In the area of convenience if you're visiting Florence, Orsanmichele is literally moments away from La Casa Di Dante and Il Duomo. The admission is free, though it is only open on Mondays. However, as nearly all other museums in the area are closed on Monday, and as it only takes a half-hour or so to tour, it's definitely worth a pop in.
Take a walk around the outside of the church first. There are several inset with bronze statues of various religious figures (Saint Peter, Mary, John Baptist and Saint Philip, to name a few) around the entire building.
Converted from a grain silo, the church of Orsanmichele has concrete facings up the majority of its sides, and the stained glass windows only decorate the very top; the altar is quite lavish to make up for it. Remember, however: no photos are allowed.
There's a staircase that rises up to the second floor of the church. In this room stand the originals of the statues found outside. Against the wall there is a description for each; the sculptor's name, a possible time period for casting, and a brief description of the personage the statue represents. Unfortunately, these notice cards were only in Italian on my visit.
(If you feel up to a memory game, you can try to spot the differences between the originals and the copies outside.)
For Art History students, it's also interesting to note the change in style between sculptures- from the Renaissance to the more Gothic.
If you acsend the stairs again to the next floor, there are more statues- very small stone statues that had stood in the elements so long that their faces (and sometimes most of their bodies) are completely unrecognizable. No imitations have been put in their place.
What draws the most attention on this floor, really, is the 360 degree view of the city, with spottable landmarks and hills with great large houses in the distance. Nobody minds a camera as long as you point it out the window.
The final leg of the museum walk crosses a over-street bridge to the home of the Italian Dante Society, an enjoyable walk back downstairs with some nice architecture and windows, including a stone lion watching over the staircase. (And, since it's indoors, a nice break from the sun.)
It shouldn't take more than an hour even if you really take your time, and since it's not far from anything it's definitely worth dropping by.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.