Mar 29th, 2002, 01:32 PM
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Which museums are worth the trip in Rome, Florence & Venice? I am not a big museum fan, but would like to see the really good ones.
Mar 29th, 2002, 01:38 PM
chay hobson
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In Rome the Vatican and Capitoline museums are the two major attractions and half a day should be allowed for each museum. Inside the Capitoline you will find a marble foot 2.5 metres long and weighs 7 tons!!! if you need any more info contact me. This is my real e-mail address.
Mar 29th, 2002, 01:39 PM
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Rome: Vatican Museum and Borghese Galleries

Florence: Uffizi and Accademia

Venice: Doges Palace - - not really a museum, but comparable in its educational content

Best wishes,

Mar 29th, 2002, 01:45 PM
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what do you like and how many days in each place do you have? you'll be better off deciding your own priorities.
Florence has primarily Renaissance art, Michelangelo and earlier, which means primarily religious subjects. Glorious.
I wasn't a fan of that art before I went; Florence "converted" me .
Rome has art, artifiacts, and architecture from the ancient Roman era forward. Some of its best art and sculpture is in its churches. The "star" Roman artist imo is
Bernini whose works can be seen in churches as well as at the wonderful Borghese Gallery. You will see some departures from purely religious subjects. The Vatican Museums collection covers several centuries itself, right up to the 20th.
Venice's best art is in its churches imo. But the Peggy Guggenheim collection has modern art from the middle and second half of the 20th century, housed in a palazzo that has a modern feeling to it. The majority of Venice's other art works, with exceptions of course, are very early Renaissance, starting with the 15th century, which again means primarily religious subjects. Venetian religious art looks quite different from that of Florence, which you can see yourself when you get there.
Perhaps pick up any general guidebook for each city and do some reading on the notable museums and churches; you may find yourself deciding on what interests you and what doesn't.
Rick Steves's book "Mona Winks" is found by some to be helpful as a quick and easy "Cliff's notes" on some major museums in Europe.
Mar 29th, 2002, 01:52 PM
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I certainly agree with the preceding suggestions, but I would definitely add the Accademia Gallery in Venice to the list to make it complete.
Mar 29th, 2002, 02:04 PM
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thanks for all the great quick advice! i will be in each city for 3 days
Mar 29th, 2002, 02:08 PM
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with three days in each city, I'd do some reading and choose the one or perhaps two museums or art works that I absolutely want to see.
Michelangelo's "David" in the Accademia Museum in Florence would be the one I'd choose and recommend.
That museum sometimes has long lines; you can order advance timed tickets either by having your hotel reserve a ticket, or by paying a commission to
Mar 29th, 2002, 02:28 PM
chay hobson
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For works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini you should check out the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, just walk up to the left as you face the Pantheon (another amazing construction) until you come to a marble elephant behind there you will find the only gothic Church in Rome filled with treasures, even a statue by Michealangelo himself and more than 10 works by the Bernini school of sculpture.
Mar 29th, 2002, 03:26 PM
really good ones
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<<add the Accademia Gallery in Venice to the list to make it complete.>>

Did he ask for a complete list?

I don't think so.
Mar 29th, 2002, 07:58 PM
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-Florence: Bargello!
Mar 30th, 2002, 06:33 AM
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FIrst off, if you are not a museum lover you need to have a strategy when you go and visit Museums. You need to make sure you do not stop to see every work of art. So what if you miss something. Italy has so many important museums with so much incredible art that if you try to see it all your head will spin and your brain turn to mush. My wife and I, when we wish to speed thru a museum, try to walk thru a museum at a saunter and then stop for what grabs our attention. This way we get the big picture of the collection.

Secondly, it is not the number of museums you go into in total but how long you stay that will determine your exhaustion level.

Finally, there are many a church which has an art collection worth of museum status that are easy on a non museum lover because of the alternative atmosphere.

Now for my list:


First off is the Peggy Guggenhiem. Its not renaissance art but early 20th centuary modern art here. One of the most interesting parts of the museum is that it was her home. The collection is arranged as she lived with it. This is all easy on the eye modern art in an amazingly comfortable atmosphere. Its usually not too crowded. Its also fairly near Nico on the Zattiere which has some of the best gelato in Venice. I lvoe the melone and other fruit flavors while they are famous for gianduja which is hazelnut served in a slice and topped with whipped cream.

