Unusual museums to see in Florence

To know the best museums to see in Florence, you need to take a step back and start with what the Tuscan city represents for Italy and the Italians.


Florence, the cradle of art and culture: a vital centre of the Renaissance, it was the birthplace of the “father of Italian” (Dante Alighieri) and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A pearl of beauty, wisdom and cultural heritage that rises on the banks of the Arno river.


Its streets have been trampled by geniuses who have brought up the name of the beautiful country: from Boccaccio to Petrarch, from Lorenzo de’ Medici to Leonardo da Vinci, including Brunelleschi, Michelangelo and Giotto.


In Florence, you can breathe an air of history, and you can immerse yourself in the ancient world even just by walking through the alleys that lead to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Every corner is a glimpse of the past that has come down to our days. A past that drives to the Tuscan capital millions of visitors every year, Italians and foreigners, attracted by the eternal beauty of culture.


Spending a few days in Florence means going from one church to another, from one alley to a bridge and, above all, from one museum to another. A city rich in art like Florence offers tourists a wide choice of unmissable museums. From the best known, such as the Uffizi Gallery, to the lesser known and the unusual museums of Florence, such as the Costume Gallery or the Carriage Museum.



Must-see museums in Florence

The Uffizi Gallery is the pioneer of the must-see museums in Florence. A maze of rooms opens onto a long corridor where you can admire some of the most famous canvases and sculptures in Italian art history. This is followed by the Galleria dell'Accademia, supervised by Michelangelo's impressive David, who has been its guardian for well over a century.


After a visit to Palazzo Pitti, between splendour, richness and baroque taste, reached from the Uffizi Gallery through a beautiful walk in the Vasari Corridor, a stop in Piazza del Duomo is mandatory. These four sides alone would be enough to tell centuries of history of an open-air city museum. The famous Brunelleschi Dome, which has dominated Florence for over five centuries, the even older Giotto bell tower and the Baptistery of San Giovanni, whose origins are still a mystery, are among the symbolic monuments of the Tuscan capital.


There are countless special things to do in Florence and, after a mere mention of the most famous museums, it is time to move on to points of interest with an immense artistic heritage, but which are less known to visitors.



Unusual museums in Florence for a weekend out of the ordinary

If you think you have already visited all the museums and exhibitions of Florence, it is good to remember that returning to a city where you have already been, does not mean not being able to see anything new. Florence hides enchanting places to discover. Villa Bardini is an excellent example. Located in the Oltrarno, in the historic district of San Niccolò, its viewpoints allow you to admire the city from one of the most beautiful views. Inside the complex, there is the Pietro Annigoni Museum, dedicated to the eclectic artist with a flourishing activity in the period between the two wars.


Florence is not only history but also fashion of the past and the present. The Tuscan city hosts a series of museums dedicated to the art of fashion which is perfect for fans of the genre. The Salvatore Ferragamo museum contains all the inspiration of an artist who chose Florence as a place to give birth to creations that have marked the world of fashion; the Gucci Garden is a journey that starts from the history of the logo, the emblem of Made in Italy, to get to the themes dedicated to leisure and sport.


For lovers of modern art, Galleria Frittelli is an almost mandatory stop. This is followed by Le Murate, a former men's prison now the centre of Florentine modernity with exhibitions, events and workshops, and the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation: a cultural centre that has hosted the works of contemporary artists such as Marina Abramovic and Jeff Koons.


Among the new experiences that Florence offers its tourists, for those looking for a modern and unusual museum, there is certainly HZERO. A new museum located in the former Ariston cinema, next to Santa Maria Novella train station, that tells a passion that has lasted for over 40 years. Many of these were needed, in fact, to give life to the innovative idea of Giuseppe Paternò Castello di San Giuliano: a great train model that tells the life and secrets of the railway world. A high-level work of craftsmanship, enhanced by a meticulous play of lights, sounds and projections designed to help the visitor fully immerse in this imaginary journey.


These are just a few ideas if you are looking for modern museums in Florence, ideal for spending a weekend outside the box. 



Museums for children in Florence: entertainment for everyone

The Leonardo da Vinci Museum is an ideal place to entertain entire families visiting Florence. A small museum that houses the reproductions of the greatest inventions of the Genius, some of which are also interactive to allow the little ones to touch the inventions that have written our history.


The museum of Palazzo Vecchio also has earned the title of "ideal activity for children": the Mus.e Association organizes daily activities for children from four years and over, in different languages.


Among others, HZERO is the perfect museum in Florence for children. The miniature railway challenge, described through a 280 square metre layout, brings young and old closer to the world of railways.

It is an opportunity for recreation and learning for the little ones, with activities organized with the help of educational workshops, screenings and thematic exhibitions. HZERO is a museum dedicated to collectors, enthusiasts or, more simply, to all those curious about the railway world.



Must-see exhibitions in Florence

If you are wondering whether there is anything unusual to see in Florence, the miniature railway museum of HZERO hosts a permanent exhibition. The aforementioned layout is a maze of landscapes touched by rails where dozens of trains run without ever stopping and transport us, with the help of imagination, from Berlin to the coasts of the Island of Elba. A project started in 1972, from the passion of Giuseppe Paternò Castello di San Giuliano, and carried out by his family and most trusted collaborators, to share with everyone the majesty and charm of the railway world.


With the supervision of the expert curator Alberto Salvadori, the museum wants to describe a symbol of history, the train, which continues to be a fundamental reality in the transport of millions of people every day. A project in the making that, thanks to important collaborations, offers an engaging and immersive experience. Such as, for example, the exhibition "The Places of the Journey. The Whistle of the Train" is open to the public until 8 January 2023: an exhibition that delves into the railway world through testimonies and old documentation. This is certainly one of the exhibitions in Florence that you should not miss.


In the end, the Tuscan city offers something for everybody. Filling your eyes with beauty, history and culture is the gift that Florence gives its visitors every day.