This imposing building was once the seat of power for all of Florence and its provinces. Built in 1457, the architecture has been attributed to Brunelleschi.
The exterior is austere and powerful and masks the delicate and beautiful Boboli Gardens that are located at the back of the palace. The building now contains three separate museums on the second floor: the Gallery of Modern Art, Museo degli Argenti and the Museo delle Carrozze, and the Palantine Gallery on the first.
The Boboli Gardens at the rear of the palace is the largest green area in Florence and still preserve the sculptured landscapes that were typical of the Florentine Renaissance. Massive in size, the gardens were commissioned by Cosimo I and construction was carried out by four artists: Tribolo, Ammannati, Buontalenti, and Parigi the Younger.
Palazzo degli Uffizi
The Uffizi Palace was designed in 1560 by Giorgio Vasari and completed some twenty years later by Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti. It was built next to Palazzo Vecchio and was assigned to the offices of the city magistracies. The old church of San Piero Scheraggio was sacrificed to make a room for the new palace, partly demolished and partly incorporated into the new edifice. The ground floor of the palace have lofty arcades and above a loggia, which initially had no specific use. Francesco I de Medici decided to transformed it into the Gallery and commissioned Buontalenti to build the Tribune. The Galleria degli Uffizi became the city's first art museum.
The Uffizi Gallery, Florence
The Uffizi Gallery is located at Piazza degli Uffizi between Palazzo Vecchio at Piazza della Signoria and the Arno River in the heart of the city of Florence. The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest and most famous art galleries in the world. It is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city of Florence.
Construction of the Uffizi Gallery began in 1560 following the design of Giorgio Vasari and completed in 1580 under architects Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti. It was home to the public offices (uffizi) which was commissioned by the Grand Duke Cosimo I.
Today it is home to many 17th and 18th centuries paintings of self-portraits by famous artists such as Vasari, Raphael, Bernini,Canova, Rubens, Rembrandt,Corot and Canova. Other world class paintings include the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Giotto, Simone Martini and Titian. Don't misss the opportunity to visit the Uffizi Gallery in Florence if you are an art enthusiast!
Giardino di Boboli : Isolotto
Whilst the gardens were laid out for Eleonora di Toledo, wife of Cosimo I de Medici at the end of the 16th century, the garden, which eventually reached a size of 45 hectares (111 acres), spread westward.
Following a tree-lined and statue-clad allee (an allee is feature of the French formal garden that was both a promenade and an extension of the view; it often ended in a terminal feature, such as the Piazzolo dell'Isolotto) I arrived upon to what I consider to be one of the most enchanting spots of Florence: the Piazzolo dell'Isolotto.
Constructed by Guilo and Alfonso Parigi in 1618, this lovely place first greets you with a fountain of the mythical Triton. As you enter this corner of the Boboli, you immediately see the moated emerald green Pond of Isolotto where one can see the dramatic stone images of Pereus and Andromeda.
In the centre of the pond is the Island of Isolotto, planted with lemon trees and flowers all of which serve as a sprawling pedistal of Giovanni da Bologna's magnificent Ocean Fountain crowned by the statue of Oceanus.
I truely love this spot and whereas some of the gardens, especially in the midst of the summer are hot and full of people, this corner of the garden is like a little paradise where one can easily spend a good hour relaxing, reading, chatting, thinking, resting...
This spot alone was worth the entrance fee I paid to get into the garden.