The Uffizi Gallery, known in Italian as the Galleria degli Uffizi, is a Top Florence Attraction and one of the Top Museums in Italy. The Uffizi is one of the most important museums in the world for Italian art and, in particular, art of the Renaissance. All of the famous names from Italy's rich artistic heritage, including Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Piero della Francesca, Caravaggio, and Raphael, are represented at the Uffizi, making this a must-visit museum for all travelers, especially art lovers.
Housed near the Piazza della Signoria in a long narrow building that was to be the offices (uffizi) of the magistrates of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the Uffizi Gallery houses much of the private collection of the Florentine first family – the Medici. Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici commissioned Giorgio Vasari to construct the Renaissance version of an office building in the mid-16th century. Shortly after the death of the Grand Duke and the architect – both died in 1574 – Cosimo's son Francesco I oversaw the completion of the Uffizi under the architect Bernardo Buontalenti. By 1581, Francesco began using the Uffizi's long corridors to display the Medici family's art collection and the Galleria degli Uffizi was born.
A visit to the Uffizi is one of the greatest pleasures when visiting Florence, so it is advisable to reserve tickets for the museum in advance of one's trip to avoid long lines and/or disappointment. You can reserve tickets through B-Ticket, the official booking site for Florence museum tickets or through a booking service such as Select Italy which may be more convenient for those in the US. You can also call the Uffizi booking center, which has English-speaking agents, at 39-055-294-883 Monday through Friday from 8:30am until 6:30pm or Saturdays from 830am to 12:30pm (note the time in Italy when you call).
Location: Loggiato degli Uffizi, 6, Florence
Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays 8:15 am until 6:50 pm; closed Mondays, January 1, May 1, December 25. In summer, the museum is often open in the evening on Tuesdays, check the web site.
Information: web site; Tel. (0039) 055-294-883
Admission: €6.50 (as of 2014), additional charges for temporary exhibitions
Touring the Vasari Corridor Secret Passageway
The Vasari Corridor is a hidden walkway, built in 1564 for the Medici family, connecting the Uffizi Gallery with the Pitti Palace apartments. Visitors can see it on special tours given by reservation only, see How to Tour the Vasari Corridor.