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May 29, 2012


In Italian language, the word “Uffizi” (precisely “uffici”) means offices, bureaus. In fact, the large building was erected by Giorgio Vasari between 1560 and 1580 to house the administrative offices of the Tuscan State, during the government of Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici. By 1581, Cosimo's son Francesco I began using the Uffizi's long corridors to display the Medici family's art collection. After the house of Medici was extinguished, the art treasures remained in Florence by terms of the famous “Patto di famiglia” (family pact) negotiated by Anna Maria Luisa, the last Medici scion; it formed one of the first modern museums. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the 16th century, and in 1765 it was officially opened to the public.

Giorgio Vasari created a U-shaped building with two long galleries connected by a short one which opens up towards the Arno River. This construction generated the long courtyard that creates the effect of an idealized street.

During spring and summer months the courtyard can be very crowded and street performers entertain the many visitors and plenty of aspiring artists are willing to paint your portrait here. On the wall under the porch there are seats, useful to take a pause after an evening walk.

For a quite good tour in the Uffizi you need at least 3-4 hours just to focus your attention on the numerous masterpieces.

Opening times:
Tuesday to Sunday 8:15 – 18:50
Closed Monday, New Year’s Day, May 1st and Christmas Day.

There is always a long line outside the gallery. It is better to book your tickets in advance.
Booking tickets:
Firenze Musei. Call: (0039) 055 294883
You can also ask to your hotel reception to book tickets.
Booking charge: € 4,00
Full Price: € 6,50
(In case of special exhibition the price is about € 10,00)
Reduced: € 3,25 (European Union citizens aged 18 - 25 on presentation of a document)
Free admission

The Uffizi Gallery collection includes several universally acclaimed masterpieces of all time: works by Giotto, Simone Martini, Piero della Francesca, Fra Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Masaccio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian and Caravaggio. German, Dutch, Flemish and Spanish masters are also well represented with important works by Dürer, Rembrandt and Goya. The Uffizi Gallery also houses important works of ancient sculptures.

Map of 2nd floor

The visit starts on the second floor. If you have not enough time, remember to visit the most important rooms:

ROOM 2: GIOTTO marks a crucial turning-point in the evolution of Italian art especially for the distinct representation of space and the focus on the light that models figures with naturalistic realism.

ROOM 7: MASACCIO, during his short life (he died at the age of 26 in mysterious circumstances), made a great revolution in art history. He was the best painter of his generation because of his skill at recreating lifelike figures and movements as well as a convincing sense of three-dimensionality. 

ROOM 10-14: SANDRO BOTTICELLI is the painter of grace and beauty. This is one of the most interesting and visited rooms of the museum. Of the fifteen works by Sandro Botticelli, the most famous are The Spring and The Birth of Venus, the first large paintings on profane subjects of the Italian Renaissance.

ROOM 15: LEONARDO DA VINCI. Are you curious about the early works by Leonardo? So, you are in the right place. Entering the room, just in front of you, there are three works which are fundamental to discover the development of his art.


ROOM 26: RAFFAELLO (Raphael) is the painter of human emotions, the correct proportions, rich and delicate colors.

ROOM 28: TIZIANO (TITIAN) Perhaps, after Leonardo’s Monna Lisa and Botticelli Venus, the Venus of Urbino is the most famous painting of the modern era in the world.

At the end of west corridor there is the Uffizi Cafe and the terrace with a beautiful view of Palazzo Vecchio.

In the hall of the Cafeteria there is the access to the Foreign Art Area, a new exhibition area opened to display paintings by non-Italian artists from 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. It’s a portion of the museum not comprised within Vasari’s building so the style is completely different from that of the Renaissance architect: the rooms are small, as a domestic space, and the walls are painted light blue.

Then, you can go down to the first floor:
Map first floor

ROOM C: CARAVAGGIO is the painter of human passions. There is no mysticism in his art but just men and women often in a drama, sometimes in earthly delights or in folk scenarios.

My Uffizi Gallery Quick Guide is available here.


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