold in 1786, although it continued to serve as the city police headquarter until the mid nineteenth century. In 1865 this sprawling stone marvel was shaped as the Italy’s national museum and it soon became regarded to as one of the greatest places of interests for art lovers and critics around the world with the largest collection of artworks from Gothic and Renaissance period of Italian art. The attraction for its star spangled collection of artworks only increased over the years to become one of the most coveted ones across the sites travelers look as must visit places in their cherished Italy tour.
The astounding castle and its range of artworks
The castle itself must deserve attention as a marvel of architectural splendor that the Roman taste in the Middle Age reflected in a few buildings across the state. The gothic architecture of Bargello Museum premise with fortified towers, inner courtyards, and sprawling palace with arch works and open staircases is sure to give you an experience of time travel in history and you would appreciate time and again the decision to locate the national museum in such a marvelous site of historic aura. Undoubtedly if you are an art lover and like to take your bemused steps inside the history that is frozen in stone, there is no better place you will find in your Florence tour or only one of the handful of places to let you feel such a magic in the entire Italian tour.
Michelangelo, by many considerations one of the all time greatest in the history of art is very much here with some of his most representative works like Bacchus, Pitti Tondo, Brutus, David and Madonna and Child. Another great artist of the world renowned fame is Donatello who is present here with some of his best known works such as David and St. George Tabemacle. Some of the other famous works of international fame and worldwide appreciation include Isaac’s Sacrifice by Lorenzo Ghiberti and Brunelleschi, Bust of Chirst by Tulio Lombardo, Architecture by Giambologna and many more. Bargello Museum unlike other museums that you came across your Florence tour just does not make you feel that you could spend enough time to appreciate all the masterpieces and there is always something more that haunts you to go back to this gigantic museum. Besides these art pieces there is a great collection of ceramic works, tapestries, silver works and old coins equally deserves with their glaring artworks and historical aura.
Important things to know
Let us now concentrate on few things that are important for your tour plan to be in place. The museum is open in all days of the week except 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays and 2nd and 4th Monday. Except these regular closures New year’s Day, May Day and Christmas eve are other holidays in a yearly calendar, so you must plan your tour itinerary accordingly. There is an entry fee of E4.00 per person and the museum remains open from 8.15 in the morning to 13.50 at the afternoon in all regular days.
Best time to Visit
Italy has a very late summer season like many Mediterranean countries and as summer is the most preferred time for an Italy Vacation, you may choose other times which may be a little more convenient. Officially mid august is the starting of summer season in Italy and correspondingly the busiest time in respect of tourism. In peak season often you need to wait for hours to get entry to the museum sites because of exceptional rush. If it at all suits you late April or early May can be a better time to visit as weather is warm and cozy at that time of the year although you do not encounter the peak season rush of tourists everywhere. In any case when you visit Bargello Museum, it goes without saying that you are rewarded with a lifetime experience in comparison to which the trouble of waiting in cue for hours is just nothing. Wish you Bonne Voyage for your Florence tour in advance.