Museum of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore
Piazza del Duomo, Florence – ITALY
Grand Re-Opening: Thursday, October 29 (Free entrance from 3-6pm)
Florentines and tourists alike have been awaiting the re-opening of the Museum of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore after its closure a couple of years ago for renovations. Opening just in time for next month’s Fifth National Congress of the Italian Church and upcoming visit to Florence by the Pope, the project is under creative direction by Monsignor Timothy Verdon. The Museum is dedicated to over 750 unique works specifically designed to adorn the interior or exterior of Florence’s most important religious monuments, including Renaissance masterpieces by Donatello, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Luca della Robbia, Antonio Pollaiuolo, and Michelangelo, as well as medieval statues, objects, and paintings commissioned for the Duomo, the Campanile and the Baptistery of Florence (also just unveiled after a deep-cleaning of the facade) that have been removed from their original position and taken out of daily liturgical use either for conservation or modernization purposes.
The beautifully revamped and enlarged museum space of almost 6000 square meters will prove to be a spectacular environment for masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s evocative Pietà, Donatello’s moving Mary Magdalene and the Prophets, the Cantorie by Luca della Robbia and Donatello, the legendary Gates of Paradise and the North Gate of the Baptistery by Lorenzo Ghiberti (soon to be completely restored). More than doubling the size of the former museum, a new space envelopes the old adjacent former Teatro degli Intrepidi (closed in 1914) purchased by the Opera in 1997.
Rivaling major museums in other cities around the world with its grandeur, the Museo dell’Opera will feature a grand hall featuring a monumental scale model made of resin and marble dust of the facade of the Duomo designed by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1296, but never completed, and destroyed at the end of the sixteenth century. Forty statues that were created for this facade will now be displayed and seen in their original context. The museum also includes beautiful original wooden models of the dome and designs that were submitted for the facade design competition, one attributed to Brunelleschi himself.
The project has been funded by the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, with a total investment of 45 million Euros (without grants), design by Adolfo Natalini and Guicciardini & Magni Architects.
Get a preview of the Museum with a walk through described and photographed by art historian, Alexandra Korey.
For more information, see:
The Museum will be free on October 29, 2015 from 3-6pm.
Closed November 9 & 10, 2015 for the private visits of the Pope.
Tickets must be used before midnight on the sixth day after purchase. The ticket allows the holder to visit all the monuments within 24 hours of visiting the first one. Each monument may be visited only once with the ticket. From October 30th, with the opening of the new Museum, the ticket will cost 15 euros. It includes visits to the Museum complex:
- Museo dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore – from October 29, 2015
- Brunelleschi’s Dome
- Giotto’s Bell Tower
- Baptistery of San Giovanni
- Crypt of Santa Reparata