This is one of world’s great art museums and a must-do for visitors to Florence. It is also one of the busiest attractions so pre-ordered tickets (see the website) or passes are HIGHLY recommended during the summer and shoulder seasons. Housed largely on the top floor of a 16th-century administrative palace built by Cosimo I, the collection includes part of the Medici family’s acquisitions and commissions.
The works are distributed throughout the separate rooms by artist, period and/or origin. Purchase a guide from the bookshop when you arrive to give you an idea of what-is-where and some background on the most important pieces: “Uffizi Gallery: The Official Guide of All the Works” is a good one with quality reproductions that will be a nice souvenir of your visit. Audio guides are available for an additional fee.
Raphael, Da Vinci, Botticelli, Lippi, Titian, Caravaggio… they’re all here and then some!
A few good things to know:
• Backpacks, bags and umbrellas must be checked (no charge)
• The galleries are handicapped-accessible with some assistance: see the website
• Cellphone use is not allowed
• The gallery has a cafe (with a nice terrace view) and restrooms
• Ticket prices vary depending on special exhibits
• Children under age 18 are free but the € 4.00 B-ticket reservation fee applies. This fee also applies to children of non EU citizens using the Firenze Pass (pay at the priority entrance for pass holders).
• Non-flash photography is now allowed! (as of July 2014)
• Closed Mondays, Christmas Day, January 1 and May 1
I know there are lots and lots of tips written about this museum. Hopefully, my tip will add some value. It's a good idea to buy your tickets in advance. The lines to buy them at the museum are extremely long and will take up a lot of time. The museum is now allotting time slots for reservations. I found two websites where you can buy your tickets in advance. The official site for the Uffizi is below. When you purchase from the official website, there are various purchase options. Most visitors will pay full price tickets at (currently) €6.50 add €3.50 for exhibition add €9.49 for transaction fee and the cost totals €19.49 for a single entrance.
Once you arrive at the Uffizi, you do have to redeem your printed voucher for tickets but that line is not long.
The other website is at:
The cost of the tickets are the same but you will save some money on the transaction fee for a total cost of €15.00. However, if the time slot you are looking for is unavailable on this website, you will probably get your desired time slot on the official website (as I did) if you order early enough.
My boyfriend thought we should have considered the guided tour but I thought the audio guide will be sufficient (this is great for special exhibitions when we visit museums in the US). The cost ranges from €4.65 to €6.20 depending on a single or double apparatus. It turned out we didn't even get the audio guide which was fine. We enjoyed our visit none the less.
For you savvy iPhone users, there is an Uffizi app available. You would be able to purchase your tickets to this museum and other Florence museums without queue. It also provides 3D navigation through the Uffizi museum. Pretty cool but you may think twice about this depending on your roaming charges from your carrier.
This is one of the great repositories of art in Florence. It includes Raphael, Michelangel, Da Vinci, Botticelli, Lippi, Titian, Caravaggio and them some. Admission is included with the Firenze Card, but if you do not have it, you should make reservations for your visit. The lines can be long and this will let you avoid them. Photos are not allowed inside, so mine are all out front on the Piazzale degli Ufizzi, which is quite a show in itself.
The Uffizi Gallery is one of Europe’s most prestigious museums. After the Uffizi was finished in 1581, it was used as a government office for the Medicis among others. The building itself is huge and contains an extremely long courtyard. Even though it was mostly used for political purposes, the Medici family still proudly displayed works of art here. Some parts of the Uffizi have always functioned as a museum and sometimes artists would go there for inspiration. It wasn’t until 1765 that the entire building was turned into a museum that anyone could visit. The museum’s collection is enormous and is shown in 45 rooms and 3 corridors. The first part of the exhibit is mainly religious and gothic art from the early Middle Ages. The next section is devoted to Renaissance paintings by artists such as Piero della Francesca. Botticelli has his own set of rooms where you can view The Birth of Venus and Primavera. One room in the East Corridor is set aside for Leonardo Da Vinci, which you view before moving on to the Medici family paintings. There are then 5 rooms devoted to various European artists like Albrecht Durer. While walking through the small Arno Corridor, you can see nice views of Florence as well as various Italian statues, busts, and sculptures. In the last large section of rooms, you can view more Renaissance works of art by Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian. Rooms 41-45 are devoted to more non-Italian artists like Rembrandt. Overall, you should plan to spend at least 2 hours in the museum because of its size and collection. After viewing the paintings, there is a small café on the top floor, where you can relax and get a close-up view of the Palazzo Vecchio clock tower.
