Mani che toccano una scultura al Museo dell'Opera del Duomo

Museums to touch: tours for people with visual impairments


In Florence, people with visual impairments are welcome to various museums thanks to special tours designed for them! State, Municipal and Science Museums as well as Santa Maria del Fiore Complex offer the opportunity to enjoy the visit touching and experiencing masterpieces through a dedicated path.

Let’s start with the Uffizi itinerary called Uffizi by touch. People have the opportunity to explore original sculptures from the Medici's collection. Disposable latex gloves are provided by the museum ticket office. Personalised support to visitors is guaranteed by professional museum staff. Inside the Pitti Palace, also the Modern Art Gallery is accessible for visually impaired visitors thanks to a tactile tour.

The Academy Gallery is about to present a new artistic tactile tour inspired by the shape of Michelangelo’s David and the prisoners: some of the works have been reproduced to offer the public the possibility to explore them by touch. At the nearby Archaeological Museum tactile visits are regularly organised and they are conducted by suitably trained personnel: while explaining the masterpieces, the operators guide the visitors in the tactile experience (active touch).

At the Bargello Museum, it is possible for visually impaired to touch sculptures appreciating the shapes of the works; at the Davanzati Palace a canteen have been set up with reproductions of majolica pottery and antique fabrics for the fruition of visually impaired and blind people; Orsanmichele Complex, thanks to the collaboration with “Amici dei musei”, allows a tactile tour to the replicas oft he statues adorning the church. Not to forget the tactile reproduction of “Annunciazione” by Beato Angelico, in San Marco Museum, and the ones in San Salvi and Villa Corsini al Castello (masterpieces translated in bas-reliefs whose originals are located at the Uffizi Gallery).

Concerning Municipal Museums, Mus.e Association offers guided tours and tools at the Florentine Civic Museums for visually-impaired people at the Palazzo Vecchio, Novecento and Stefano Bardini museums.

Duomo Complex has defined TouchAble, a tactile path at the Opera del Duomo Museum: it's a deep and emotional experience enjoyable by all visitors, without sight, for a different approach to art!

Not to miss the initiatives of the Natural History Museums in Florence: the olfactory path at the Botanical Gardens and the tactile tour at Palaeontology sector, which winds through the gallery of the great fossil mammals of Tuscany. At the Galileo Museum, the visit allows to touch original instruments to figure out how did they work. Periodically also the Florentine Institute of Prehistory and the Marino Marini museums organize guided tours for those with visual impairments.

Most of the mentioned museums offer descriptions of the works in Braille and at the Infopoint in Piazza Stazione 4 a guide in Braille (Italian) is available for the loan.

Finally, in Piazza della Repubblica, there is a high relief representing the city of Florence, created by the students of Porta Romana Art Institute, which makes possible to realize how the city is structured through the touch. A second tactile model is located on the other side of the Arno river at the beginning of Via Guicciardini. The panels are provided with a legend in Braille.

Notice!!!! Tours may be cancelled or affected by restrictions due to measures aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus. Contact single museums for further information.


Photo credits:
Accessible route
Accessibility:  accessible