The Bargello, in Florence, Italy also called the Palazzo del Popolo or the Bargello Palace was a former palace then prison, and now an art museum. It is among the oldest public buildings in the city and is a fine representation of the Medieval Florentine architecture. The Bargello goes back to 1255 and was built for Capitano del Popolo or the People’s Captain. It was the first seat of the Council of Justice of the Wheel Judges in 1574, during the time of Cosimo I de’ Medici. In the 16th century it became the residence of the Bargello and was later converted into a prison where torture and executions took place during the entire 18th century. Executions were abolished in 1786 by the Grand Duke Peter Leopold but Bargello continued to be the Florentine police headquarters until 1865.
In 1865 the Bargello became Italy’s first National Museum outside the Vatican and was enriched with some of the most significant Renaissance sculptures with masterpieces from Verrocchio, Donatello,Cellini, Giambologna, Michelangelo and Luca della Robbia. The museum also stores many other fine art works and treasures.
Features of the Bargello Museum
The Bargello Museum has many features such as:
• The Andrea Robbia Room which contains terracotta works by Andrea Robbia and Giambologna.
• Two rooms of the Bargello hold the renowned Medici coin collection, started by Lorenzo de’Medici.
• The Donatello Room carries statues by Donatello.
• The Giovanni della Robbia Room holds terracotta glazed works from Giovanni della Robbia, and a portrait bust from Bernini.
• Michelangelo Room features works by Michelangelo.
• The Loggia holds the Mercury statue by Giambologna and his emblem of “Architecture”, in addition to sculptures by Bandinelli and Moschino.
The Bargello is open from Monday to Sunday at 8:15AM to1:50 PM and is closed on the first, third and fifth Sunday, and second and fourth Monday of every month. It is also closed on New Year’s Day, the first of May and Christmas Day.
Accommodation Near Bargello
When looking for a place to stay near Bargello, there are many options available to meet the needs and budget of everyone from hotels to hostels; like the Backpackers Proconsolo Rooms one of the first hostels in Florence, The Grand Hotel Cavour, Bagno a Ripoli Hotel and Bernini Palace By Baglioni Hotels Spa.
There are many interesting places around Bragello to visit like Palazzo Vecchio, Duomo – Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Vivoli, and Galleria degli Uffizi. Tours are also available with guides who speak English for those who don’t understand Italian.