On the central Piazza del Duomo, a few steps away from dangerously tasty ice cream, you will see the Palazzo Comunale. You cannot miss it, because it’s part of the one and only medieval skyscraper Torre Grossa.
Come in and buy the 7 Euro ticket for both the museum and the tower and immediately go to the bookshop, located by the exit. No, we are not trying to viciously ask you to skip the museum… But the bookshop is a place to get the most impressive museum guide that we’ve ever seen. It costs 5 Euro, but it’s worth much much more! You will be provided with a smartphone, glasses and headphones – both connected to the phone. Put on the glasses, put in the headphones, now you are ready to go back to the museum.
In the halls, you will see special dots that signify you can use the guide. As soon as you will focus your sight on an artwork, one of its protagonists will “emerge” as a 3D character telling you the story of the painting. Shift your glance to another work and its main character will ironically and artistically tell you the narrative.
Creative, fun, exciting guide – the best one we’ve ever seen! This kind of guide is a must in every museum! It makes you want to pay more attention to what the character is saying (a striking difference from usually monotonous traditional guides) and makes the visit thrilling even for those, who aren’t that inspired by early Renaissance art.
Pinacoteca is a special place even without the guide, but it will give extra meaning to the visit. The Town Hall, where Pinacoteca is situated, was built around the 1280s and has been the seat of the civic authority since then. That is why the old Board room is now known as Dante hall – the Florentine poet appeared here in 1299 as ambassador of the Guelph League and addressed the city council meeting in this very room.
After a visit to Pinacoteca, brace yourself as you walk up the tower, be careful since at the very top, the staircase becomes a fire escape. But it is so worth it! Yes, Italian museums have the best views! And now we know, they have the best audio/video guides too.
Tip: wear very comfortable shoes and a smaller bag to get up to the tower. Wear contacts if you plan to take the audio guide.
Fact: From the tower, on clear days, you can see the Alps and Pistoia – Northern most Tuscany, and on the South – Mount Amiata which marks the border with Lazio.