Museo dell’Opera del Duomo named top cultural visit

Recent analysis examines visitor experience

Samantha Vaughn
February 7, 2017 - 15:38

The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo earns the top spot for best cultural visit, according to a recent study by Sociometrica.


The measuring tool? Over 14,000 English-language comments, opinions and visitor accounts published on social media channels, principally TripAdvisor, between October and December 2016.


With the help of analysis software, Sociometrica examined the most common sentiments used to express visitors’ experiences. Ten of Florence’s highlight attractions were analyzed: all five components of the Grande Museo del Duomo (the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, the Baptistery, Brunelleschi’s Dome, the Cathedral and Giotto’s Bell Tower), the Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, Boboli Gardens, Palazzo Pitti and Medici Chapels. On a scale from 0 to 100 points, all ten Florentine institutions scored an 80 or above, with the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo at the forefront with 90 points, followed closely by the Baptistery at 89 points. The Uffizi Gallery scored the lowest of the ten (83 points), though it is important to note that the aspects that negatively impacted the museum were, for the most part, not based on the museum itself but rather outside factors that unfortunately influenced the quality and perception of the visit.


The analysis of the social media comments pinpointed the most common words used by visitors when describing their experiences in Florence and at these attractions. The top ten positive words utilized were: beautiful, worth, good, amazing, enjoy, interesting, nice, unique, best and wonderful. Among the negatives were crowded, wait, narrow, disappoint and expensive. It perhaps goes without saying that these words are hardly surprising. No one would argue that a four-hour wait isn’t a negative experience, nor can we disagree that seeing the David in person or marveling at the Byzantine wonder that is the Baptistery ceiling is wonderful, amazing. But though the results may not be surprising news, the research itself is significant for the museums and places cited.


By analyzing unfiltered opinions, we are rewarded with the authentic voice of tourists, not the result of an observer’s interpretation. It is a true picture what visiting Florence is like. The research also establishes a hierarchy of topics: no one need assume what tourists are interested in seeing when the answer is right there in the comments, opinions and accounts. Unlike responses to a visitor survey, the visitors talk about what they want to, good or bad. Knowing this data can help museums and places adapt more pertinent strategies in the quest to improve the perception and value of the visitor experience, and along with it, their brand.

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