Museo di San Marco

Address: Piazza San Marco 1, Florence, 50129, Italy
Telephone: 055 2388608

- Budget


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. 

Value for money

Expert tips

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

Recommended for

  • First-time travellers
  • Mature travellers
  • Singles
  • Escaping the crowds
  • Art