Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 7, 2012

The magnificent Bargello museum in Florence

I have walked past this gorgoeus building many times in Florence many times without going in. I have no worthwhile excuse….anyway….I remedied this recently and went in to see Donatella’s David, among other things.

The first thing you see is the wonderful courtyard.



The Palazzo Bargello, where the museum is housed is one of the oldest public buildings in Florence. It was begun in the 13th century and originally called Palazzo Pretorio. It has been a museum since 1865.

Photographs are only allowed in the courtyard and loggia areas.


The staircase up to the loggia is stunning.


One of the crowned lions under the stairs.


A crowned person under the stairs.

Upstairs in the loggia are many beautiful sculptures.






There is a collection of bronze animals made in 1564 for the grotto of the Medici Villa at Castello.





Having said there were no photos allowed inside, I didn’t find that out until I had taken a few and was asked to put my camera away. Here are the ones I got.






That’s all I have for you. You will have to visit the Bargello yourself to see Michelangelo’s works, the gorgeous Giovanni della Robbia room, the Donatello Hall with the famous bronze of David and all the other things they wouldn’t let me photograph.


  1. Just as you said, Debra, the Bargello houses a magnificent collection of works and the building is one of Florence’s finest. Hard to believe that it was really the city’s Police Department (Middle Age’s version) and a prison…. actually, I always get an eery feeling whenever I visit it, as quite a few executions took place in its yard….

    • I am pleased they have stopped the executions in the courtyard….most unpleasant.

  2. What a beautiful place 🙂

    • It is a beautiful museum, full of fascinating things.

      • Certainly is from your photography 🙂

      • I wish I could have taken more photos inside. It is worth going for the Della Robbia room alone.

      • Maybe another trip? 😉

  3. Would love one day to vist the Bargello. Sorry I didn’t know of its existance but obviously one of the many best kept secrets in the beautiful city of Florence. Fabulous photos Deb.

    • We will get there together one day.

  4. So glad that you got to sneak a few pictures for us!

    • I can understand them not wanting flash photography, but I don’t understand NO PHOTOS. Do they want to sell the book?

  5. You have certainly whetted my appetite for the rest of the Museum. It is wonderful. Thank you.

    • There was too much there for just one visit. We should go together.

  6. Gosh, what a lovely place–especially those stairs. Wow.

    • It is a gorgeous museum. I’ll be back there often.

  7. All of the the different sculptures and materials make for such an interesting photo gallery Debra!

    • There is a never ending supply of gorgeous things to see in Italy.

  8. I adore the Bargello Debra. This is a wonderful Easter egg! My only one so far too…. I could not wait to see Donatello’s David when I first got to Firenze and remember standing open-mouthed. It’s not a huge sculpture as you know but you know how it is when you see the works you studied in school – in distant Australia no less – right there in front of you… I love painted wooden sculpture too so brava for getting in before the official telling off. I hope they were nice about it. Have a lovely Italian Easter. Buona Pasqua!

    • To stand in front of these incredible works is wonderful. This David is just gorgeous. I will be a regular visitor.

  9. The Bargello is great, not only for the works but for the architecture itself – my favourite kind of museum.

    • The building is gorgeous. I love the courtyard….I try not to think of the executions that took place there.


    • There are some amazing things to see in the museum.

  11. What an incredible opportunity to see all those amazing works of art that are centuries old. I studied all of that art while I was at school but have never seen the real works, only photographs. Shame! Must get myself to Florence. I would love to spend a day there.

  12. Debra, you see the magnificence and details that others miss, and then you’re kind enough to share them with all of us. Bless you for that! xx

    • It is always the details I love the most.

  13. Thankyou for sharing your photos. i love the bronze animals and the shot of Poseiden (?) protectively cupping his privates as you look up at him, as usual you make me want to pack and go touring. i get a lot of pleasure from seeing through your camera’s eye with you

    • I will email you another photo of Giambologna’s Oceano, which I’m sure you will enjoy.

  14. I didn’t make it there on my recent trip to Florence, but I’ll never forget going years ago and seeing Michelangelo’s Bacchus!

    • It is a beautiful museum. I should have been there years ago. I will be a regular from now on.

  15. Do you know the explanation/s on why the angels look so child-like yet so muscular? Hehe

  16. […] the little fisherman in the Bargello Museum. Click here for more on the […]

  17. During my week in Florence, I visited this museum and loved it!!! Well worth a visit there.

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