In the restored "Museum of the works of the Cathedral" fascinating spaces and scenic installations are the setting for a spectacular exhibition of the world's most important collection of medieval and Florentine renaissance sculptures, along with countless other unique masterpieces of art, result of the genius, passion and faith of the era's greatest artists
What will I see?
The Opera del Duomo Museum Tour will immerse you in the world of Italy's master painters, architects, and sculptors of the medieval and Renaissance periods. You'll explore the Opera del Duomo museum, and the world-renowned architecture and art in Florence's Piazza del Duomo.
What will I do?
Our tour begins at the majestic Sala dell'Antica Facciata. This elongated room displays a scale replica of the Piazza del Duomo as it was in the 1300s. The facade of Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral is adorned with the three original gates of the Baptistery. In the middle of the room, detailed sculptures of Lorenzo Ghiberti's legendary golden gates illustrate the biblical story of Solomon and the Queen of Saba. Michelangelo often referred to Ghiberti's dazzling golden doors as the 'Gates of Paradise'.
As we continue down the hall, the Gothic facade is lined with 40 magnificent sculptures, including Donatello's St. John the Evangelist, St. Luke the Evangelist by Nanni di Banco and the Madonna of the Glass Eyes by Arnolfo di Cambio. As we proceed, we arrive at Michelangelo's angelic and moving Pieta. The face of Nicodemus, who held Christ as he was removed from the cross, is believed to be a likeness of Michelangelo himself. In the same hall, we will see Donatello's Penitent Magdalene, a magnificent wooden sculpture of Mary Magdalene.
Our tour continues on the first floor. As we peruse the halls, we arrive at an illuminated gallery exhibiting a marvellous series of high-reliefs and 16 statues from the Giotto's Bell Tower. Amongst the statues are Donatello's famous prophets Jeremy and Abacuc. From there, we stroll over to the Galleria della Cupola. The gallery contains models of Filippo Brunelleschi's cathedral dome, which dates back to 1400 and is the highest and widest dome constructed in the period. From there we explore Brunelleschi's Lanterna (lamp) and you'll marvel at its exquisite form.
From the Galleria della Cupola, we continue to Galleria delle Cantorie. This gallery contains Donatello's and Luca della Robbia's grand sculptures. Our final stop is the Gallery of the Silver Altar, home to the Altar of St. John and Christ in the Cross which contains a piece of Christ's cross. Crafted from silver belonging to the treasury of the Baptistery, these medieval and Renaissance masterpieces were created by Antonio del Pollaiolo, Andrea Verrocchio, and others. From there, you are welcome to climb up to the dome's terrace for a panoramic view of Florence, dominated by the landmark of Brunelleschi's dome, an architectural masterpiece.
After your descent, you are free to remain in the museum and access the other monuments at your leisure. Your ticket grants you access to the Great Museum of the Cathedral Complex, which includes the cathedral, the Crypt, and the Baptistery, which is one of the oldest buildings in Florence. You can also climb the Santa Reparata Crypt and the Giotto's bell tower. Once the tour is over, you'll be invited to enjoy some cheese with balsamic vinegar and a glass of Chianti.
Why should I go?
Florence is a majestic medieval and Renaissance city, and there's no better way to immerse yourself in that culture than with a visit to the Opera del Duomo Museum.
This guided tour will bring the magnificent monuments to life with historical facts and anecdotes about Florence's greatest antiquities.
• Check-in and Meeting Point: 04:45pm at the Opera del Duomo Museum, in front of the entrance (9, Piazza del Duomo)
No penalty for cancellations up to 48 hours in advance of the schedule departure time. Less than 48 hours and in case of no show, 100% of penalty
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