Museo Nazionale di San Marco is an art museum housed in the monumental section of the medieval Dominican friary dedicated to St Mark, situated on the present-day Piazza San Marco, in Florence, a region of Tuscany, Italy.
The museum, a masterpiece in its own right by the fifteenth-century architect Michelozzo, is a building of first historical importance for the city and contains the most extensive collection in the world of the works of Fra Angelico, who spent several years of his life there as a member of the Dominican community. The works are both paintings on wood and frescoes. The museum also contains other works by artists such as Fra Bartolomeo, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Alesso Baldovinetti, Jacopo Vignali, Bernardino Poccetti and Giovanni Antonio Sogliani.
|Monday||8:15 AM – 1:20 PM|
|Tuesday||8:15 AM – 1:20 PM|
|Wednesday||8:15 AM – 1:20 PM|
|Thursday||8:15 AM – 1:20 PM|
|Friday||8:15 AM – 1:20 PM|
|Saturday||8:15 AM – 4:50 PM|
|Sunday||8:15 AM – 4:50 PM|
Honey B | Dec 30, 2017
Wonderful frescoes on both floors and beautifully illustrated medieval books in library. Don't miss Cosimo Medichi's cell on first floor. EUR 4 is good value.
Stephen Meatheringham | Feb 12, 2018
The site has been occupied by a convent since the 12th century. In 1437 Cosimo the Elder de’ Medici decided to rebuild the entire complex. The work was carried out by Michelozzo. The decoration of the walls was done between 1439 and 1444 by Fra Angelico and assistants, who included Benozzo Gozzoli. Further alterations were made in the later 16th century by Giambologna, and also in the 17th. It looked like it might be busy as we fought our way through a large tour group outside the entrance and then inside there was a school group of ankle-biters. After paying the incredibly cheap 4€ each we were in the cloister of St Antonino. The Sala dell’Ospizio (room of the pilgrims) houses a gallery where many of Fra Angelico’s most important panel paintings have been gathered together. They include his "Santa Trinita Altarpiece" (1432) and "Tabernacle of the Linen-Drapers (Linaiouli Madonna)" (1436). The light was difficult and many of the works very small. We stopped to look at a roomful of paintings by followers of Fra Bartolomeo, and then decided to head upstairs for the highlight, the cells, not knowing how busy it would be or how many works we could see. Upstairs, above the cloisters, are the cells where the monks prayed. Many of the great figures of 15th century Florence lived and worked here. Fra Angelico (with help) decorated the 40+ cells, each with a single fresco concerning the life of Christ and containing deep spiritual and ascetical meaning . Having seen photos we were excited to have the opportunity to see them. They are each quite simple and made up of beautiful, subdued colours. They date from 1440-1441. They certainly did not disappoint and are one of the art treasures of Italy. Cosimo the Elder de’ Medici had a very nice cell himself for prayer and contemplation. Fra Girolamo Savonarola also had a cell which now contains some of his personal items. He is best remembered as being responsible for the Bonfires of the Vanities in the Piazza della Signoria where many "decadent" works of art and books were burned. In his sermons Savonarola raged against the immorality of the age. He was finally put to death and burnt in the same piazza in 1498 after becoming too much for everyone. Also on the upper floor is the library, designed by Michelozzo and completed in 1444. It housed a library of Latin and Greek texts built up by Cosimo the Elder, in consultation with the Pope, of titles considered to be the most important for inclusion in a library. On display now are a number of 15th century psalters including some decorated by Fra Angelico. At this stage we had finished upstairs. We were virtually alone. It was great. As we descended to ground level we noticed a sign limiting the number of people upstairs to 120 at any one time. It must get busy. We continued in the rooms off the cloister. The first was the Chapter House which contains the largest fresco by Fra Angelico at San Marco. It covers one entire wall and depicts the crucifixion together with all the patron saints of the Medici family plus many others from the Dominican Order. Similarly to the other frescoes by Fra Angelico it dates from 1441-1442. There are also important works by Fra Bartolomeo and others from his school in another roon. So off we went. There are a number of his works on terracotta tiles. They are head and shoulder portraits. Very simple, very light and very clear. His works are from the first decade of the 16th century. Then we had time to look at the frescoes painted around the cloister. There are a few more of Fra Angelico's works amongst a number of other artists. We think that we shared the cloisters with 2 other people. Time was getting on so the final stop was the bookshop. That is located in the old cenacolo (refectory). It has art too. Ghirlandaio's 1486 "Last Supper" covers an 8 metre section of wall. It is in very good condition. The bell was ringing informing visitors that it was time to go. An excellent 4 hours.
