Collezione Contini Bonacossi
35 of the Best
Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi, who died in 1955, left his private collection, one of the greatest in the world, to Italy. Unfortunately, he hadn't had time to dot all the i's and cross the t's in his arrangement, and his heirs pounced, starting a horrific legal battle that lasted fifteen years. In the end it took a decree from the President of Italy to resolve the quarrel, and the state got only 35 of the 148 paintings the Count had assembled, and twelve sculptures.
But they're choice. There are some quite famous works here, such as Andrea del Castagno's striking Madonna di Casa Pazzi (1445), a Madonna by Cimabue, and Cima del Conigliano's St Jerome in the Desert, not to mention works by Giovanni Bellini, El Greco, Goya, three Tintorettos and two Velázquezes and Bernini's St Lawrence on the Gridiron.
Today the collection is part of the Uffizi, although housed separately on an alley behind the main building, and only open on Wednesday afternoons for guided tours if you book a spot.
Via Lambertesca 6
Hours The Collezione is only open for guided tours for a maximum of 15 people on Wednesdays at 2 and 4pm; book by ringing +39 055 2388693 Tuesday to Saturday between 2.30pm and 4.30pm