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The Uffizi Gallery museum is famous worldwide for its outstanding collections of ancient sculptures and paintings. Did you know, the Uffizi is home to some of the most important works of the Renaissance? These include masterpieces by Giotto, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Mantegna, Correggio, Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio.
The Uffizi Gallery Museum Layout
The museum is spread out over three floors. Your visit actually starts on the top floor (2nd floor by Italian standards). After visiting the ticket booth, you will climb the grand staircase which dates back to the 1500s. Back to the time of the Medici. Please note, there are a few elevators or lifts reserved for anyone who can’t use the stairs. Layout of museum
It is important to understand that you can’t fully enjoy this gallery in an hour or two. Make the time and carve out a minimum of three hours to a half-day to fully enjoy everything the Uffizi Gallery has to offer.
History of the Uffizi Gallery
Many people aren’t aware that the Uffizi Gallery was not built as a museum. Cosimo I de Medici (better known as Cosimo the Great) ordered its construction in 1560 and it was actually built to house the administrative and judiciary offices of Florence. “Uffizi” in Italian means “offices.”
Cosimo called upon his favorite artist, Giorgio Vasari, to design the U-shaped building we admire today. Most noteworthy… there is a secret corridor that joins the Uffizi to the Pitti Palace. It runs above the Ponte Vecchio, by the church of Santa Felicita. There is a small balcony inside this corridor from which the Medici could attend mass in the church without having to walk through the streets. So noble of them! This secret corridor runs through buildings before ending at the Boboli Gardens.
The Gallery was opened to the public in 1769 by Grand Duke Peter Leopold. Since then, it has become one of the most visited and popular museums in the world. Once you go, you will understand why.
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The Art Itself
In conclusion, this link will give you current information about tickets and especially relevant information about the various collections in the Uffizi. Most of all, I recommend you pay a few euros to get the audio guide. It is well worth it.
Finally, here is a brief list of some of the amazing pieces that adorn the walls of the Uffizi Gallery. This is according to the Uffizi list itself.
- Gentile da Fabriano’s Adoration of the Magi
- The Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello
- The Rucellai Madonna by Duccio di Buoninsegna
- Cimabue’s Santa Trinita Maestà
- Giotto’s Ognissani Madonna
- Portrait of the Duke and Dutchess of Urbino by Piero della Francesca
- The Portinari Alterpiece by Hugo van der Goes
- Botticelli’s Primavera and Venus
- Leonardo’s Adoration of the Magi
- Michelangelo’s Doni Madonna
- Cardellino Madonna by Raphael
- Bacchus by Caravaggio
All photos were taken by me during our last visit to the gallery. There is no particular reason I picked any of these photos, and please don’t be upset if I didn’t choose your favorite artist. These were simply random selections on my part.