Mehrshad Dehestani | Feb 2, 2018
Unique design of rooms San Marco is the name of a religious complex in Florence, Italy. It comprises a church and a convent. The convent, which is now a museum, has three claims to fame. During the 15th century it was home to two famous Dominicans, the painter Fra Angelico and the preacher Girolamo Savonarola. Also, housed at the convent is a famous collection of manuscripts in a library built by Michelozzo.
Alexandra Phillips | Oct 2, 2017
One of the most underrated places to visit in Florence. Calm, beautiful, and with absolutely fascinating Medieval and Renaissance art and history. We listened to the free audio tour on the "Rick Steves Audio Europe" app which was essential for appreciating the place. Highly recommended!!
Ken Hunt | Oct 17, 2017
Beat the heat and the crowds. A great find. All the art that can be managed in a few hours st a low cost. One of the best deals in Florence.
Justin Gell | Mar 30, 2018
I did not intend to visit this museum, but we had Firenze Cards and it was nearby. So, we decided to swing through and take a glance. I'll admit that a large part of WHY we decided to go in was based on the fact that Rick Steve included an Audio Tour on his phone app (which we LOVE). Anyway, this museum is small, but contains a wealth of paintings that show some fantastic history. I particularly enjoyed the explanations of the different timelines that the monks painted in. Quick, simple, and worth the visit; however, not very exciting.
Thomas Guillaumet | Apr 25, 2018
Amazing place. So beautiful and quiet
Krzysztof Baczyński | May 5, 2018
Florence in its entirety is an extremely interesting and worth recommending city. A beautiful church, especially the chapel of the Medici.
claire | May 7, 2018
Had been hoping to see this museum, but we were told in the tourist office that it was closed on the first Sunday of the month when the Uffizi was free and would be open on the second Sunday when the Uffizi is closed! Such a shame and a little strange for a city that lives in tourism.
Addy Alago | Jun 9, 2018
Absolutely stunning view. This place is beautiful and full of energy. Jam packed on most days with street vendors, tourists and musicians. Even if you don't make it to any of the surrounding location sbyou owe it to yourself to at least visit the square.
Niall O | May 28, 2018
Surprisingly tranquil and little visited museum in the centre of Florence, considering how lovely the art is. Beautiful works by Fra Angelico - the little freschi in each of the monks' cells upstairs particularly fascinating
Patrick Bormann | Jun 9, 2018
This is a special place . Beautyfull fresco paintings from Fra Angelico. A glimpse in monastic living during the quatrocento.
Stella Lee | Jun 28, 2018
This rating is partly due to the attraction surpassing my expectations. I was expecting it to be yet another place with history which may have interesting snippets but is otherwise crowded with relics of the past which makes for tedious exploring. Do note that there are not much by way of explanations (in English, at least) so it is recommended that you download an audio guide or join a guided tour. I followed Rick Steves Audio Europe and enjoyed the experience. The rooms of Savonarola are particularly interesting—not so much the objects themselves but the political climate and personality of this man. The library is located on the first floor and is somewhat of a sharp contrast to the otherwise austere interior of the building. I would recommend taking some time to explore this room which used to contain many texts, maintained through the years by various people. It also provides some information of the important figures and then creation of beautiful Renaissance era books. Do note that the first floor closes at 1.30 pm on weekdays so be sure to leave time to explore!
Nadharatch Ounlert | Jun 30, 2018
San Marco (St. Mark) is located in the west of Firenze. It may be a bit far from other attractions but it is worth to visit. The church is big and interior is spiritual. The building next to the church qas once a convent. It is rare to see the inside of the convent.
Mike Royce | Jun 24, 2018
It only cost 4 euros (June 2018) to enter this museum set in a monestary, upgraded by Cosiomo the elder (Cosimo Medici). A lovely peaceful place which includes two sets of cloisters with about 30 "cells" for monks and a few other rooms with lots of paintings. Each "cell" includes a simple alfresco almost all if them by Far Angelico.
Shannon Berg | Jul 18, 2018
This is an amazing jewel of a museum. It was not crowded, which in Florence is a miracle, and the art is amazing. It is a collection of religious art painted by Far Angelico, Filippo Lippi and other monks of the convent. Visitors can also visit the monks cells and see both Lorenzo Medici and Savonarola's cells.
Joyce Renneke | Aug 13, 2018
Fascinating! The church is magnificent and the cloisters with the monks cells was fascinating. Also the collection of books created by the monks was bv beautiful.
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