Dedicated to Medieval and Renaissance art, the Museo Nazionale del Bargello is located in Florence’s historic Palazzo del Podestà. It was established by royal decree on June 22, 1865—Italy’s first national museum.
From the moment of its foundation, the Bargello’s collection brought together some of the most important works of Renaissance sculpture: masterpieces by Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Andrea del Verrocchio, Michelangelo Buonarroti, and Benvenuto Cellini, drawn largely from the Medici-Granducal collection. Subsequently, the museum’s holdings were enriched with superb examples of bronzes, ceramics, waxes, enamels, medals, ivories, tapestries, seals, and textiles, some from the Medici collections and others from suppressed convents or private collectors. In 1888, Louis Carrand, an antiquarian from Lyon, made one of the most important donations, bequeathing to the Bargello his collection of more than 2.500 paintings and works of decorative art.
A visit to the museum unfolds across the building’s three floors: on the ground floor, visitors may admire the enchanting panorama of the palazzo’s courtyard and the Sala di Michelangelo (Michelangelo Room), filled with sculptures by Michelangelo, Cellini, Giambologna, and Bartolomeo Ammannati.