Florence Travel Guide

Florence Sights

Galleria degli Uffizi

  • Piazzale degli Uffizi 6 Map It
  • Piazza della Signoria
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 06/20/2007

Fodor's Review

The venerable Uffizi Gallery occupies two floors of the U-shaped 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). Later, the Medici installed their art collections here, creating what was Europe's first modern museum, open to the public (at first only by request) since 1591.

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). In winter 2018, eight new rooms devoted to Caravaggio and his followers were opened, and, at this writing, rooms were continuing to be added. This means that getting out of the museum takes even longer; don't think you've missed the Raphaels, which used to live in the room next door to Michelangelo's stunning panel painting.

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. Remember that this museum is free on the first Sunday of each month; this is a day to avoid the museum, unless you're partial to crowds. At press time, talk was in the air about considerably raising the ticket price.

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Sight Information

Address:

Piazzale degli Uffizi 6, Florence, Tuscany, 50100, Italy

Map It

Sight Details:

  • €20; reservation fee €4
  • Closed Mon.

Published 06/20/2007

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