By Siobhan Reid
November 18, 2017

For about two months in 1530, Michelangelo hid out in a secret chamber beneath the Medici Chapels in Florence’s Basilica di San Lorenzo, seeking refuge from his patrons, the powerful Medici family.

The Renaissance master had defied the family when he supported a popular revolt against their rule and, fearing punishment, had retreated to the tiny cell, where he made charcoal and chalk sketches on the wall in order to pass the time.


The room and its awe-inspiring drawings — including details from his statue of “David” and figures from the Sistine Chapel — were discovered in 1975, when they were stumbled upon the director of the Medici Chapels museum, who was searching for a new exit route for visitors.

And now, according to a report by The Telegraph, the “Michelangelo Room” will open to the public for the very first time in 2020.

“We’re working on making the secret room of Michelangelo accessible,” Paola D’Agostino, the director of the Bargello Museum (which manages the Medici Chapels) told The Telegraph. “There’s a plan under way to make the space safe for visitors. There’s a great deal to do.”


In the meantime, art-lovers can take a virtual tour of the space online — and check out T+L’s Definite Guide to Florence, which covers the city’s best museums and galleries.