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Florence: Blasphemous to Skip Uffizi and Accademia?

Florence: Blasphemous to Skip Uffizi and Accademia?

Dec 11th, 2005, 12:51 PM
Original Poster
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Florence: Blasphemous to Skip Uffizi and Accademia?

Okay, I blurted it out, but is it really blasphemous? I've heard there is no shortage of art all over Florence in churches, other museums,..... .

What would you substitute and perhaps save a little time on a short trip. I hate standing in line and also worried my college-aged son might get burnt out on too many large museums. I'd like to mix things up with shorter, more frequent stops at a wide variety of interesting places.

Perhaps you have faced the same situation - trying to catch the right pace, variety, and timing to fully capture the beauty and mood of a special place.

Cato is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 01:10 PM
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I think you should definitely see David at the Accademia. Make a reservation and there won't be any standing in line.

As for the Uffizi, if you aren't eager to see it, no point in using up your time that way. But you can get a reservation and also be done quickly.

You and your son could split up during the day if you have different interests.
WillTravel is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 01:11 PM
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Hi Cato,

The Accademia is certainly NOT a large Museum, and the Uffizi can be seen in a few hours.

Also, there is no need to stand on line (for very long).

Uffizi and Academia Museum Reservations
The easiest and cheapest way is to call Florence 011 (U.S. international access code) 39 (Italy's country code) then 055-294-883 8:30-18:30 M-F and 8:30-12:00 Sat. Florence time. You will get an English speaking operator and in 2-3 minutes YOU CAN RESERVE FOR BOTH. This is through the reservation service at the Uffizi and costs beyond the normal entry fee only about 3 euro for the service. This is MUCH cheaper than the commercial booking services.
You will not be charged for the reservations unless you use them.

>..is it really blasphemous?...<

No, but you will have to spend at least 1000 years in purgatory.

ira is online now  
Dec 11th, 2005, 01:18 PM
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Blasphemy doesn't come into it, but why not book ahead? No standing in line, you walk up at your allotted time and in you go.

Factor in the time-zone difference and call from home before the trip (they speak English), pick a visiting time-slot that you know you'll make:

For both the Uffizi and the Accademia, contact Firenze Musei, Tel: +39 055294883
Booking charge : € 3,00 per person..

The Uffizi (http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/english/musei/uffizi/) have some originals that everybody has seen in reproduction at some point or other - there are great "Aha - this looks much better than I remember it" moments. You don't have to stand there and ponder each exhibit - many of the early religious ones, for this viewer anyway, are much of a muchness, how many Madonna With Child can you see - so you move on. But everybody finds some they really really like, art experts or not, so you zero in on those, you buy a postcard of that painting on the way out, and you've made a new friend for life.

And if you thought the fake David in the square looks somewhat crude and needs a bath, you're right. But if you can *not* be blown away by the artistry of the real one inside the Accademia (http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/accademia/), then you must have eaten the wrong thing for breakfast.

Sure, there are plenty others - one I recommend that many people miss is the museum behind the Duomo where the artworks from inside the Duomo are kept, for better preservation and showing: Walk around the round (back-) end of the Duomo, the museum is called Museo dell' Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore di Firenze.

Now you know why people miss it: Nothing to do with opera (opera means the works), and the S.M. del Fiore is the name of the Saint to which the Duomo is dedicated. Tricky, eh? But worth a visit, the detailed display of how the Duomo and its heavy cupola were constructed is worth the price of admission alone (no cranes or helicopters in those days...).

So skip the U. and A. at your own peril - having come this far, it seems a pity.

WallyKringen is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 01:28 PM
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When I was in Florence last year my husband and I intended to go see the David at least (we are not really into art but felt it was important). However, and I'm sure I will be slandered for saying this...we got too caught up in shopping and missed seeing the David! I do regret not seeing it, and when I return to Italy (2007) I fully intend to visit both the Accademia and the Uffizi...
Amanda23 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 01:29 PM
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As a small museum, consider Museo di San Marco (Fra Angelico paintings and frescoes and a "Last Supper" by Ghirlandaio).

The Museo del Duomo has the Pieta that Michelangelo intended for his tomb as well as the original panels of Ghiberti's "Doors of Paradise" (the ones on the Baptistery are reproductions).

That said, I would think a visit to Florence without going to the Accademia or the Uffizi sadly incomplete.
Eloise is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 01:40 PM
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Hi Amanda23
>...we got too caught up in shopping and missed seeing the David! I do regret not seeing it, and when I return to Italy (2007) I fully intend to visit both the Accademia and the Uffizi...<

Since you are showing remorse, you are forgiven. (This time.)

ira is online now  
Dec 11th, 2005, 02:09 PM
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Just another suggestion. If this is your first trip to Florence, check out the Rick Steves guide to Florence and the tour for the Accademia and Uffizi in it. If you get advanced reservations and follow this guide for each, you will see the overview and most important works without having to endure the whole museum of each. Therefore, shortening your time at each museum.

I also highly recommend the reservations. You won't stand in line that way.

