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Orsanmichele, a jewel among the churches of Florence

Orsanmichele exterior view orsanmichele nave Orsanmichele view of the sculpture exhibition Orsanmichele sculpture exhibition

The church of Orsanmichele is located right in the centre of Florence between Piazza della Signoria and the cathedral. It has a fascinating history: it was built in the 13th century as a loggia for the grain market and was built directly above the historic small oratory of San Michele in Orto. Thanks to the generosity of the Florentine guilds, which furnished the church with high-quality sculptures and paintings between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, it later became a place of worship again.

In addition to the church, which has always been open to the public and where you can admire the Tabernacle of Orcagna, one of the great masterpieces of the 14th century, it is now possible to visit both the second floor – where the sculptures that originally adorned the niches outside are preserved – and the third floor, from which you can enjoy an enchanting and unforgettable view over the rooftops and the most important monuments of Florence, right in the historic centre, just a stone’s throw from Piazza Signoria.

Visit this unique church building of the archbishopric in Florence and discover art from the Romantic and Gothic eras

First a market hall, then a granary and finally a church decorated by guilds of craftsmen

The sculptures of saints on display here were created between 1340 and 1602 and form a history of the development of art from the Gothic period to the Renaissance that is probably unique in this form. The first sculpture of St Stephen by Andrea Pisano was created in 1340, the last, St Luke by Giambologna, over 260 years later.

Orsanmichele is a unique and extraordinary monument because it contains civil and religious functions. From the second floor of the museum, on the roof of the building, you have a wonderful view of Florence.

The church on the ground floor

In the magnificent Gothic-style church, you will find the altar with the marble group "Sant’Anna, the Madonna and Child" by Francesco da Sangallo (around 1526). Next to it is the tabernacle, which was built between 1349 and 1359 by Andrea Orcagna to show the Virgin and Child with angels, painted by Bernardo Daddi in 1347. Many frescoes from the late fourteenth century decorate the columns, and the vaults are entirely painted with figures from the Old and New Testaments. 

Museum on the second and third floor

Above the church, the first and first floors mainly display works that also originally belonged to Orsanmichele, but for various reasons could not remain in their original location.

These include some absolute Renaissance masterpieces commissioned by the various Florentine guilds, such as "San Marco" (St Mark) by Donatello, "L’Incredulità di San Tommaso" (The Incredulity of St Thomas) by Verrocchio, "San Giovanni Battista" (St John the Baptist) by Ghiberti, and "Sant’Eligio" and "San Filippo" by Nanni di Banco.

Second floor: the statues of the guilds’ saints

The statues of the patron saints of the guilds were installed here by the respective guilds, and of course they competed in the depiction of their saints. The statues are therefore particularly splendidly decorated.

The third floor

The second and final floor can be reached via a spiral staircase. Forty small stone sculptures depicting saints and prophets are exhibited here and originally stood on the outer columns with the triple-glazed windows and two portals. Through the large windows you have a wonderful view of Florence. 



  • Original sculptures by the most famous Florentine artists such as Donatello 
  • Imposing stone building with a chequered history 
  • A fantastic view over the city from the first floor
  • Beautiful guild coats of arms and decorations on the façade of the building 


Opening hours

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: from 8.15 am to 6.50 pm

Sunday: from 815 am to 1.50 pm

Closing day: Tuesday 



Please to show the Florence City Pass at the counter to get in.


Important information

  • The museum is not equipped with access devices for people with disabilities. 
  • The visit is one-way only: visitors will first enter the church and then be accompanied to the door of the staircase of the Palazzo dell’Arte della Lana from where they will enter the museum. 



How to get there

The nearest bus stops are "Clarks Orsanmichele" or "Condotta", both of which can be reached on the C2 line.



Chiesa e Museo di Orsanmichele Via dell’Arte della Lana, 50123 Firenze FI, Italia 

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