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The Museum of San Marco is located in the monumental part of an ancient Dominican convent and preserves its spiritual climate intact. Renovated starting in 1436 and designed by Italian architect Michelozzo, this place played an important role in preserving the religious and cultural life of the city. The fame of the museum, whose architecture is a Renaissance masterpiece, is due above all to the paintings of Beato Angelico, an extraordinary artist of Renaissance, who frescoed many rooms of the museum. You will discover a monumental place full of charm, which preserves works of art of great importance inside; here it will be possible to trace the history of the many illustrious men of the Dominican Order who have stayed there like Beato Angelico, Girolamo Savonarola, and Fra Bartolomeo to name just a few. Precisely from this convent, the Savonarola was hurled against the corruption of the costumes of the church of the time; in his cell, you can still find objects belonging to him and is, therefore, the most suitable place to talk about his controversial figure. Cross the corridors of the first floor together where Michelozzo built the dormitories for the friars at the behest of Cosimo il Vecchio; each cell was decorated by Fra Angelico with the help of his collaborators with details of the life and passion of Christ. In the corridors, instead, the Annunciation and the Madonna delle Ombre stand out with works of great artistic and spiritual value. On the ground floor, visit the rooms that overlook the central cloister of Sant'Antonino: the lavatory hall, the refectory and the hospice where there is the largest collection of works by Beato Angelico and which constitutes a real museum in the museum.We will then move to the Sala del Capitolo where the Angelic Crucifixion stands out and where the bell called 'piagnona' is exhibited by Michelozzo and Donatello who played in mourning when Savonarola died. Then continue the visit admiring the cenacle of Ghirlandaio inside the Piccolo Refettorio and cross the corridor that today hosts many artifacts saved from the nineteenth-century demolitions of the ancient historical center of Florence. Furthermore, visitors will not be able to enter the Church built by Michelozzo at the behest of Cosimo il Vecchio but restored at the end of the sixteenth century by Giambologna where two 16th century chapels stand out among the many works: the Cappella Salviati and the Serragli Chapel, two real masterpieces.
Visit this masterpiece containing the largest collection of sacred art
The museum is famous for its rich collection of Fra Angelico like Annunciation, The Mary's at the Tomb and other amazing frescos. The Last Judgement and Deposition of Christ are also made by Angelico. All these art belong to the 15th century. The paintings are preserved all these years in this beautiful museum.
Remarkable is also in this fresco the attention to detail, which gives the individual objects the value of a real still life, taking up the example of Flemish art. On the table are lined glass bottles with water and wine, glasses, cups, knives, bread, cheese, and various fruits, including main cherries, which symbolically recall the blood of the Passion with their red color; the tablecloth has an embroidery at the ends of Assisi. There are many virtuosities, such as the vision of the hands of the apostles over the glasses of the carafe, or the ideas of extreme realism, like the residual red circle of the wine drunk in the empty glasses. Remarkable is the embroidery of the tablecloth at the ends, of exotic ancestry.
Built like a castle, San Marco is generally a religious complex comprising of church and a convent. The convent is now the museum and church survives. The museum includes stunning Hospice Hall which contains splendid paintings. A giant garden in the green garden of Earthly Paradise is a boon to watch. Chapter House, Large Refectory and Small Refectory are some of the noted halls. The architecture belongs to the 14th century where the artists impressed with some notable works.
Michelozzo library on the first floor of the museum is built with two rows of beautiful columns. It has large windows which fill the room and allow light to study. The books range from Greek to Latin scripts which accounts to 400 manuscripts. The library was completed in 1444. It was the first public library in Florence. Many humanists and people used to gather here for meetings and workshops.
How to Get Tickets?
Tickets can be bought online or from the ticket counter.
How To Get Around?
Visitors need to walk through the complex to explore the museum. Bicycles and motorcycles are not allowed.
What Should I Wear?
Best Time to Visit
Museum is open between 8:15 am and 1:20 pm from Monday-Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays, the museum is open up to 4:50 pm from 8:15 am. Check the website for holidays. It usually takes two hours to explore and it's not crowded. So any time during the open timings is okay.
Will I Need a Guide?
How To Get There?
The Address of the museum is Piazza San Marco, 3, 50121, Firenze Fl. Metros and buses are available in the city. Florence Airport is 4.7 miles from the museum with a 17 min drive.
The Museum is closed on every 2nd and 4th Monday and 1st, 3rd, 5th Sunday of every month. It's closed on December 25th and January 1st too.