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Duomo Museum Florence Italy

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There are many inspiring things to see in Florence Italy but one of my favorites is the Opera Duomo Museum. This newly renovated museum houses many of the masterpieces from the Duomo itself. You will find Medieval and Renaissance statues and reliefs in marble, bronze and silver of the greatest artists of the time: Arnolfo di Cambio, Andrea Pisano, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Antonio Pollaiuolo, Andrea del Verrocchio, Michelangelo Buonarroti.

If you are like me and like exploring old churches but find it hard to see and appreciate the art that is inside many of these old dark spaces you will love the Opera Duomo Museum. The museum is extremely well designed and lets you truly appreciate the numerous works of art by helping you focus on them. The space is a pleasure—some rooms have light pouring in from sky lights above and others are dark with lights dramatically highlighting the pieces. The way the art is displayed is exceptionally well done—-the contrast created by putting the works against a clean open environments is great.

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The Museo dell’Opera consists of twenty-five rooms on three floors. One of the largest exhibits is on the ground floor in the “Salone del Paradiso” – an over 59-feet high and 240 feet-long reconstruction of the earliest façade of Santa Maria del Fiore is the backdrop that many original statues or casts of varying sizes are distributed across. This clean white façade is a beautiful way to showcase the works of art.

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You will see the original doors of the Baptistery from Lorenzo Ghiberti and I when I say see, I mean it literally. The doors are behind protective glass but it is so clear and the doors so well lit that you can easily see all the incredible details in these relief depictions of stories from the bible.

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Throughout the museum you find many masterpieces, The Sala della Maddalena houses the Donatello’s Haunting Penitent Saint Mary Magdalene.  In the Tribuna di Michelangelo area you will find Michelangelo’s next-to-last sculpture. Begun around 1546-1547, the Pietà  which was abandoned at the end of 1555, when Michelangelo mutilated it: a destructive act due to the elderly master’s frustration at finding flaws in the marble block. Pieced back together, the work was acquired in 1671 by Cosimo III de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and placed in the crypt of the Basilica of San Lorenzo; in 1721 it was transferred to the Duomo and set opposite the Holy Sacrament altar.

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The museum is located directly behind the Duomo. You can purchase one ticket which allows the holder to visit all the monuments within 48 hours of visiting the first one. Each monument may be visited only once with the ticket.

I highly recommend you book your tickets ahead of when you want to visit as it is very crowded and you may not be able to visit certain attractions the day of—-especially climbing to the top of the Dome or Bell Tower. The museum entrance is included in the ticket and the entrance to the main floor of the Duomo itself is free—but there might be a bit of a line. Arrive early or wait till later in the day if you want to try and avoid the long lines.

OPERA DI SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE DI FIRENZE
Via della Canonica, 1
50122 – Firenze
Telephone: +39 055 2302885
Fax: +39 055 2302898
Email: opera@operaduomo.firenze.it

STEPHEN MICHAEL GROSS






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