by Melinda Gallo

Museo del Bargello

After living in Florence for over a year, I realized that I hadn't really visited many of the museums. I had visited most of the museums when I first arrived in 1997. I keep thinking that I have all the time in the world to visit the museums and then somehow I never seem to get around to doing so. Dave and I became members of the "Amici della Galleria degli Uffizi" and received a tessera (membership card), which gives us free entrance to the Uffizzi and all the state museums in Florence for one year. And today, I decided to go to Museo del Bargello in via del Proconsolo.

Living in Florence :: Museo del Bargello

The minute I entered the Museo del Bargello, I knew it would be different. I handed in my ticket and he opened the glass door that leads to the open courtyard. Suddenly, the city of Florence disappeared. I found myself surrounded by marble statues and sculptures. I walk from one to the other silently and with great respect as to not wake them. I craned my neck to take in all of the details: the facial expressions, the limber fingers, the muscles of the bodies.

It amazes me to see that one person invested many years in producing a marble sculpture. All of the sculptures seem perfect, without flaw. I wish I could take pictures to keep all of these pieces of art fresh in my mind. I'd love to close my eyes and imagine each piece again and again.

I walk up the stairs to visit the other exhibits in quiet and sunlit rooms. I perused every piece of art that was on display in each room on the two upper floors. There were endless collections of marble and bronze sculptures, paintings, maiolica, medaglie (medals), guns, rifles, carved cassoni (chests), and ornate marble camini fireplaces.

I went to the last exhibition room on the ground floor and found one piece that I absolutely loved. It was the marble and bronze statue, "Statua di Giove, Minerva, Merc urio, Danae con il piccolo Perseo." I read the card and it was Cellini (whose bust is on the Ponte Vecchio) who spent nine years creating this masterpiece. I walked around it a few times taking in its beauty and studying the details.

As I walked out the door to leave, I took one last look at Cellini's work of art and didn't say goodbye; I know I'll be coming back to admire it once again.

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