Visiting Museums and Monuments in Tuscany

Art, archaeology, history, literature - find out how to make the most of the museums using discount tickets and vouchers in Pisa, Florence, Siena, Lucca, Livorno and the other provinces of Tuscany...

Most state-owned museums (particularly those in the north of the country and in cities) are open Tuesday to Sunday 09:00-19:00. These hours may be shorter in more rural places and during winter. Privately-owned museums will likely have different business hours. Check with the local tourist office for relevant information.

Archaeological sites generally open from 09:00 to an hour before sunset.

Churches are open to the public and admission is generally free (although there will be a donations box). Visitors should dress modestly when visiting religious sites (no sleeveless shirts, short shorts or skirts or bare feet; shoulders should be covered).

Taking photos with a flash is banned in most museums. When visiting churches and cathedrals it is forbidden to film or take photos during services.

Tuscany has many museums, monuments, villas with significant gardens, and sites of historical interest. In general, museums are closed on Mondays.

Tourist and Museum Cards

Florence has a museum access pass, the Firenze Card. This card is valid for 72 hours and provides admission to more than 30 museums, villas and historical gardens in Florence. The card permits immediate access to venues without reservation or queuing; it allows access to special exhibitions and activities at participating museums. ATAF&Linea buses and trams can be used free.

The card is activated the first time it is used (to enter a museum or use the public transport) and remains valid for three consecutive days. It may only be used once per venue during the 72 hour period.

  • The Firenze Card can be bought online: Click here
  • It is sold at the following outlets in the city: Click here
  • For a full list of museums the card gives access to: Click here

Friends of the Uffizi Gallery (Amici degli Uffizi)

Amici degli Uffizi was founded in 1993 following a terrorist attack which damaged some of the gallery's artwork. Members are entitled to free entry to the Uffizi and all state-owned museums in Florence for one year. Ordinary membership is available to adults, families and young adults under 26 years of age.

Association of Friends of the Pitti Palace (Amici di Palazzo Pitti)

Founded in 1996, the Amici di Palazzo Pitti association promotes better knowledge and appreciation for the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens. Members are allowed to enter the Pitti Palace and all state-owned museums in Florence free for one year. There are also activities for members including visits to exhibitions, lectures and concerts. Membership is open to adults and couples.

National heritage week

The Settimana dei beni culturali, a government-organised heritage week, is an annual event during which entry to many museums is free.

  • For the Beni Culturali website: Click here (in Italian)

Museums

Tuscany has hundreds of museums, monuments of ancient history and sites of historical interest, including medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces, Baroque churches and gardens of historical, design or botanic interest. In Florence alone there are over 70 museums.

  • For museums in the provinces of Tuscany visit the Musei.it website (in Italian)

These are the most significant museums in Florence and useful links to find museums in every province.

Uffizi

An art museum housing the premier collection of Italian Renaissance art, including work by masters such as Botticelli, Titian, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. There are over 1,700 artworks on display and 1,400 in storage. The most famous paintings include Boticelli's Birth of Venus, da Vinci's The Annunciation, Michelangelo's Holy Family, Giotto's Maestà and Caravaggio's Bacchus.

Entrance is free to EU citizens under 18 or over 65 years of age. For non-EU citizens, children under six years of age enter for free. Students or scholars of all nationalities engaged in specific research may apply for special permits for a limited period.

Booking a visit in advance is recommended as the gallery is very busy in high season.

  • Uffizi
    At: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 50122 Florence (FI)
    Open: Tuesday to Sunday 08:15–18:50
    Tel: 055 238 8651
    email

Galleria dell'Academia

Europe's first school of drawing, this museum of art is chiefly famous for its sculptures by Michelangelo, notably David, in addition to an extensive collection of 15th and 16th-century paintings.

The entrance ticket for the Galleria dell'Academia is also valid for the Museum of Musical Instruments. Entrance is free to EU citizens under 18 or over 65 years of age with proof of EU citizenship. Children under six years of age and who are not EU citizens may also enter for free. Students and scholars of all nationalities engaged in specific research may apply for special permits for a limited period.

Palazzo Pitti

The Pitti Palace with the Boboli Gardens is the largest museum complex in Florence. It is divided into several galleries including the Palatine, Royal Apartments, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Museum of the Medici Treasures, the Porcelain Museum, the Costume Gallery and the Carriages Museum.

The Palatine and Royal Apartments and the Gallery of Modern Art are open Tuesday to Sunday 08:15-18:50. The Costume Gallery, Museum of Medici Treasures, Porcelain Museum and the Boboli Gardens all have seasonal opening hours. They are Tuesday to Sunday 08:15-16:30 from November to February, 08:15-17:30 in March and October when daylight saving time ends, 08:15-18:30 in April, May, September and 08:15-19:30 June to August.

Santa Maria della Scala

Santa Maria della Scala in Siena is a museum complex that houses the National Archaeological Museum of Siena. The building served as a hospital from the 10th century until the 1990s. Its exhibitions detail history from the Etruscan and Roman age, through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the modern age.

  • Santa Maria della Scala
    At
    : Piazza Duomo, 2, 53100 Siena (SI)
    Open: 10:30-18:30 daily from March to November
    Tel: 0577 224 811

Museo Nazionale di San Matteo

The National Museum of San Matteo is housed in a Benedictine Monastery. It features an exhibition of paintings from the 12th to 18th centuries and a collection of sculpture from the Pisano School.

  • Museo Nazionale di San Matteo (in Italian)
    At
    : Piazza San Matteo in Soarta (Lungarno Mediceo), 56100 Pisa (PI)
    Open: Tuesday to Sunday 09:00-19:00 (09:00-14:00 on festival days)
    Tel: 050 541 865

Monuments

The Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) is the setting for some of Pisa's most famous monuments including the Duomo, Baptistry, Camposanto, Campanile and the Leaning Tower, the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo and the Museo delle Sinopie.

The world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa was designed as the bell tower for the neighbouring cathedral. Building work began in 1173 and took over 200 years to complete. The tower began leaning shortly after construction began due to the instability of its foundation. Recently extensive engineering works were carried out to stabilise the tower and it is now possible for visitors (accompanied by a guide) to climb to the top.