A journey into beauty through 750 works of art: this is the Opera del Duomo Museum in Florence, where the world's largest collection of sculpture from the Florentine Middle Ages and Renaissance can be admired.
Six thousand square meters of space where works that have never been exhibited to the public or have just been restored find their place, too.
Masterpieces by the greatest artists of the time are preserved here, such as the Pietà Bandini by Michelangelo, one of his most mysterious works perhaps intended for the sculptor's funeral monument, who even tried to destroy it with a hammer, but also the splendid Maddalena penitente by Donatello (Penitent Magdalene), which depicts an elderly, suffering woman and is striking for its gaze full of tenderness.
The imposing, breathtaking Sala del Paradiso recreates the space existing between the Cathedral and the Baptistery, with the colossal full-scale model of the facade of the Duomo built by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1296, which was never completed and was finally dismantled in 1587.
Here it is reconstructed based on an original design of the time, including the 40 statues, signed by Arnolfo di Cambio, Donatello and Nanni di Banco, arranged in their original positions.
On the opposite side shines the Porta del Paradiso by Lorenzo Ghiberti, so renamed by Michelangelo for its golden beauty.
At its side are the Porta Nord del Battistero, also by Ghiberti, and the Porta Sud by Andrea Pisano.
The Galleria del Campanile by Giotto is splendid, with the 16 life-size statues - including the three extraordinary Prophets by Donatello - and the 54 panels that adorned the Bell Tower.
In the Gallerie delle Cantorie by Donatello and Luca della Robbia are located the two pulpits created for the Cathedral in the 15th century and 25 gold reliefs by Baccio Bandinelli made for the choir.
The room called the Galleria della Cupola is dedicated to Brunelleschi's work and his studies in engineering and mechanics, as well as cultural studies; wooden models for the Dome and the Lantern, a selection of tools of that era, and the great architect's death mask are displayed here.
The visit ends at the panoramic terrace, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Dome and the rooftops of Florence.
Information on accessibility: duomo.firenze.it