- Galleria degli Uffizi (Florence): One of the world's top museums, the Uffizi houses some of the seminal works of the Renaissance, including Giotto's Ognissanti Maestà, Botticelli's Birth of Venus and Allegory of Spring, Leonardo da Vinci's Annunciation, and Michelangelo's only panel painting, the Holy Family. Few rooms go by without three or four masterpieces. Thoroughly brain-draining . . . but worth it.
- Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Florence): Past early Michelangelo marbles and Giambologna bronzes, the main attraction at the primary sculpture museum of the Renaissance is a room full of famous works that survey the entire career of Donatello, in his time rightly considered the greatest sculptor since antiquity.
- San Marco (Florence): The entire place is the magnum opus of Dominican artist Fra' Angelico, who painted with delicate beauty and mathematical precision. If you're not familiar with his work, it's probably because the best of it is all here -- from his cycle of intimate, contemplative frescoes in the monks' cells upstairs, to the blockbuster altarpieces displayed in the former pilgrim's hospice around the cloister downstairs.
- Palazzo Pubblico (Siena): The Museo Civico inside Siena's medieval town hall is a masterpiece of the Sienese School. Foremost among the frescoes are Simone Martini's dazzling 1315 Maestà and Ambrogio Lorenzetti's Allegories of Good and Bad Government, the most important civic paintings of medieval Tuscany.
- Galleria Nazionale (Perugia): Umbria's National Gallery boasts more Peruginos than it knows what to do with. It also has one of the masterpieces of his teacher, Piero della Francesca, the Polyptych of Sant'Antonio, with its Annunciation scene of remarkable depth. Duccio, Arnolfo di Cambio, Fra' Angelico, and Gentile da Fabriano add to the collections.
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