I enjoyed walking along the front of the Uffizi Gallery outside from the Palazzo Vecchio to the Arno River. The niches of the building are filled with statues of famous Tuscans from history and it was fun to see how many I recognized. Fortunately, I didn't have to know them by face since each statue is labeled at the bottom of it. But there are artists, scientists, philosophers, writers, leaders, and others.
That is just one of the great things about Florence - there is so much to do for free!
Go ahead and see how many you know!
There are already so many tips for the Uffizi Gallery on here that I hesitate to write yet another one. But I will limit my tip to the great Renaissance paintings that are on display, and even with that there are so many that I will limit it to the important (not necessarily more famous) ones. And let me apologize now - this tip is a long one! Usually I would have photos (no photos allowed in the Uffizi) to help break up the tips. It reads like a tour, which it basically is since I used my lecture notes from our two class visits to this wonderful museum. So start at the beginning and follow through as if you are walking through the Uffizi. Only, this doesn't cover everything, just the stuff I needed to know for my class.
The Uffizi used to be the administrative offices of the Florentine government and is connected to the town hall next door. The gallery began as the private collection of the Medici family (those Botticelli’s were commissioned by the Medici) and then private collectors added their own pieces for safekeeping within the museum. The last descendent of the Medici family, towards the end of the 18th century, gave Florence the artworks.
We went to the Uffizi twice during our week long course; each time was later in the afternoon/early evening so we didn’t have to worry about the crowds. We entered the museum, went through the security machines, and headed upstairs.
In the first room we came to some proto-Renaissance works – a great comparison of Maestas (Madonna and Child panel paintings with lots of gold) by Cimabue, Giotto, and Duccio all in the same room. The Cimabue (to your right) was done earlier than the other two, which are more contemporary with each other. You can see the increase in the quality of perspective between them.
In other rooms, you can see Masaccio’s version of Anne, Mary, and Jesus demonstrating that unified light that the artist did so well (the light is coming from the left). You can see other Masaccios in the Brancacci Chapel and Santa Maria Novella.
A wonderful Filippo Lippi Madonna and Child with two angels is a true masterpiece – look at the detail in the headdress and pearls that he achieves using only tempera paints (this kind of detail is seen on oils but not tempera). Cosimo Medici knew he had a talented artist on his hands and was willing to put up with Lippi’s temperament and antics (he was a monk that got a novice nun pregnant – it is speculated that the novice was the model for Mary in this painting). This painting shows that artistic talent and skill were replacing all the gold in demonstrating the worth and value of the piece.
In the center of this same room is the side portrait of the Duke of Urbino (look for the nose!) along with his wife. A good use of early dual perspective in these paintings as we not only see the Duke but have a bird’s eye view of the background showing off his lands.
The next room have some small Pollaiolo works showing off his skill in creating the human body – and the fact that he definitely used dissection of cadavers to do his research. The winding Arno River in the background is a staple in his works.
Most people come to the Uffizi for the next room – Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and his Primavera. Both are spectacular pieces, commissioned by Cosimo Medici, showing a classical subject (non-religious) and the first female nude as an allegory of truth. Botticelli was more interested in presentation then in the details so these paintings have a more soft touch (compared to a Lippi).
I was pleased to see a tactile relief of Birth of Venus in front of the painting so that visually impaired persons can ‘see’ the painting as well. Nice job, Uffizi! I’d like to see more of that kind of accessibility in museums worldwide!
