Italy as you know, is a must-visit country for most people. Yes, I am biased as this is Federico’s birthplace, but there is no denying that it ticks the boxes for a lot of people, including me! Among the many things that we love to do when we travel is to stop, smell the roses and visit amazing museums and sites. For culture lovers like us who are fascinated with art, architecture and history to name just a a few interests , it’s just hard to beat Italy. There are literally hundreds of museums spread out across the entire country. From Archaeological, to art, history, cars, food museums and more, one could spend their whole vacation just doing that. I am actually considering us doing “theme vacations”. For example, a whole trip devoted to just checking out museums or one just dedicated to sampling food, wine, even something simple and delicious like ice cream or whatever the delicacy of the region is. It might just put a new twist to staid travel. Some of the museums listed below remain ever popular among locals and tourists alike, and are among the most visited. Millions of visitors yearly can’t be wrong. Imagine a museum dedicated to just Olives or Peperoncino, things we cook with on a daily basis. I drool just thinking about them.
7 Actually amazing museums in Italy for your bucket list:
In the spirit of the theme as far as accommodations, check out different places on homes in Italy that you can rent out for your stay and let your imagination run wild like mine has been. Some of the best homes are listed and will definitely make your vacation very memorable and indeed unique. I have been seriously fantasizing about some of the offerings on there. Gorgeous homes and awesome museums? Yes please! :-). Here are some of the leading and intriguing museums in Italy that are well worth visiting and are on our list.
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
Florence is the city that gave birth to the Renaissance, and this museum has some of the most beautiful pieces of art by world renowned artists such as Titian, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Caravaggio, one of the bad boys of the art world. A murderer l have mentioned before when we visited the Borghese Gallery, who escaped to Malta to prevent capture. He didn’t change while there either and ended up dead at an early age. He definitely had major talent.. Uffizi Gallery is located in an enormous 16th-century palace and is one of the earliest museums in the world. Western art masterpieces such as Sandro Botticelli’s ‘Primavera’ , Leonardo’s ‘Annunciation” and “The Battle of San Romano’. Paolo Uccello’s triptych can be found here too.
Museo Egizio, Turin
This museum in Turin is dedicated to Egyptian art and culture. It displays the world’s second largest collection of Egyptian antiquities, Only the Cairo museum has more artifacts. There are over 30,000 pieces in its collection, dating back to the 18th century. Items discovered during archaeological excavations in Egypt have been added to the museum collection on an ongoing basis. It is a veritable treasure trove of artifacts, textiles, sphinxes, stone statues, papyri, mummies, and sarcophagi. Turin’s Papyrus Map is one of the most fascinating of the museum’s collections. They also own three copies of the Egyptian “Book of the Dead” which is an an ancient Egyptian funerary text dating back to 1550 BCE. I think l could spend days here, and l am already planning in my mind when we can visit.
Museo Ferrari, Maranello
The Ferrari Museum is a dream destination for auto lovers, especially lovers of fast cars. Established by the world famous sports-car manufacturer, it is dedicated to racing. Some of the most beautiful Ferraris that were designed during 60 years of collaboration between Sergio Pininfarina and Enzo Ferrari. Federico has been wanting to go to this museum and I am still undecided. We almost did do it when we visited Bologna, but eventually decided not to. I like fast cars and don’t mind seeing them on the street. If l got to drive them maybe, but l think it costs a pretty penny to drive one, the hundreds of dollars for the tour. I would be too scared anyway. You can, however, experience the excitement of driving a Formula 1 car in the two simulators at the fun exhibits. I think I’ll stick to that.
Vatican Museums, Rome
Vatican Museums in Rome – Perhaps the most famous in the world, receiving millions of visitors yearly. There are over 100 galleries filled with Greek and Roman sculptures such as “Belvedere Apollo” and “Laocoön”. Endless collections of Renaissance art by European masters and pagan Greco-Roman antiquities are plentiful. One must see “Stanza della segnatura” by Raphael with his most famous frescoes. The Sistine Chapel, the Gallery of Maps, Etruscan art. The list goes on and on. Each Pope for the past few centuries have continually added to the masterpieces. The museums literally contain thousands of artwork , most of them just breathtaking. We have been to the Vatican a few times and never get tired of it. We are currently in Rome and might be making another stop there if we can fit it in. Sure there are long lines, but when done in the spirit, it’s not so bad. The immense richness of the church is mind boggling. I wish they would put some of that money to good use and help their flock.
Reggia di Caserta, Caserta
The Royal Palace of Caserta is a UNESCO World Heritage site today. Located in South Italy, it was a former royal residence that was built for the Bourbon king of Naples and constructed in the 18th century. There are parks, gardens and wooded area to be discovered and explored, including the industrial complex of San Leucio which was set up for silk production. The palace is described it as “the swan song of the spectacular Baroque art and one can see adoptions of all the features that are essential to create the illusions of multidirectional space” Modelled after the Versailles palace, you can just imagine the opulence and splendor. As l have often said. “It’s good to be the King”. The Caserta Palace has been very popular when it comes to filming locations for movie productions. It was Queen Amidala’s Royal Palace in both Star Wars, Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. It also served as Vatican Palace in Mission Impossible III which featured one of my favorite scenes where they blew up the Lamborghini :-). Chances are we’re doing a day visit there while we’re in Rome so hopefully I’ll be able to share the beauty with you.
Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Naples
This is one of the most outstanding archaeological museums in the world and possesses an outstanding range of ancient treasures by the Greeks, Romans and for good measure, Egyptians. There are various masterpieces in the Farnese Collection of antiquities. Cardinal Alessandro Farnese became Pope John Paul III (1543-1549) and he started the collection, which then passed down through family, including his nephew, another Cardinal of the same name. The “Farnese Bull’ dating back to 200BC is perhaps the best known and was commissioned by the pope for the Farnese palace. It is a colossal marble sculptural group depicts the Greek myth of Dirce, first wife of Lykos, the King of Thebes. She is seen tied to a wild bull by the sons of Antiope. It is incredibly carved from a single piece of marble. This is a piece of work l would very much like to see in real life.
Gallerie dell Accademia, Venice
Located on the south bank of the Grand Canal in Venice, the Accademia was founded in 1750. Venetian painting masterpieces are well represented here. Artists such as Titian, Marconi, Bellini, Veronese, and Canaletto have their famous works on display. These trailblazers were the artists who influenced the history of European painting. Napoleon installed his Venetian art trophies here to create a non-stop visual drama on the walls of the museum. The monumental galleries are indeed prestigious and an integral part of the Accademia. The museum was actually made possible by Napoleon, who confiscated artwork from churches and convents for the “greater good of the state” and then made a mandate that students should get their training there at the Accademia and also showcase the confiscated art.
There you have it. Some of the most fascinating and glorious museums to add to your Italy bucket list. I am ashamed to say that despite visiting Venice twice, I have yet to visit the Accademia. I hope to rectify this sooner than later.
Have you been to any of these museums? If yes, which ones and did you like them?