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The vibrant city of Florence, chock full of some of the most world-renowned Renaissance art and architecture, is always surprising us. This week, we were happy to learn that the Bardini Museum, which kept its doors shut for renovations for nearly a decade, has finally reopened.
A little bit of history
The museum is named for Stefano Bardini (1836-1922), an art dealer known for his flair for Renaissance art and his love of blue painted walls (he originally trained as a painter). In 1922, Bardini donated his life’s labor—and the building he housed it all in—to the city of Florence. For years, the museum was open to the public and showcased most of his own personal collection.
Fun fact: Fans of Bardini’s collection during his lifetime included the famed Bostonian Isabella Stewart Gardner, a great collector in her own right. She even used his signature blue-painted exhibition walls in her own self-made museum.
In with the new
The improved Bardini Museum is said to be a one-stop for some of the most unique Renaissance art in Europe. This week, and in the future, the museum will be offering lectures and tours too.
Highlights of the collection include Roman sarcophagi, delicate wooden sculptures, and works attributed to Donatello and Pisano. Newer acquisitions now grace the halls as well as many others thought to be from between the 12th and 15th centuries. All are presented in the Bardini’s unique setting where columns, altars, and even stairs from original Romanesque and Renaissance-era buildings lend the museum’s spaces an authentic, ethereal feel.
If you go…
The Bardini is located at Via dei Renai, 37 (Ponte alle Grazie) and is open Saturdays, Sundays, and on Mondays from 11 AM to 5 PM. Admission is €5 (adults), €4 (students and seniors), or €2 (children).
For more information, you can visit the Bardini’s site (only in Italian).