UFFIZI Gallery Tour and VASARI Corridor Walk

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Enjoy this one single opportunity to discover the Uffizi Gallery, Italy’s most important museum, and learn the secrets of the Vasari Corridor, the Medici family’s secret passageway.

  • SKIP THE LONG LINES as you have a reserved priority entrance to the Uffizi Gallery
  • Uffizi Gallery highlights tour. Discover Giotto, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Botticelli…
  • Vasari Corridor discovery walking tour (external) – learn about its history and secrets!
  • Only in English, to preserve the quality of the tour

Enjoy this one single opportunity to discover the Uffizi Gallery, Italy’s most important museum, and learn the secrets of the Vasari Corridor, the Medici family’s secret passageway.

The Uffizi Gallery is undoubtedly Florence and Italy’s most important and renowned museum. It houses the most incredible collection of artworks from the Middle Ages to Renaissance and beyond. A collection of masterpieces with no equals throghout the world, by artists like Giotto, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello, Botticelli, and many more.
With this tour you will have the opportunity to enjoy an approx. 2.5-hour guided tour of the main rooms of the Uffizi Gallery, skipping the usual long lines as we will have a reserved priority entrance.
A not-to-be-missed visit for your Florence stay.

The Pontevecchio, the landmark of Florence, houses the best kept secret of Florence. It serves as a passageway dating back to 1564, when the Grand Duke of Florence, Cosimo I de’ Medici ordered his favorite architect, Giorgio Vasari, to built a path that would allow him and the Royal family to move freely from their residence (Palazzo Pitti) to the government palace (Palazzo della Signoria, other side of the river Arno).
Hidden between city houses and even passing through a church, the Vasari Corridor has evolved as one of the most astounding architectural masterpieces of the Renaissance.
With an in-depth explanation by a professional guide, uncover the Vasari Corridor history and secrets as you walk along its path from the outside, cutting the old town and experiencing the same perspective of the Medici family’s enemies trying to follow and track the Grand Duke’s movements inside the passageway.

An interesting Florence City GuideBook will be our present to give you fresh suggestions and make your stay in Florence and Tuscany even more memorable.

DEPARTURE: Every day from an agreed meeting point or pick-up to Poggio Baronti
DURATION: Approx. 3 hours
PERIOD: ALL YEAR ROUND
LANGUAGE: English

This is a SHARED GROUP TOUR: this will let you enjoy this high quality experience in the friendly company of other travellers from all over the world, up to a maximum of 25 pax in your group.

VIP UPGRADE: Interested in a SMALLER GROUP? Choose the VIP UPGRADE SHARED TOUR: you can join the VIP Small-Group BREAKFAST AT UFFIZI’S – Early Entrance Tour which has a maximum of only 15 pax in the group and additional inclusions.
View the VIP TOUR

PRIVATE UPGRADE: Interested in a PRIVATE TOUR? If you prefer to join this experience only with your dear ones, without other travellers, you can choose the PRIVATE TOUR: a dedicated tour.
View the PRIVATE TOUR

The Uffizi Gallery is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in the Historic Centre of Florence in the region of Tuscany, Italy. One of the most important Italian museums, and the most visited, it is also one of the largest and best known in the world, and holds a collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance.

After the ruling house of Medici died out, their art collections were gifted to the city of Florence under the famous Patto di famiglia negotiated by Anna Maria Luisa, the last Medici heiress. The Uffizi is one of the first modern museums. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, and in 1765 it was officially opened to the public, formally becoming a museum in 1865.
Visitors observing Michelangelo painting Doni Tondo. Uffizi is ranked as the 25th on the most visited art museums in the world, with around 2 million visitors annually.

The building of Uffizi complex was begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de’ Medici so as to accommodate the offices of the Florentine magistrates, hence the name uffizi, “offices”. The construction was later continued by Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti; it was completed in 1581. The top floor was made into a gallery for the family and their guests and included their collection of Roman sculptures.

