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Museo di San Marco, Florence

(4.6/5 based on 1,300+ reviews on the web)
Don’t miss the frescoes of Museo di San Marco, noted for housing the largest collection of sacred art in the city. The museum is located in a former convent, which was home to two famous Dominicans during the 15th century, the painter Fra Angelico and the preacher Girolamo Savonarola. The museum now contains a major collection of works by Angelico, including some of his best-known panel paintings, commissioned by the Medici family. There are a number of smaller frescoes painted by Angelico and his assistants inside the monastic cells. The museum also exhibits works by several other artists, including Domenico Ghirlandaio, Alesso Baldovinetti, and Fra Bartolomeo.  Make Museo di San Marco part of your personalized Florence itinerary using our Florence trip itinerary maker.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The cloister is soothing. Works are beautiful, but the Museum merit the renovation of the lighting system for a true development of pictorial treasure; It is probably the reason for the low price of admission.
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  • A must if less well noted on guide 2 stars very unfair compared with another site! Extraordinary frescoes of FRA ANGELICO in each cell
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  • Collection that bears witness to the importance of the Dominicans in Florence (see Savonarola, the cell) and the great story of the monks painters as Fra Angelico, but FRA Bartolomeo
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Google
  • A few blocks from the concentration of more famous Florence Renaissance sites, San Marco is very much worth the while. There's not much that marks the former presence of Fra. Savonarola (of Bonfire of the Vanities fame), but his austere leadership seems reflected in the relatively unadorned place. Frescoes by Fra. Angelico and others tell great stories as well.
  • Beato Angelico and d its school at their best for synthesis of lines and clearness add the holy message. Some parts of the museum are not lighted as they should deserve (Ghirlandaio's last supper). No internal bar, a museum with great masterpieces but an old conception.
  • This small scaled place is more interesting to visit than some popular and big ones in the city. It is unique in that it shows the dormitory cells of the monks.
  • More than just the spectacular works by Fra Angelico.
  • Outstanding frescoes by Fra Angelico who slightly stood back from the tide of Humanism to create these paintings of which the Annunciation is different from his others and the "Madonna of the Shadows" is full of Christian iconography. Whilst Ghirlandaio "Last Supper" (he has done better ones) is the show stopper, the "St Dominic and his Friars Fed by Angels" in the Refectory by Giovanni Solignani has the unforgettable oh-so-natural donor's son glancing at the viewer from the right. San Marco was where Savonarola preached fire and brimstone and had his sparse cell at the end of the East Corridor and Cosimo the Elder(who paid for the refurbishment) had much grander quarters by the beautiful vaulted Library; somewhere to dive into and meditate when the Palazzo felt all to much for his tastes. The profile view of "Savonarola" by Fra Bartolomeo who was his contemporary, presents a much more nuanced, complex and driven man than the one-dimensional Mad Monk portrayed in history and guides everywhere. Go in the morning when the 2h queue for the nearby Accademia proves too disheartening. The sun flooding into the friars cells each painted differently and lighting up the Annunciation at the top of the stairs will stay with you long after memories of the David down the road has faded from all the advertising makeovers, tourist tat, and tattoo remorses.