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Florence museums - do I need a guidebook?

Florence museums - do I need a guidebook?

Jun 7th, 2005, 01:32 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Florence museums - do I need a guidebook?

I've made reservations at the Uffizi and Accademia and am getting very excited about our upcoming trip. Trying to pack lightly, I'd like to avoid taking guidebooks, if I can.

For those who have been to the Uffizi and Accademia, is it helpful to have some information when you see these museums? Or is it fine to walk in without a tour or audioguide?

I pretty much only speak English, although I can get by in Spanish. But I have no experience in Italian.

fakemark is offline  
Jun 7th, 2005, 01:35 PM
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I liked the Uffizi audioguide. You can rent one there. I would have felt lost without an excellent book or the audioguide. You can probably get along without a book or audioguide at Accademia.

I would sacrifice space for guidebooks. They really help with Florence.
WillTravel is offline  
Jun 7th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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The Uffizi has NO explanatory panels about the works of art, just the simplest of labels that list the titles of the work and the artists. If you need more than that, bring along a guidebook or get the audioguide.
ellenem is online now  
Jun 7th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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If you have no background in art history (and I mean just your basic History of Western Art 101 or whatever) then I'd check out a guidebook for the Uffizi first and then rent the audioguide.

The audioguide is fun. That guy really gets you going at a brisk pace sometimes!

I think some knowledge enhances your experience. Which is not to say you can't enjoy just looking w/out any book/guide.

Have fun!
Leely is offline  
Jun 7th, 2005, 01:57 PM
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Hi fake,

>...is it helpful to have some information when you see these museums?

If you are going to visit the Uffizi without some sort of guide, it would be useful to read up on what is displayed there.


At the Accademia, you will enter a corridor at the end of which is David.

If you can't recognize and appreciate it, a guide won't be of any use.

ira is offline  
Jun 7th, 2005, 02:17 PM
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ira, Thanks for the link.

TRSW is offline  
Jun 7th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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i think more importantly than just going to the museum because it is the best the city offers, you should make sure that you will enjoy the contents of the museum. the accademia is easy...the david...nothing like it. the uffizi is renaissance art...make sure you like it...look online to see examples of what you will see. otherwise there is a ton of other things that could better serve your time in florence.
ucsun is offline  
Jun 7th, 2005, 04:24 PM
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I found the audioguide helpful and made the visit to the Uffizi memorable. I also had to pack lightly (just a wheeled backpack for a 10 day trip to Italy), so I tore apart my Italy guidebook and kept the sections on places to eat and sights and taped it back together. Also, it made for a lighter purse when I had to carry it around.
jprov is offline  
Jun 7th, 2005, 09:44 PM
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Thanks, everybody! That's very helpful.
fakemark is offline  
Jun 8th, 2005, 04:48 AM
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Fakemark: You probably already know this, but just in case you don't...Although some of its rooms are closed off from time to time, the Uffizi is quite logically arranged, so that you more or less get to see the chronological and thematical development of Renaissance art.

Therefore, a historical preview of art in Florence will give you a wonderful viewing experience when you arrive.

What really helped us before we visited the Uffizi was watching Sister Wendy art videotapes. She has a wonderful one on the Renaissance that completely focused our visit to Florence.

The Uffizi audioguide then just completes the experience. We also liked our Cadogan guide. Have a wonderful time.
Jun 8th, 2005, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I can't imagne going to any museum without either a detailed guidebook or an audioguide - usually both (we use the printed guide to relive the trip later).

Otherwise - unless you have a degree in art history - how do you have a clue what you're looking at? I know you can read the title (not too helpful if you don;t have at least some Italian), artist and date - but what is it's significance?
nytraveler is offline  

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