Fodor's Expert Review Galleria degli Uffizi

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The venerable Uffizi Gallery occupies two floors of the U-shape Palazzo degli Uffizi, designed by Giorgio Vasari (1511–74) in 1560 to hold the uffici (administrative offices) of the Medici Grand Duke Cosimo I (1519–74).

Among the highlights are Paolo Uccello's Battle of San Romano, its brutal chaos of lances one of the finest visual metaphors for warfare ever captured in paint (it returned from a glorious restoration in 2012); the Madonna and Child with Two Angels, by Fra Filippo Lippi (1406–69), in which the impudent eye contact established by the angel would have been unthinkable prior to the Renaissance; the Birth of Venus and Primavera by Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510), the goddess of the former seeming to float on air and the fairy-tale charm of the latter exhibiting the painter's idiosyncratic genius at its zenith; the portraits of the Renaissance duke Federico da Montefeltro and his wife Battista Sforza, by Piero della Francesca... READ MORE

The venerable Uffizi Gallery occupies two floors of the U-shape Palazzo degli Uffizi, designed by Giorgio Vasari (1511–74) in 1560 to hold the uffici (administrative offices) of the Medici Grand Duke Cosimo I (1519–74).

Among the highlights are Paolo Uccello's Battle of San Romano, its brutal chaos of lances one of the finest visual metaphors for warfare ever captured in paint (it returned from a glorious restoration in 2012); the Madonna and Child with Two Angels, by Fra Filippo Lippi (1406–69), in which the impudent eye contact established by the angel would have been unthinkable prior to the Renaissance; the Birth of Venus and Primavera by Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510), the goddess of the former seeming to float on air and the fairy-tale charm of the latter exhibiting the painter's idiosyncratic genius at its zenith; the portraits of the Renaissance duke Federico da Montefeltro and his wife Battista Sforza, by Piero della Francesca (circa 1420–92); the Madonna of the Goldfinch by Raphael (1483–1520), and check out the brilliant blues that decorate the sky, as well as the eye contact between mother and child, both clearly anticipating the painful future; Michelangelo's Doni Tondo; the Venus of Urbino by Titian (circa 1488/90–1576); and the splendid Bacchus by Caravaggio (circa 1571/72–1610). In the last two works, the approaches to myth and sexuality are diametrically opposed (to put it mildly).

Late in the afternoon is the least crowded time to visit. For a €4 fee, advance tickets can be reserved by phone, online, or, once in Florence, at the Uffizi reservation booth (advance tickets Consorzio ITA, Piazza Pitti 1 055/294883) at least one day in advance of your visit. Keep the confirmation number and take it with you to the door at the museum marked "Reservations." In the past, you were ushered in almost immediately. But overbooking (especially in high season) has led to long lines and long waits even with a reservation. Taking photographs in the Uffizi has been legal since 2014, and has contributed to making this what-ought-to-be-a-sublime-museum-going experience more of a day at the zoo. Beware of the scalpers, who are dressed in fake military gear (the epaulettes look like something out of "Fantasy Island"): yes, they will help you jump the line, but they will charge you an arm and a leg in order to do so.

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Quick Facts

Piazzale degli Uffizi 6
Florence, Tuscany  50100, Italy

055-23885

www.uffizi.firenze.it; www.polomuseale.firenze.it for reservations

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: From €20, Closed Mon.

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