The National Museum of Bargello is a museum of Florence , dedicated to sculpture .
His collection of Renaissance statues is considered among the most noteworthy in the world [2] : it includes masterpieces of Michelangelo , Donatello , Ghiberti , Cellini , Giambologna , Ammannati and other important sculptors, as well as a large collection of applied arts <419 >, organized mainly by type. The name derives from the building of the Bargello , also called Palazzo del Popolo.
In 2016 it was the 37th most visited museum in Italy with 213,598 visitors, down compared to 2015.
With the constitution of Florence to free municipality and the creation of the figure of the captain of the people , the later palace known as the Bargello was built. The first nucleus, overlooking via del Proconsolo , already started in 1255 , was built according to Giorgio Vasari from Lapo Tedesco , incorporating the old Palagio, the tower of the Boscoli and some houses and towers of the Badia Fiorentina , between the 1340 and the 1345 the building was raised from Neri of Fioravante .
Subsequently expanded with a new building on Via dell'Acqua between the 1260 - 80 in the 1295 the arcade courtyard was built, between 1316 <451 > and the 1320 was raised on the sides of via Ghibellina and via dell'Acqua. In the middle of the fourteenth century it became the seat of the Podestà. With the establishment of the Medici hegemony in the second half of the fifteenth century, it became first the seat of the Council of Justice and the Judges of Ruota, and from 1574 , under the duke Cosimo I de 'Medici < 459>, seat of the bargello , or the head of the Guards or of Piazza, which provided for arrests, interrogations and also provided for the execution of the capital sentences. The figure of the podestà as a tax collector then generated an idiomatic phrase that became famous: Here is the goose beak (and the horns to the podestà) .

In the nearly three centuries, when it was used as a prison, in the courtyard the arches of the loggia and the arch were walled, the larger rooms were divided with partitions to obtain a greater number of cells and the paintings and decorations were covered.

In the 1940s, baron Seymour Kirkup , together with other collaborators, financed a series of surveys inside the chapel of Santa Maria Maddalena, following which, on 21st July 1840 , painter-restorer Antonio Marini brought to light a portrait of Dante , which according to Vasari had been painted by Giotto .

Once the prison was transferred to the Murate, it was decided in 1859 the restoration of the complex until 1865 and under the direction of Francesco Mazzei , which restored the ancient appearance sought to recover or redo from scratch the architectural ornaments and entrusting the pictorial decorations of the rooms to Gaetano Bianchi which was inspired by monuments of the same era.

In 1865 the National Museum was inaugurated on the ground floor and two armory rooms were set up, with objects coming partly from the Medici armory and from the Guardaroba of Palazzo Vecchio, and a sculpture hall of the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. In the first floor hall there were sculptures from the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio .

Subsequently from the Uffizi , both the bronze and marble sculptures and the applied arts collections came in: majolica, wax, amber, ivory, goldsmiths, enamels and bronzes, some of them transferred in 1928 to Silver Museum . Other materials flowed from donations and loans from private individuals and from public institutions: from the State Archives the seals and the Mint coins. Finally, following the Unification of Italy and the consequent suppression of monastic orders came Robbiane , sculptures and sacred goldsmiths.

On the occasion of the centenary of Donatello in 1887 the salon was designed to house works by the artist and 15th-century Florentine sculpture.

Of the 1888 is the donation of the collection of the Lyonese antiquarian Louis Carrand , of 1886 is the Conti donation, of 1899 la <502 > Ressman and 1906 Franchetti enriching the applied arts sector.

Hard hit by the flood of 1966 , has undergone a series of upgrades and displacements. On July 13, 2006 he suffered a stale theft during the normal opening hours of three ancient jewels of the Islamic section.