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Michelangelo's Masterpieces Walking Tour


Michelangelo spent over 20 years of his life in Florence during which he created some of the most
beautiful masterpieces this city had ever seen. The most famous of them, the David, is also
located in Florence along with a few copies. Take this tour to discover the Florence side of
Michelangelo's artistic mastership.

Guide Location: Italy » Florence


# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km

Please note:

This walk is also featured in the iOS app "Florence Map and Walks" on iTunes App Store and the
Android app "Florence Map and Walks" on Google Play. The apps provide GPS navigation to guide
you from one tour stop to the next, so you will never be lost. The apps offer additional walking
tours in Florence. Check them out!

GPSmyCity offers self-guided walking tours in over 1,000 city around the world. Please visit
gpsmycity.com for more walking tour offers.

List of attractions included in this self-guided walking tour:

A) Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze


B) Basilica di San Lorenzo
C) Bargello
D) Casa Buonarroti
E) Basilica di Santa Croce

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A) Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze (must see)

The Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze, located in Via Rasacoli, is an art gallery
whose history dates back as far as 1563. Under the advice of Giorgio Vasari,
an artist and writer, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de' Medici
set up the Accademia e Compagnia delle Arti del Disegno (Arts of Drawing
Academy and Company). The institution not only housed renowned artists
of Cosimo’s court but also functioned as organisation for the artists of
Tuscany. Accademia di Belle Arti (Academy of Fine Arts) was born as a
result of a 1784 decree of the then Duke of Tuscany, Pietro Leopoldo, along
with conservatory of music and a school for art restoration.

The Academy and its Gallery are home to some of Michelangelo’s work. A
must see art gallery in Italy, Michelangelo’s David is on display here along
with his unfinished Prisoners and statue of St. Matthew. The gallery also
displays several paintings made by artists between the 13th and 16th
centuries. These Renaissance era paintings are works of famous artists like
Uccello, Ghirlandaio, Botticelli and others. A room is dedicated to a series of
polyptychs which are marvellous. The Gallery also houses plaster sculptures
by artists like Bartolini, Pampaloni and Giambologna, to name a few.

Recorded in history as the first academy for drawing in Europe, this Art
Academy and Gallery is a must visit for every guest of Florence.

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Operation hours: Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm

Address: Via Ricasoli 66, 50121 Florence, Italy

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Rico Heil

B) Basilica di San Lorenzo (must see)

Amidst the hustle-bustle of the city market, stands arguably one of the
oldest churches in the history of Florence. The Basilica di San Lorenzo is
said to date back to the late Roman era. Along with being the oldest church,
the Basilica is also the largest church in Florence.

The Basilica di San Lorenzo is also famous because it served as the parish
church and burial ground to one of the most powerful families in late 14th
century Florence - the Medici family. The Romanesque style of the previous
structure was to be replaced by a more modern Renaissance style edifice.
Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici commissioned Filippo Brunelleschi to redesign
the church during the early 15th century with an elaborate façade to be
designed by Michelangelo himself.

However, the untimely death of Brunelleschi and Giovanni di Bicci de'


Medici led to the project being abandoned much to the humiliation of
Michelangelo. As a result, the exterior was never completed. Till today the
structure stands incomplete with the façade in plain brick.

However, the exteriors of the Basilica can be quite misleading for the
interiors of the structure is quite remarkable. The interiors follow a
Renaissance style with white and grey columns with beautiful decoration of
marble in front of the altar that marks the grave of the first Medici ruler.
The Basilica di San Lorenzo is still recognised as one of the best examples
of the immergence of Renaissance style of architecture.

Address: Piazza San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and RicciSpeziari

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C) Bargello (must see)

Florence is not only the paradise for architectural enthusiasts, but is also
the haven for art lovers and the Bargello Museum is a perfect blend of both.
With an exterior of a fortress, the Bargello Museum houses some of the
most important pieces of Renaissance sculptures and work of art. The
Bargello Museum, located in the Palazzo del Popolo, is one of the oldest
structures in the city of Florence and dates back to 1255. Throughout
history, the building has served as a fortress, a Palace, a Prison and most
recently a museum. Initially the structure was used as the headquarters of
the Captain of the People, the Peoples Palace, after which it served as the
residence of Bargello in the sixteenth century. Later in the eighteenth
century, the Bargello Fortress acted as a prison up until the mid nineteenth
century, when it was converted into a museum. The museum is home to
some of the finest Gothic decorative art, where one gets to see works of
great artists like Donatello, Michelangelo, Fillipo Brunelleschi etc. Among
the treasures of the Renaissance artists and craftsman, the museum also
houses rare pieces of artefacts from the Byzantine, Roman and medieval
era, along with beautiful jewellery right from the Renaissance period down
to the Islamic period.

Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: 8:15 am - 5:00 pm

Address: Via del Proconsolo 4, 50122 Florence, Italy

Image Courtesy of Flickr and Mishimoto. Sight description based on wikipedia

D) Casa Buonarroti

The present day building of Casa Buonarroti was once the property of
Michelangelo Buonarroti. The building was inherited by his nephew,
Lionardo, after his death. However it was Michelangelo Buonarroti the
Younger, the great nephew of the artist, who converted the house into a
museum in honour of his grand uncle. Michelangelo the Younger was so
devoted to his great uncle and his work that he hired artists to adorn the
place with paintings and frescos. Today, not only is it a museum to display
some of the finest works of art and craft, but it also stands as one of the
finest buildings in Florence.

Casa Buonarroti is one of the best museums in Florence and houses some
of the earliest works of Michelangelo. The Madonna della Scala (Madonna of
the steps) carved before 1492 and Battle of Centuras, an incredible

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complex sculpture, are both a reflection of the extraordinary talent of the


artist in the making. Among other artefacts that are also displayed at the
museum is a collection of Michelangelo’s autograph drawings that consists
of over 205 sketches. The museum also houses some rare art collections
that include paintings, sculptures, majolica and other archaeological
findings. The Casa Buonarroti is the proud displayer of the wooden model
for the façade of San Lorenzo.

Operation hours: Monday, Wednesday - Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Address: Via Ghibellina 70, 50122 Florence, Italy

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Sailko. Sight description based on wikipedia

E) Basilica di Santa Croce (must see)

The Basilica di Santa Croce is one of the most famous and the largest
Francescan churches in the world. Built between the 13th and 14th century,
the church flaunts a rich Gothic style of architecture. Also known as the
Temple of the Italian Glories, the Basilica is the burial place of Italy’s most
recognized, such as – Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo and
Rossini. The construction of the present building started in 1294 to replace
an older building. Taken care of by some of the wealthiest families in
Florence the job of rebuilding the Basilica was given to Arnolfo di Cambio,
an architect known for some of the best Gothic works in Florence. Besides
being known as the resting place of some of the worlds most renowned, the
church also stands as one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.
Adorned with the works of some of the finest artisans, sculptures and
painters, the Basilica is sure to grip you with its grandeur and presence. The
Basilica di Santa Croce is the culmination of the efforts of many artists and
contributors some of which include- Giorgio Vasari, Benedetto da Maiano,
Antonio Canova, Donatello; frescoes by Giotto, Giovanni da Milano, Maso di
Banco and many others. Legend even has it that the Santa Croce was
founded by Saint Frances himself!

Address: Piazza Santa Croce 16, Florence, Italy

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Gryffindor. Sight description based on wikipedia

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