By: Jean Hinkley, MA 2016-17
While the influx of tourists returns, I am reminded how much there is to see and do in Florence. Fortunately for students like us, we have the luxury of time. Instead of cramming in all the major sights in a week, we can make sure to see everything over the course of several months.
As a museum studies student, I might be a little biased here, but one of the best ways to get the most out of your experience in Florence is to step into a museum. Not only will you gain stronger cultural and historical connections with the city that surrounds you, but you’ll also see a lot of really cool old stuff!
One of the many perks of living in Florence is the vast array of museums and their unique collections. We owe a lot of what is seen within Florentine museums to the Medici family – who were not only political leaders, but also patrons and collectors. Between the 13th and 18th centuries, the Medici family amassed paintings, sculptures, as well as scientific and musical instruments. Thanks to the Family Pact, constructed by Anna Maria Luisa de’Medici, the Medici treasures must remain in Florence.
In my opinion, it’s always a good time to go to a museum. However, there are several opportunities to visit Florentine museums for free. The 1st Sunday of every month, State-run museums in Florence offer free entry. The lines might be long, but what you find will be worth the wait. Attend major museums like the Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti, the Bargello, and the Accademia without charge, or explore less visited museums such as Palazzo Davanzati, Museum of San Marco, or the Novecento Museum. Free admission is also honored on holidays such as the anniversary of Anna Maria Louisa (February 18th), Festa delle Donna (March 8th), and Notte Bianca (April 30).
Next upcoming time to visit State-run museums for free: Sunday, April 2nd.