Which are the most beautiful museums in the world? For the international press, they are right here in Tuscany, a bona fide paradise for art lovers. Here are the top ten museums, according to the international journalism observatory “Nathan the Wise”.
In first place stands the Uffizi Gallery, a treasure chest of the world’s most important artworks, also according to the Times: some of the greatest masterpieces of humanity are housed here, including the Primavera and the Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli and the Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci. Plus there’s the innovative Tondo Doni by Michelangelo, the sensual Venus of Urbino by Titian, and the harmonious Madonna del Cardellino by Raphael. We mustn’t forget the Vasari Corridor, the secret passageway built by the Medici in the sixteenth century, which links the Palazzo Vecchio to the Pitti Palace, passing above the Ponte Vecchio and which is part of the Uffizi (can only be visited upon reservation).
The silver medal goes to the museums of the Pitti Palace: here not only can you admire The Three Ages of Man by Giorgione or Titian's Penitent Magdalene housed in the Palatine Gallery but also take a stroll along the tree-lined walkways of the Boboli gardens, one of the most significant examples of an Italian garden in the world.
Third place goes to the Accademia Gallery, where Michelangelo’s genius shines forth: here you find his extraordinary incomplete statues, the Prisoners, where the figures seem to want to break out of the marble shell in which they are kept, as well as the original world-famous David; over 5 metres tall, he feels you beyond breathless.
We stay in Florence for the fourth spot, too: the Bargello, which is home to the most important collection of sculpture in Italy, with works by Cellini, Michelangelo and Giambologna, as well as the famous bronze David by Donatello.
We leave Florence to visit the Pinacoteca del Palazzo Comunale in San Gimignano, where we can take in the works of Filippino Lippi, Benozzo Gozzoli and the large altar piece by Pinturicchio, while sixth place is held by the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Pisa, in Piazza dei Miracoli, which is also home to statues by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano hailing from Pisa’s Baptistry and the treasures of its Cathedral.
Seventh and eighth places respectively are awarded to the lesser known gems of Tuscan art: the Civic and Diocesan Museum of Art in Montepulciano and the Civic Archaeological Museum of Etruscan Civilisation in Pitigliano, in the Maremma, with findings that were unearthed in the town’s necropolises and acropolises.
In ninth place we find the Civic Museum of Sansepolcro, which houses masterpieces by Piero della Francesca such as the Resurrection and the Polyptych of Misericordia.
The top ten of Tuscany’s museums ends with Villa Bardini in Florence, an exhibition centre that hosts temporary shows, including photographic ones, as well as vaunting wonderful gardens affording some of the most beautiful views of the city.