The cortile (internal courtyard) is so long and narrow, and open to the Arno at its far end through a Doric screen that articulates the space without blocking it, that architectural historians treat it as the first regularized streetscape of Europe. Vasari, a painter and architect as well, emphasised its perspective length by adorning it with the matching facades’ continuous roof cornices, and unbroken cornices between storeys, as well as the three continuous steps on which the palace-fronts stand. The niches in the piers that alternate with columns filled with sculptures of famous artists in the 19th century.

The Uffizi brought together under one roof the administrative offices and the Archivio di Stato, the state archive. The project was intended to display prime art works of the Medici collections on the piano nobile; the plan was carried out by his son, Grand Duke Francesco I. He commissioned the architect Buontalenti to design the Tribuna degli Uffizi that would display a series of masterpieces in one room, including jewels; it became a highly influential attraction of a Grand Tour. The octagonal room was completed in 1584.

Over the years, more sections of the palace were recruited to exhibit paintings and sculpture collected or commissioned by the Medici. According to Vasari, who was not only the architect of the Uffizi but also the author of Lives of the Artists, published in 1550 and 1568, artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo gathered at the Uffizi “for beauty, for work and for recreation.”

For many years, 45 to 50 rooms were used to display paintings from the 13th to 18th century.

Because of its huge collection, some of the Uffizi’s works have in the past been transferred to other museums in Florence—for example, some famous statues to the Bargello. A project was finished in 2006 to expand the museum’s exhibition space some 6,000 metres² (64,000 ft²) to almost 13,000 metres² (139,000 ft²), allowing public viewing of many artworks that had usually been in storage.

The Nuovi Uffizi (New Uffizi) renovation project which started in 1989 was progressing well in 2015 to 2017. It was intended to modernize all of the halls and more than double the display space. As well, a new exit was planned and the lighting, air conditioning and security systems were updated. During construction, the museum remained open, although rooms were closed as necessary with the artwork temporarily moved to another location. For example, the Botticelli rooms and two others with early Renaissance paintings were closed for 15 months but reopened in October 2016.

The major modernization project, New Uffizi, had increased viewing capacity to 101 rooms by late 2016 by expanding into areas previously used by the Florence State Archive.

The Uffizi hosted over two million visitors in 2016, making it the most visited art gallery in Italy. In high season (particularly in July), waiting times can be up to five hours. Tickets are available on-line in advance, however, to significantly reduce the waiting time. The museum is being renovated to more than double the number of rooms used to display artwork.

Piazza della Signoria is an L-shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. It was named after the Palazzo della Signoria, also called Palazzo Vecchio. It is the main point of the origin and history of the Florentine Republic and still maintains its reputation as the political focus of the city. It is the meeting place of Florentines as well as the numerous tourists, located near Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza del Duomo and gateway to Uffizi Gallery.

Buildings:

The impressive 14th-century Palazzo Vecchio is still preeminent with its crenellated tower. The square is also shared with the Loggia della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery, the Palace of the Tribunale della Mercanzia (1359) (now the Bureau of Agriculture), and the Palazzo Uguccioni (1550, with a facade attributed to Raphael, who however died thirty years before its construction). Located in front of the Palazzo Vecchio is the Palace of the Assicurazioni Generali (1871, built in Renaissance style).

Palazzo Vecchio:The Palazzo Vecchio (“Old Palace”) is the town hall of the city. This massive, Romanesque, crenellated fortress-palace is among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany. Overlooking the square with its copy of Michelangelo’s David statue as well the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi, it is one of the most significant public places in Italy, and it hosts cultural points and museums.

Originally called the Palazzo della Signoria, after the Signoria of Florence, the ruling body of the Republic of Florence, it was also given several other names: Palazzo del PopoloPalazzo dei Priori, and Palazzo Ducale, in accordance with the varying use of the palace during its long history. The building acquired its current name when the Medici duke’s residence was moved across the Arno to the Palazzo Pitti.

