Stunning location to view Fra Angelico's works, including the sublime 'Annunciation' at the top of Dormitory stairs. The individual cells are also decorated with lovely frescoes. Of all the wonders offered in Florence, it is this gentlest of sites that leaves me smiling.
A wonderful and often neglected gallery, the Bargello formerly housed a barracks and a prison; now, however, it is home to some of the finest sculpture in the city. Gems include Donatello's insouciant bronze David, which has an almost dandyish air, and Michelangelo's stern and commanding bust of Brutus, very much in the artistic line that paints Caesar's adoptive son as a heroic and inspirational figure, rather than a weak and malleable one. You will also find a treasure trove of works by the Della Robbia family in this imposing castle.
Via del Proconsolo 4 (near the Palazzo Vecchio); tel: (+39) 055 238 8606
Italy's premier art gallery. Pre-book your timed tickets at the pre-booking office or get your hotel to do it in advance. Sunday is the busiest day. Closed on Mondays. Be advised, it does not have a lot of really well known art, so if you are a phillistine head straight to Room 10 and gaze at Botticelli's Birth of Venus. The rest of the place is, honestly, not so memorable unless you are a true art buff.
The toilets are a disgrace. Avoid if at all possible, especially if you are a woman. The cafe is well worth a visit, if the sun is shining. Sit outside at one of the tables high above the city.
Piazzale degli Iffizi 6
Tel: 055 23885
The place that houses Michelangelo's statue of David. There is other stuff in the building but this is the reason for going. Now he has been cleaned he looks great. The kids will like it - he has no clothes on!
The real tip is to book your tickets before you begin to queue. Get your hotel to do it, for a specific time or you can do it on the internet before you leave home. If you don't you will queue for hours along with a load of Americans who have not read their guide book info properly. There is a separate - and much shorter - queue for pre-booked tickets. Yes, it costs you 3 euros more per person but it saves hours of queuing.
Via Ricasoli 58-60
Tel: 055 2388609
This clever card ("Friends of the Uffizi") gets you into all the state galleries for free - Uffizi, Accademia, many more. Plus - and this is the best thing - you get to jump all of the massive queues! It lasts for a year and it's genius.
25 euro for the under-26s, 60 euro for those above, and a family deal for 100 euro.
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