Lovingly called the art capital of Italy, Florence is a must-see destination for art lovers.

The Italian Renaissance was an important part of Italy’s history, taking place during the 15th and 16th centuries. During part of the Renaissance, the Medici family ruled Florence. Their wealth and love of art resulted in the commissions and purchases of lots of art, which has helped to make Florence the art centre of Italy.

When visiting Florence, art can be found everywhere you look. But where can you see famous Italian art? Below are our top three recommendations.

Palatine Gallery

The Palazzo Pitti is home to lots of galleries and museums, one of which is called the Palatine Gallery. This gallery is interesting because each room is covered in framed paintings from floor to ceiling. There isn’t any chronology to the layout, which is unique from other galleries.

Located in the Palatine Gallery are many works of art painted by Raphael. His most famous painting, The School of Athens, is in the Vatican City, but many of his other paintings can be found in this gallery.

Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery is located in the historic centre of Florence. The gallery covers the first two floors of the large building in which it resides. Located in the gallery is the famous Birth of Venus painting by Sandro Botticelli. There are also many works of art by Leonardo da Vinci located in the gallery. His work was so famous, that there is an entire room dedicated to him.

A fun fact about the Uffizi Gallery is that the Mona Lisa was temporarily on display there in 1913. The painting made an appearance at a range of galleries across Italy before returning to France. How cool!

Accademia Gallery

The Accademia Gallery is another popular art gallery. Most of the sculptures and paintings found in this gallery date back to the 1300s through the 1600s. One of the most famous paintings in the gallery is the Tree of Life. The gold and tempura painting represents biblical events and is renowned for its complexity.

The biggest draw to the Accademia Gallery is Michelangelo’s statue of David. The sculpture was created over the course of three years from 1501 to 1504. The large marble statue played an important role in Italian history and symbolizes the independence of Florence.

All of these galleries are a must-see when visiting Florence. It’s possible to visit the galleries on your own, but we recommend joining a guided tour. With a local guide, you can gain expert insight into the famous works of art and enter the galleries with skip-the-line tickets. Join a morning tour to discover the highlights of the Accademia Gallery, or spend the afternoon touring the Uffizi Gallery!

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