National Museum of San Matteo

The National Museum of San Matteo, or Museo Nazionale di San Matteo, is regarded as one of Europe’s most important medieval art museums. 

It is a gorgeous architectural gem in its own right, located in the medieval former Benedictine convent of San Matteo, in the square of San Matteo in Soarta, overlooking the Arno. 

The collection is housed in this lovely building, featuring an elegant Pisan Romanesque façade and a classical façade that provides access to the Museum’s main entrance.

You will also find a beautiful medieval abbey at the core of the building. 

Wandering around this charming structure, which represents several architectural styles from different eras, is a delight in and of itself.

One of the lesser-known museums is the National Museum of San Matteo, which some say is even better than the Cathedral Museum! 

Another great feature of the Museum is that each room has chairs, allowing you to sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in the captivating paintings.

Sebastiano Zucchetti, Canon of the Pisa Cathedral, began the primary collection in 1769. 

Many works of art were eventually stored here due to the closure of numerous other museums and the Academy of Fine Arts.  

A local Jewish citizen founded the Pisa Museo Civico in 1893. 

Using the art from this Museum, the current MuseuoNazionale was established in the newly restored convent of San Matteo, located directly across the Arno River.

The Museum now houses an extensive collection of paintings and sculptures dating from the 12th to the 18th centuries. 

The Museum also houses rare archaeological finds that are fascinating and enlightening.

We have beautifully preserved several religious crosses dating back to 1100 with exquisite craftsmanship.

Work by Guido Reni, Francesco Traini, and others is among the most well-known artists housed here. 

Be aware of the modest entrance and bare ground floor; if you venture further, you’ll find an artistic treasure trove.

Take a brochure with you when you enter to learn about the history of the artwork you’re about to see. 

In addition, each room has a large, freestanding explanation panel in English and Italian. 

Each room has unique lighting that complements the art, and most have chairs where you can sit and contemplate the paintings and sculptures.

You can view the medieval ceramics collection, once used to decorate Pisan churches. 

A bible from the Monastery of San Vito, numerous ancient Pisan sculptures such as a Nativity by Tino di Camaino, and a few remarkable wooden works by Agostino di Giovanni and Francesco di Valdambrino will whet your appetite for the main course: the paintings.

Work by Francesco di Traino, Lippo Menni, and Buonamico Buffalmacco, noted for his fresco cycle in the Monumental Cemetery, Spinello Aretino, Taddeo di Bartolo will astound you. 

If you’re a die-hard art lover, this Museum, with its massive collection of beautiful art, is a must-see in Pisa.

With your Tower of Pisa tickets, travel back in time and explore the world’s leaning wonder. Prepare to take stunning photographs and see the fascinating architecture. 

Tips for visiting the National Museum of San Matteo

  • Check out Andrea Pisano’s Madonna del Latte, a painted marble work. (1343-1347).
  • The full-size painted wooden sculptures, gathered in a long dark hall to preserve their color, were used as characters in sacred medieval theater. 

Look at them through the columns from the adjacent room – it’s magical.

  • The Museum also houses glazed terracottas by the Della Robbia school and a bust-relic of St. Lussorio by Donatello.
  • You must keep your bags and purses in the cloakroom. 
  • There is no water or food, and only basic toilet facilities are available.

National Museum of San Matteo tickets

Concessions for admission to the National Museum of San Matteo for people aged 18 to 25 is around €3. 

Admission is free for EU citizens under 18 and those over 65, as well as school groups and accompanying teachers.

How to Get to the National Museum of San Matteo

The National Museum of San Matteo is located at The Piazza San Matteo In Sparta, 1, 56127 Pisa PI, Italy. 

Get the National Museum of San Matteo directions here

For $1.20, take the bus “E” toward the train station. 

The stop is right inside Porta St. Ranieri, and it takes about 10 minutes to get you to the Lungarno Mediceo, almost opposite the Museum.

National Museum of San Matteo hours

Admission is only permitted from Tuesday to Saturday at 9 am, 11.30 am, 3.30 pm, and 5.30 pm.

On Sundays and holidays, admission to the Museum is permitted at 9 am and 11.30 am. 

Please keep in mind that the Museum is closed on Mondays, as well as on 1 January and 25 December.

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