I'm also in the camp that if you choose only one, make it the Accademia and David, as well as Michelangelo's Prisoners.
Statia is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 02:53 PM
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How long are you going to be in Florence?
I go to a lot of museums all the time, and I dislike the Uffizi. The fact that it holds masterpieces of art is outdone imo by the user-unfriendliness of the museum--rooms poorly lit, overheated, lots of stairs, few if any signs or captions, and of course crowds.
On a short visit to Florence (3 or fewer days) I could definitely see skipping it. I do love the San Marco convent, the Bargello (lots of sculpture including Michelangelos, no lines), the Brancacci chapel, the Duomo Museum (with a late Michelangelo Pieta), etc, which are mostly-crowdless and seen in short bursts.

I definitely would give up two hours at the Uffizi to instead have coffee or hot chocolate at Rivoire cafe, or to visit the Baptistery, or to visit more of the churches.
elaine is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 03:05 PM
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I don't think its blasphemous to skip either one. You shouldn't feel like you have to do either one just because the travel guides consider them "not to be missed." Do what you want to do and see what you want to see.

We went to Florence last year and did not plan to see either museum. We ended up having some extra time so we went to the Academia to see David. I'm not really worried about it. Neither DH nor myself are huge art lovers and really had no interest in seeing either museum.

As mentioned above, if you are worried about waiting in lines just reserve ahead of time. Very easy to do.

tcreath is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 03:06 PM
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Thanks for all the great comments and suggestions.

I will only have four nights with really only three and a half days. And I planned to do two daytrips: Siena and Pisa/Lucca.

I may depart in the afternoon on my departure day to Rome to give me a little more time.
Cato is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 03:07 PM
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I agree with Elaine in seeing the Bargello over the Uffizi.

Also, the Museo Duomo (immediately behind the Duomo itself) is very interesting and never seems to have many people in it. It seems to be one museum that is often overlooked by the masses.
Statia is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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When I was in Florence, I did go see David but decided not to go to the Uffizi. I still had a most enjoyable visit. I just decided to go to several smaller places instead. If you don't want to go there, don't feel as though you have to explain yourself! I agree with the recommendations for the Bargello, Museo San Marco and Museo dell'Opera. And don't miss the Baptistry. Those 13th C mosaic on the ceiling are amazing!
SusanP is online now  
Dec 11th, 2005, 03:31 PM
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Like the others said, if it's TIME you're worried about, time is not really an issue. For David, you can make an appt, go in and see the statue, and be out in 15 minutes. Even if you are not interested in art at all, David will leave you awestruck! I do believe it might be blasphemous to skip it.
The Uffizi can be seen with a reservation and done quickly too. Decide what you want to see ahead of time, and then you can be on your way. Skipping it however, would perhpas not be blaspemous as skipping David...
Have a good trip! You've gotten a lot of good advice on this thread.
dina4 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 03:36 PM
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I didn't go to the Accademia until my third trip to Florence; to the Uffizi on my fourth. In several trips since, I haven't felt compelled to return to either, but I know they'll still be there if I do. As they will for you. This is your trip. Plan it for you.
Holly_uncasdewar is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 03:51 PM
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I wouldn't get too caught up in what everyone says you "must" do. If you're not that into art, don't bother and don't worry about it. That said, David is awesome and the Accademia not that big. If you make reservations it will not take up a huge chunk of time.

I LOVE art and I didn't go the Uffizi. I got several books on the Uffizi from the library and what I saw left me underwhelmed - I'm just not all that into Madonnas and religous art. I went with a tour group and when they went to the Uffizi I went to the Pitti Palace and I don't regret my decision one bit.

I think the museum runs like going through the Louvre just to check out the Venus and Mona if you're not all that into art to begin with can be wasted time. I spent a total of 6 hours in the Louvre and I didn't see Venus de Milo. There was so much there and I spent the time with the stuff I was interested in. Don't regret that decision, either.

Also, if your son is anything like my son, it would be more torture to walk through the Uffizi than to just skip it.
karens is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 03:52 PM
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Cato, I just posed your question to my DH since his favorite city is Florence. He said that he would suggest seeing the sunset from Piazzelle Michealangleo one evening. Although DH is older, he's not dead, and distinctly recalls "college aged babes" abound there.

Aside from that, the view over Florence at sunset is not to be missed. You can either hike it up, or take a cab from the Duomo area (which we did). The whole scenario doesn't take much time if you leave shortly after sunset.

IMO, it is another site in Florence not to be missed, whether it's at sunset or not.
Statia is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 03:58 PM
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What a wealth of great info all of you have provided.

I did go to the Uffizi several years ago and, please take no offense, but it left me a bit cold for some reason. The early religious ones seemed to all flow together with too many Madonna With Child pictures.

I just could not get excited about it
the way we always do at art museums in Paris.

I think the Accademia will be a good one to do.
Cato is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 04:33 PM
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Dear Cato, The Museum of Science is located right next to the Uffizi (on the river). It has Galileo's original telescope, incredibly interesting scientific models and drawings, and is never crowded.
The Museo di San Marco is fabulous and peaceful - a true antidote to the craziness that can be Florence.
Don't feel guilty - if you don't burn out (I call it "Madonna fatigue")you'll want to come back again and again.
Italiasubito is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 06:19 PM
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Please make a point to see David. It is truly inspiring, and pictures do not capture its impact. As for the Uffizi, I am biased--almost majored in art history so I highly recommend it, but not as passionately as David. Its one of those things you see and say, wow, I am glad I saw the real thing.
StephCar is offline  

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