Florence is one big open air museum.
Just stroll along its streets and come face to face with unique masterpieces around every corner.
But, in addition to the architectural and artistic nature of the city itself, there are also a large number of traditional museums such as the Uffizi Gallery, the Gallery of Accademia, and the Bargello Museum.
Without detracting from the many other museums that bear artwork and objects of great historical and artistic value, these three museums alone can attract a huge number of visitors to Florence and ensure a steady flow of tourists from all over the world to admire the masterpieces that comprise some of the most important artistic history of mankind.
The complexes that host these pieces are unique in and of themselves thanks to the brightest minds of the Renaissance.
Museums in Florence
The Uffizi Gallery is the most visited museum throughout the entirety of Italy, and is also the first public museum in Europe, dating back to the time of the Medici family, when one could request to visit its exhibits.
One lesser-known interesting fact is that the whole of the Uffizi was not intended to become a museum, but was rather created as the seat of the Florentine Magistrates at the time of Cosimo I de 'Medici in order to better control the affairs of the city.
The work was initially entrusted to Giorgio Vasari and was planned within the context of a design-orientated economy, but the Medici family ultimately decided to convert it into a place to house their works of art; the beginning stages of what was to become one of the most famous museums in the world.
Today, The Uffizi displays a unique range of priceless works, most of which have been donated to the city by the Medici family with the proviso that the artwork never leaves Florence. Over time, the Uffizi collection has also been enriched by donations and exchanges.
The numerous rooms in the complex have allowed for sub-division of different works so that they are categorized in chronological order. One of the best features of the museum is that is houses the best collection of Renaissance works in the world, and includes pieces from Renaissance masters such as Michelangelo, Leonardo, Botticelli and Raphael.
The Accademia Gallery
The Accademia Gallery is the only museum in the world devoted entirely to Michelangelo Buonarroti. It has also become one of the most visited museums in all of Italy in recent years, second only to the Uffizi in terms of the number of visitors. The Accademia Gallery is most famous for housing the original statue of David, which was relocated from its former home, the Piazza della Signoria, in order to prevent it from being damaged. A replica of the statue still exists in the Piazza della Signoria.
The Accademia Gallery also has many other sections, including the largest and most important collection of paintings in the world with gold backgrounds, and a collection of musical instruments as a legacy to the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory.
The Bargello Museum
Despite having far less visitors than the previous two museums, The Bargello Museum is still one of the glories of Florence. Hundreds of thousands of visitors pass through its halls each year and remain enchanted by the many masterpieces on display. The Bargello Museum houses masterpieces by Michelangelo, Donatello, Ghiberti, Cellini, Giambologna, and Ammanati in addition to important collections of jewelry, bronze, ivory, pottery, weaponry, and other objects, some of which were received by donations from very important historical families.