The National Museum of San Matteo (Museo Nazionale di San Matteo) is a hidden-gem that is about a 15-minute walk from the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The Museum features a rich collection of works from historic ecclesiastical buildings in the city and Province of Pisa. The works span from the early Middle Ages to the 16th-century. The collection includes sculptural works from Nicola Pisano and Donatello. There are also beautiful art pieces from Berlinghiero Volterrano, Giunta Pisano, Simone Martini, Lippo Memmi, Benozzo di Lese, Ghirlandaio, and many more. The collection began taking shape around the end of the 18th-century.
Illuminated manuscripts, wooden religious sculptures, and ceramics also fill the quiet-meditative museum halls. The museum is usually not busy and features a small relaxing renaissance-style garden in the center that seems to be trapped in time.
Visitors will also find a unique display of crucifixes throughout the ages; all placed side-by-side to illustrate the changes to the art style over time.
Know Before You Go
The admission fee is inexpensive and chances are you won't see many other tourists in the museum.