Florence Free Museums: The Final 2019 Schedule
Of interest to visitors and residents alike, Florence’s Bargello museum complex has just announced its free openings in 2019, two and a half months into the year and the last of the local state-run museums to do so. The group consists of the Bargello, the Medici Chapels, the Orsanmichele, the Palazzo Davanzati Renaissance Home Museum, and the Martelli Historical House. The Bargello is also currently hosting part of the Strozzi Foundation’s “Verrocchio, Master of Leonardo” show.
At the end of this article is a complete schedule of dates when no-cost access to Florence’s state run-museums. As decreed by Minister of Culture Alberto Bonisoli, the new agenda will substitute the former first Sunday free museum day except for the fall and winter months. Tourists who happen to be in town on those days are sure to be pleasantly surprised, which may have been a consideration given the long lines on the former well-established and easy-to-remember first Sundays.
It’s obvious that whoever put together the calendar for the Bargello had a sense of humor. March 27, the day of the David of Donatello prize ceremony, the Italian equivalent of the Academy Awards but with a David statue instead of the Oscar, is a day when no admission will be charged at the entire Bargello museum complex. The Bargello Museum is where the original David sculpture by Donatello, created between 1420 and 1450 prior to Michelangelo’s interpretation, is housed, so it is only fitting that the museum permits visitors to see the real deal that inspired the statuette.
Also included is November 30, la Festa della Toscana, which celebrates the region’s rich history; apt, considering that the Bargello was originally a prison as well as an execution grounds for inmates.
The commemoration was established on the date in 1786 when Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo abolished the death penalty in Tuscany, the first area in Western society to do so.
Some of the other dates when museum entrance is waived are national holidays in Italy, such as April 25 (Liberation Day, which commemorates the defeat of the Nazis and their Fascist allies during WW2); June 6 (the day in 1946 when the Republic of Italy was voted into being to replace the monarchy); and October 13 (National Family Day). May 9, known as Europe Day, marking the release of Robert Schuman’s declaration, which served as the basis for the EU, is also on the schedule.
Other holidays offering no-cost admission to the Bargello museums include June 24, the feast of Florence’s patron saint, St. John the Baptist, and September 29, for Corri la Vita, a walkathon/marathon established by the city of Florence to raise money for cancer research with big name collaborators like Salvatore Ferragamo.
Admittedly, for the Orsanmichele, the calendar doesn’t matter since the church does not charge entrance (hours: 10 am to 4:50 pm daily); the statue museum upstairs is open only on Mondays but on Saturdays hours are 10 am to 12:30 pm.
The “always free, even on free days” redundancy applies to the Martelli Historical House, which is open Thursdays from 2 pm to 7 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 2 pm, with complimentary guided tours on Mondays at 3 and 4 pm. The Bargello welcomes visitors from 8:15 am to 1:50 pm for €8 daily. Entrance to the Medici Chapels is €8 between 8:15 am to 1:50 pm. Palazzo Davanzati opens its doors for €6 also from 8:15 am to 2 pm weekdays, 1:15 to 7 pm on weekends.
Both the Accademia Gallery and the Uffizi Gallery as well as the Uffizi Gallery complex released their cost-free openings earlier this year (see below). The Accademia Gallery will be accessible at no charge on November 5 through 10, November 22, and December 8. The newly-christened Uffizi Galleries comprise the Uffizi itself, the museums in Palazzo Pitti (Palatine Gallery; the Fashion and Costume Gallery; the Modern Art Museum: Porcelain Museum; the “Treasure of the Grand Dukes Museum” (formerly the Silver Museum); and the Boboli Gardens. The Uffizi’s no-charge schedule will be in effect on May 26, August 11, and November 6. Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli gardens will have their “visit five museums and a garden at no charge” days on August 4, August 27, and November 30.
Keep in mind that all state-run museums will be free to all on the first Sundays of the last three months of the year: October 6, November 3, and December 1. (katy rose sparks)
A Quick Guide to Free Florence Museums in 2019
March 27: Bargello Museums (Bargello, Medici Chapels, Palazzo Davanzati and the Martelli House)
April 25: Bargello Museums
May 9: Bargello Museums
May 26: Uffizi
June 2: Bargello Museums & Uffizi
June 23: Uffizi/Pitti (Palatine, Costume, Treasure of the Grandukes, Porcelain, Modern Art Galleries & Boboli)
June 24: Bargello Museums
August 4: Pitti/Boboli
August 11: Uffizi
August 27: Pitti/Boboli
September 29: Bargello Museums
October 6: Uffizi, Pitti/Boboli, Bargello Museums & Accademia
October 11: Uffizi/Pitti/Boboli
October 13: Bargello Museums
October 31: Uffizi/Pitti/Boboli
November 3: Uffizi, Pitti/Boboli, Bargello Museums & Accademia
November 5: Accademia
November 6: Accademia & Uffizi
November 7 – 10: Accademia
November 22: Accademia
November 30: Bargello Museums & Pitti/Boboli
December 1: Uffizi, Pitti/Boboli, Bargello Museums
December 8: Accademia