The Frari and Scuola di San Rocco- The Frari is a church with 2 incredible works, Titians Assumption of Mary and an alterpiece by Belini. The assumption is huge and vivid in its use of colors. The church itself is also wonderful with carved wood and intarsia. San Rocco is a "school" or social club and charitable institution combined. Tintoretto painted over 50 painting for it which are hung from the cieling. You use mirrors to view the paintings. Both the experience and the artwork are over the top.

Finally go to antoher church for Carpaccio's cycle on San Georgio. Its in the Scuola di San Georgio. Bizzare, macabre and wonderful.

IMHO, don't go to the accademia as it is a huge and stultifying collection with a few gems. We are museum lovers and it was hard going for us.

Rome and Florence in the next post.
Mar 30th, 2002, 06:48 AM
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Accademia- be sure to reserve in advance wither by phone of over the internet to avoid the lines. Home to the David but also home to my favorite works by Michaengelo- the prisoners. These are uncompleted works by M. He only partially freed the figures from the stone and left them trapped in the marble blocks. They have been struggling to free themselves ever since. Its incredible to see the life force and vitality in them. The rest of the collevtion has some interesting stuff but again there is more mediocrity than gems. The Lippis are wonderful.

Ufizzi- if you reserve tickets in advance and skip parts, it can be done in an hour or two. I recomend the Titians, the Masaccio, the Pierro della Francesca, the Raphaels and the Michaengelo. Study the room guide and you can eliminate over half the rooms and get a wonderful march thru the renaissance. Spending time at the loggia de lanzi and its incredible sculpture collection is a relaxing thing to do as well.

Brancacci Chapel at Santa Maria della Carmine- again not a museum but few museums have works of such importance. Masolino and Lippi created major works of art here but they are overshadowed by those of Masaccio IMHO. Masaccio was the first fully formed artist of the renaissance and so much of Michaengelo and Raphael can be found in his work. The latter two studied Masaccio's works here. Its incredible to think that they were whitewashed over and discarded as relics.

Museo del Opera di santa Maria del Fiori- the museum to the building of the Duomo. Behind the duomo, this is interesting for not only its artwork but also the tools used in building the Duomo.

Finally, Santa Maria Maggadelena dei Pazzi has a fresco by Perugino. You can spend 20 minutes there or commune in silence (as you will probably be the only visitors there) for an hour as I did. The fresco is original and never restored.

I have yet to get there, but the Bargello is supposed to be one of Florence's nicest and lowest key museums.


The Galleria Borghese. One of the great small museums in the world. You ahve to ahve reservations which allow you in for 2 hours. Immediately go to the second floor to see the painting gallery. The really good stuff are the Titians and Raphaels in the back rooms. After seeing the paintings go back to the first floor and the crowds will be several rooms ahead of you making for a more intimate experience. Downstairs is one of the most incredible sculpture collections with many Bernini's.

Villa Giulia- the Etruscan museum. superb grounds and a wonderful collection. Huge so just pick and choose what you see. Can be done the same day as the Borghese.

The Vatican- Take a guided tour in english from the Vatican. You will see the highlights and get insight and be thru in less than 2 hours. The collection is overwealming but also incredible.

Mar 30th, 2002, 07:05 AM
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Hi Chris! I echo Dean's recommendation to see Il Frari & the Scuolo di San Rocco. On my last trip, I had the luxury of being in Venice for 4 days & these were two of the sights I enjoyed most. If you are an opera lover, Verdi is entombed in Il Frari. Check your timing because the church has short hours.

I also enjoyed the Ca d' Oro. Mostly for the chance to see what a Grand Canal palazzo looks like from the inside. The canal entrance mosaic floor was painstakingly resorted by an English nobelman in the 18th (?) century. Quite an entrance!

Buon viaggio!
Mar 30th, 2002, 08:41 AM
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I forgot about the Ca d'Oro in Venice. Not only is it a great museum die to its collection, the house itself gives you an idea of the luxury that was Venice. Remember that the house draws its name because at one time it was gilded!

Dayle thanks for bringing back the memories of the Ca d'Oro. There is also a restaurant called Osteria Ca' d'Oro or alla vedova right around the corner. I can still taste the mixed fried fish plate we enjoyed there right before going to the Ca d'Oro.

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