In the heart of Florence, the northeast side of the central Piazza Duomo, is one of the most important historical sites in Italy, including The Florence Opera Museum. A must-visit especially for art and history lovers and those who like to understand the story of the Christian history of the city.
A little about the history of the place – the place was first opened in 189 and has undergone several renovations. The building is impressive and spacious, consisting of 25 rooms, spread over three floors, in a total area of about 6,000 square meters. This is a vast kingdom of sculptures located strategically near a central and very touristic complex in the city, which includes several religious buildings – the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery of San Giovanni, and Giotto’s bell tower.
In 2015, after two years of renovation work that included expansion and reorganization, the museum reopened much more impressively. Over 750 results are displayed in the museum from a period spanning over 700 years. The artistic styles of the exhibits in the museum are from the Renaissance to the Middle Ages created from marble, bronze, silver, and more. The place hosts the works of many famous and highly respected artists. Most of the works in the museum came from the neighboring and impressive buildings.
What to see – You can see Michelangelo’s famous work, “The birth of David” there. Another legendary work of his that is displayed there is “Florence Pietà”. Michelangelo began to make the well-known statue over 70 years old. This is a magnificent sculpture in the Renaissance style. The statue shows three figures holding the prostrate body of Christ.
The Duomo Opera Museum is also home to many works by the famous artist Donatello, including Creation of Eve, Beardless Prophet, Evangelist, Jeremiah, and Penitent Magdalene. Other notable names that can be seen in their performances include Luca della Robbia, Antonio del Pollaiuolo, and Nanni di Banco.
The most famous piece on display at the Opera Museum is Gates of Heaven. These are the original doors taken from one of the gates of the Baptistery of San Giovanni, created hundreds of years ago by the master Lorenzo Ghiberti.
How to get there – you can get there by bus, line 6 to Vecchietti station or line 22 to Santa Maria Maggiore station. The address of the place is Via della Canonica 1.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday at 9:00-19:30 and Sundays at 9:00-13:30. Note that the opening times change around Christian holidays, and you should check before visiting the place’s official website.
The most crowded hours in the museum are lunchtime, but usually, the crowd is not excessive and does not interfere with the visit. If you still want a quieter experience, it is recommended to arrive in the morning.
Prices – an entrance ticket to the site costs 18 euros and includes entry to the nearby places: the cathedral, the bell tower, and the baptistery. The card is valid for 72 hours.
Many organized tours go through the museum as well as the complex of buildings in Duomo square. The average price of a tour is about 20 euros. Groups conduct the tour, allowing you to skip the lines at the entrance and sometimes also include wine tasting, so it’s worth checking out.