- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence
The Opera del Duomo, also known as the "OPA", is the the Cathedral Workshop or "works commission" and was founded by the Republic of Florence in 1296 to oversee the construction of the new Cathedral and its bell tower.
In 1436, the Cathedral was finished with the completion of Brunelleschi's dome and its consecration.
Since then, the main task for the Opera del Duomo has been to conserve the monuments - including the Baptistry of San Giovanni. In 1891, the Museum was founded to house the works of art which, through the course of the centuries, had been removed from the Duomo and the Baptistery.
The museum serves as a refuge from pollution for many of the outside sculptures of the cathedral.
The numbers give us just an “inkling” of what is really behind these monuments: 6,000 sq. mt of showroom space, over a 1000 years standing in Florence, more than 750 works of art, a little more than 720 years of service by the commission, set in 25 rooms with floor plan on 3 levels. The recent restructuring of the museum was organized to so that the guest could live the past and the present of the cathedral and its entourage all in place.
Even just the highlights of this museum could send you in an overdose of information, however this article tries to synthesis everything so you walk through the museum like a pro.