Loggia dei Lanzi: The Loggia dei Lanzi consists of wide arches open to the street, three bays wide and one bay deep. The arches rest on clustered pilasters with Corinthian capitals. The wide arches appealed so much to the Florentines, that Michelangelo even proposed that they should be continued all around the Piazza della Signoria. The vivacious construction of the Loggia is in stark contrast with the severe architecture of the Palazzo Vecchio. It is effectively an open-air sculpture gallery of antique and Renaissance art including the Medici lions.

Tribunale della Mercanzia:The Tribunale della Mercanzia (Tribunal of Merchandise) is a building where in the past lawyers judged in the trial between merchants. Here was a porch painted by Taddeo Gaddi, Antonio del Pollaiolo and Sandro Botticelli, today stored in the Uffizi gallery.

Palazzo Uguccioni:Built for Giovanni Uguccioni since 1550, its design has been variously attributed to RaphaelMichelangeloBartolomeo Ammannati or Raffaello da Montelupo.

Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali: The Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali was designed in the Neo-Renaissance style in 1871, and is one of the very few purpose-built commercial buildings in the centre of the city. On the ground floor of this palace is the historical cafè Rivoire.

Other palaces:Other palaces are the palazzo dei Buonaguisi and the palazzo dell’Arte dei Mercatanti.

Statues:
Various imposing statues ring this square including:

  1. Copy of Michelangelo’s David. at the entrance of the Palazzo Vecchio; the original by Michelangelo is housed in the Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts.
  2. Equestrian Monument of Cosimo I, honoring Cosimo I de’ Medici and sculpted by Giambologna (1594)
  3. Fountain of Neptune by Bartolomeo Ammannati (1575)
  4. Il Marzocco, (the Lion) with a copy of the “Florentine Lily“, originally made by Donatello (copy)
  5. Judith and Holofernes, by Donatello (copy)
  6. Hercules and Cacus, by Bandinelli (1533)
  7. The Rape of the Sabine Women, in the Loggia dei Lanzi by Giambologna
  8. Perseus with the Head of Medusa, in the Loggia dei Lanzi by Cellini (1554)
  9. Medici lions, by Fancelli and Vacca (1598)

The piazza was already a central square in the original Roman town Florentia, surrounded by a theatre, Roman baths and a workshop for dyeing textiles. Later there was a church San Romolo, a loggia and an enormous 5th-century basilica. This was shown by the archaeological treasures found beneath the square when it was repaved in the 1980s. Even remains of a Neolithic site were found.

The square started taking shape from 1268 on, when houses of Ghibellines were pulled down by the victorious Guelphs.

The square remained a long time untidy, full of holes. In 1385 it was paved for the first time. In 1497 Girolamo Savonarola and his followers carried out on this square the famous Bonfire of the Vanities, burning in a large pile books, gaming tables, fine dresses, and works of poets. In front of the fountain of Neptune, a round marble plaque marks the exact spot where Girolamo Savonarola was hanged and burned on May 23, 1498.

The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Museum of the Works of the Cathedral) in Florence, Italy is a museum containing many of the original works of art created for the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, the cathedral (Duomo) of Florence.
As of August 2013, the director of the museum is Fr. Timothy Verdon, an American.

The museum is located just east of the Duomo, near its apse. It opened in 1891, and now houses what has been called “one of the world’s most important collections of sculpture.” Among the museum’s holdings are Lorenzo Ghiberti‘s doors for the Baptistery of Florence Cathedral called the Gates of Paradise, the cantorias, or singing-galleries, designed for the cathedral by Luca della Robbia and Donatello (also from him is a “Magdalene Penitent”), and The Deposition, a pietà intended by Michelangelo for his own tomb.

It was reported on August 6, 2013, that a tourist had accidentally snapped a finger off a 14th-century statue of the Virgin Mary by Giovanni d’Ambrogio. The finger itself was from a later repair, not part of the original work.

VISIT THE FLORENCE CATHEDRAL

Come and visit the Uffizi Gallery, the prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria, book your stay at Poggio Baronti B&B and we will take care of everything!
We never fail to impress. Soak up the sun, style, and sophistication of Tuscany and start planning your trip to Poggio Baronti today.

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