Museo dell'Opera del Duomo#4 in Best Things To Do in Florence
Spanning 25 rooms, three floors and nearly 65,000 square feet, the massive Museo dell'Opera del Duomo houses more than 750 works of art covering nearly 720 years of history. In short, it serves to preserve the artistic masterpieces that were once on display in the Duomo. Highlights from the collection include Ghiberti's original Gates of Paradise from the Baptistery and Michelangelo's Pietà, which many believe he created to adorn his tomb.
Many past travelers suggested stopping at the museum prior to visiting the Duomo to better understand the historical context of the cathedral and surrounding monuments. Plus, entrance to the museum is covered by the combo ticket you're required to buy if you want to climb the steps of the Duomo or visit any of the other sites within the square. Other visitors advised setting aside plenty of time to admire all of the works housed here. What's more, many others mentioned that this museum is not as crowded as the Uffizi.
The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Note that the museum is closed on the first Tuesday of the month. Tickets, which cost 18 euros (or about $20) cover entrance to the museum, as well as the Duomo, the Bell Tower, the Baptistery and more. To book your tickets and find more detailed information about the works on display within the museum, visit its official website.
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#1 Piazza della Signoria
Loggia dei Lanzi, in the Piazza della Signoria, is an open-air (and free) museum that was designed in the 14th century by Orcagna, an influential architect and artist. Below the building's curved arches are dozens of sculptures (notable ones include Giambologna's Rape of the Sabines and Cellini's Perseus), which draw crowds of tourists and locals alike. Behind it sits the Galleria degli Uffizi. The Piazza della Signoria is also filled with its (more than) fair share of sculptures, including a towering replica of Michaelangelo's David.
Take your time wandering around, and if you get tired, grab a seat along the Loggia dei Lanzi, or make your way to a cafe near the Fountain of Neptune. Recent visitors said this is a must-see spot and a great area to people-watch, view magnificent sculptures and rest travel-weary feet (though past travelers recommended avoiding the restaurants in this area, calling them "outrageously overpriced." To avoid the height of the crowds, visit in the evening. Access to the area is free 24/7.
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