The sumptuous halls of the Bishop’s Palace contain a magnificent collection of religious artworks and devotional treasures spanning eight centuries.
Explore the Museo Diocesano di Arte Sacra (Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, or MUDAS) and revel in the grandeur of Arezzo’s religious riches. Spread across five halls in the remarkable Bishop’s Palace, the museum’s exhibitions trace the history of Catholic artistry from the 12th century to the present. Admire exquisite frescoes, ornate furnishings and sacred silverware as you make your way through centuries of religious artistic tradition.
The museum’s oldest works are exhibited in the first room. This hall displays a fascinating collection of ornate medieval treasures beginning in the 12th century. See rare wooden crucifixes, gold-plated copper figurines, relief terracotta sculptures and a remarkable depiction of Peace of Siena encrusted with precious stones and pearls. Pope Pius II Piccolimini donated this cherished artwork to the Cathedral of Siena in the beginning of the 15th century. Peruse the collection of shiny silverware and elaborate gilded decorations.
Continue to the second hall, which features works from the 15th and 17th centuries. Check out embroidered ribbons, painted terracotta and a Venetian copper cross. One of the museum’s treasures is a beautifully preserved fresco that dates back to 1480.
The third room is dedicated to the celebrated artist Giorgio Vasari. Admire the artist’s beautiful oil paintings, which date back to the 16th century. The final two halls contain an array of liturgical objects and artworks from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Some of these relics belonged to the Cathedral of San Donato, as well as other churches in the diocesan region. Check out purple-and-gold holy vestments and three paintings by Pietro Benvenuti from the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
The Museo Diocesano di Arte Sacra is located on the piazza fronting the Cattedrale dei Santi Pietro e Donato (Cathedral of San Donato). The museum is open daily during the summer months and is closed on Tuesdays between November and March. There is an admission free to enter the museum. Reduced admission applies to children, students and seniors. The town’s Tourist Information Center (Arezzo Turismo) is located adjacent to the cathedral.