Museo di San Marco

Price guide: Budget

Piazza San Marco 1, Florence, 50129

Price guide: Budget

Fra Angelico's Annunciation
Save money and beat the queues by booking attractions, tours and things...

By Nicky Swallow, your Florence expert

I write for Charming Small Hotel Guide .... Read more
#3 of 20
expert-rated things to do in Florence
Expert overall rating:4.9 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
First-time travellers, Mature travellers, Singles, Art, Escaping the crowds

Expert review of Museo di San Marco

This ex-convent houses some of Fra Angelico’s most beautiful works.

This museum is one of my absolutely favourite in Florence; it’s the sort of uplifting place you come to to calm down and is rarely over-crowded. Housed in the Dominican convent of San Marco, it is a shrine to the painter Fra Angelico (ca.1400-1459) who lived and worked here between 1436 and 1447. His ethereal, other-worldly paintings and frescoes (many of which are so familiar through reproductions on cards, calendars and posters) are on display in a setting that has changed little from the 1400s.

Paintings to look out for include the magnificent 'Deposition from the Cross' and the famous Linaiouli Tabernacle with its 'Madonna Enthroned and Saints' whose border is painted with all those musical angels that you see reproduced on Christmas cards. At the top of the stairs which lead to the first floor dormitory, you are faced with one of the painter’s most beautiful frescoes (and possibly one of the most famous religious images anywhere), the 1442 'Annunciation'. Each of the 44 small cells where the monks lived has a small fresco by Fra Angelico and his assistants. Those by the master himself are cells 1-9 along the corridor opposite the stairs while others have been attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli and Zanobi Strozzi. 

Expert tips: 
Although the museum is rarely too crowded, you can book tickets in advance on 055 294883.

More information on Museo di San Marco:

Price guide:
Art gallery, Museum, Religious site
Piazza San Marco 1, Florence, 50129
055 2388608
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Mon-Fri 8.15am-1.50pm, Sat-Sun 8.15am-4.50pm. Closed the 1st, 3rd & 5th Sun and the 2nd & 4th Mon of the month.

Have you been to Museo di San Marco? Would you recommended it?