Destined initially for the Podesta, the city's high officials in the late Middle Ages, this 1255 building has undergone many restorations without losing any of its medieval allure. A prison for three centuries, it served as the headquarters of the police captain, the bargello. The interior courtyard was the macabre scene of executions until the 19th century, when the building became one of the first museums in Italy.
Instead of dwelling on this chapter of its history, head straight to the bronze statue A Little Fisher, by Vincenzo Gemito, before climbing to the first floor, which is dedicated to Donatello's David, his Amore-Attis, and his masterful Marzocco, the symbol of Florence, a copy of which stands in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. As the visit is chronological, you finish in the hall of the Cinquecento, which holds many works by Michelangelo, including early pieces like the unfinished Bacchus.
Museo Nazionale del Bargello
Via del Proconsolo, 4
+39 055 064 9440