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Michelangelo’s secret drawing room is set to open to the public for the first time

You can only view it for fifteen minutes – and reserving in advance is a must

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

Italian sculptor, painter, and heavyweight of the Renaissance era, Michelangelo is one of the world’s most influential artists. And for all fans of this guy’s remarkable talent, we’ve got some exciting news: his secret drawing room will soon be open to the public. 

Yep, you read that right. From November 15, the ‘secret drawing room’ in Florence, where Michelangelo allegedly sought political refuge in 1530, will be open to visitors. Slots will be available for four people at a time and are only fifteen minutes long, but it sounds like a pretty remarkable sight to witness. 

The room was discovered in 1975 when the then-director enlisted a restorer to clear out what they thought was a narrow passageway. It was an effort to try and create a new exit from the Museum of the Medici Chapels – but instead, restorer Sabino Giovannoni found drawings sprawled under the layers of plaster.

These drawings have been attributed to Michelangelo, thought to be created when he sought refuge in this room to evade a death sentence called for by Pope Clement VII.

The artist resided in the 10-by-3 metre room for around 2 months – that’s a lot of drawing time. And while critics are still reviewing the sketches, we know Michelangelo re-drew previous works on these walls. Some drawings are reminiscent of figures he painted in the Sistine Chapel, while others reflect elements of the work in the Medici tomb.

If you’re keen to inspect these mysterious drawings in this mysterious room, you haven’t got long. The room will only be open until March 30, 2024, so best get to booking that flight to Florence. And why not have a browse of our favourite hotels in Florence and best things to do guide while you’re at it?

Did you see that this European city has just banned late-night food due to noise complaints?

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