By Andrea Arredondo

Florence is known for collecting some of the world’s most famous sculptures, paintings, and taxidermized animals, but with so many museums available, where should you go in the limited time you have there? Well art lovers and curious travelers, read to find out what some of my highlights and underrated recommendations are…

The Uffizi Gallery is by and large, one of the most famous museums in Florence and this is definitely not one to miss. Home to Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Rafaello’s Madonna del Cardellino, and Caravaggio’s Medusa, each wing displays work by a variety of paintings by a myriad of artists. The Uffizi is easy to navigate and is air conditioned, which is a bonus during the summer heat. Best of all, after you finish, it is surrounded by other museums like the Pitti Palace and Palatine Gallery. Be sure to look for Titian’s Venus of Urbino before leaving!

Likewise, the Galleria dell’Accademia is well known for its collection of Michelangelo’s sculptures. As such, crowds quickly form and you can easily wait over two hours in line if you come at the wrong time. In order to avoid waiting, it is possible to buy tickets in advance so that you can go inside at a specified time. While the David may be the star of the museum, I also advise you take some time to appreciate Michaelangelo’s non-finito works before to see what sculptures look like while they are in the works.

A less visited museum is the Museum of the Opera del Duomo. Not very crowded, this museum welcomes you in through the Salone del Paradiso. It then displays Michelangelo’s much written about Pietà. Finally, inside another room that can barely be spotted, there rests Donatello’s creepy yet cool Penitant Madonna, a carving made out of wood. This museum may not be as large as the others, but it is a great way to get a glimpse inside the Duomo without actually going inside of it.

Similarly, Porcelain Museum is a smaller but still interesting visit. Found inside the Boboli Gardens, entrance is free with your ticket into the gardens (and completely free for locals, I believe). The Porcelain Museum can be a little hard to find as it is located at the very top of the hill and up a small staircase, but the hunt is worth the views in the small flower garden right in front of the museum. In addition to an incredible view of the Tuscan hills, the porcelain dishes found inside are beautiful to look at.

Now, any fashion lover knows that Florence is the home of Gucci, but not everyone knows that there exists a Gucci museum! Gucci Garden Galleria aesthetically presents a history of Gucci through clothing and accessories. From vintage pieces to more contemporary designs, you can learn more about this fashion leader’s inspiration in each room. Gucci Garden also sells clothing and items in a gift store—though I should let you know that the cheapest item I could find was a €10 post card (yes, just one post card). Students can get in for free, but I would only recommend this museum to someone that is interested in fashion history.

There are so many museums in Florence that I did not get a chance to see them all. Of the ones I did visit, these were my favorites so I hope you love them too!

Andrea Arredondo studied abroad in Florence in Summer 2019.