In the same room as the Botticelli’s are some nice Flemish works by Van Der Weyden and Van Der Goes.
Leonardo da Vinci worked in Florence for a time and he gets some time in the Uffizi as well – in the next room is a Verrocchio painting of the Baptism of Christ. Verrocchio was Leonardo’s teacher and you can definitely see in this painting where he allowed his pupil to help – look at the two angels on the left of Christ. The angel of the far left is different from all the other people in the painting and shows that Leonardo style in the face, clothes, and in the landscape behind the angels (compare it to the landscape on the right side of the painting). To the left of this painting is a Annunciation that is attributed to Leonardo, although this doesn’t have some of Leonardo’s style as much as others.
As you walk around the corner of the building, look out the window and you can see the Vasari Corridor that was built for the Medici to walk between the town hall and their home at the Palazzo Pitti without having to get into the streets with the common folk.
It wouldn’t be a museum in Florence if there wasn’t at least one Michelangelo – and so you can see his Holy Family with John the Baptist, which is the only panel painting done by the artist. Notice the naked men behind the family – trademark of Michelangelo! The colors are very similar to those used in the Sistine Chapel.
There are a couple Raphael’s in the next room – his Madonna and the Goldfinch (recently restored), and two portraits of popes.
After this, the paintings get more into the Mannerist era so my tip will come to an end. Although take the time if have it to explore the whole museum; there are some wonderful works by Titian, Bellini, Bronzino, just to name a few.
If you are into art, then the Uffizi is a must-see while in Florence. As other tips tell you, buy your tickets online to avoid the lines. Then just enjoy the works of the masters!
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 8:15-18:50 Closed: Mondays, Christmas, New Year’s Day, May 1st (Labor Day).
Admission: €6.50 No photos allowed in the museum.
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world.
Building of the palace was begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de' Medici as the offices for the Florentine magistrates — hence the name "uffizi" ("offices"). Construction was continued to Vasari's design by Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti and ended in 1581.
Over the years, further parts of the palace evolved into a display place for many of the paintings and sculpture collected by the Medici family or commissioned by them. 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."
Full € 6,50
Reduced € 3,25
(€ 3,50 for temporary exhibitions, full price becomes € 10)
Ticket office accepts only cash payments
Open from 8:15 a.m. to 6:50 p.m. Tuesdays through Sunday, entrance every 15 min
Days of closure
Closed on Mondays, January 1, May 1, and December 25
You can watch my 4 min 57 sec Video Florence Uffici out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
The Uffizi Galleries are among the world's most famous, popular and important museums, but they can also be befuddling to the unprepared! Here are a few things to know to make your visit more enjoyable and enriching:
I always find the Uffizi Galleries least crowded early in the morning and late in the day. These are the hours before and after the big tour groups are in the galleries.
Not all of the rooms are air conditioned and can get uncomfortable in summer, especially when it's most crowded, so early morning's a good time to visit.
Purchase your tickets online but beware of the site you buy them on. Some charge extra fees in addition to the €4/ticket advance reservation fee charged by the museum. Your best bet is to call (+39-055-294-883, English speaking operators are available) - they have more slots available than the official website, and you don't have to pay for the tickets until you pick them up 15 minutes before your entry time. Whether you buy your tickets online or book them by phone, you have to go to Door #2 at the Uffizzi to get them. It's on the right hand side of the court as you walk away from Piazza Della Signoria.
Bottles of water and other drinks are not allowed in, so hydrate first, then...
Important: as you enter the museum, just past the metal detectors, you'll see the sign directing you to the rest rooms. Go! It's your last chance until you get to the very end!
I never give the Uffizi less than two hours. Three hours are better. This is a museum dense with masterpieces. Some are iconic - you've know them since forever and are excited to see them in person. Many may be new to you - take the time to meet and get to know them, putting them in relation to their more famous roommates! But don't expect to get much help from the museum itself! Neither the staff nor the paintings' plaques provide much information and the audio guides are, in my opinion, pretty sketchy, so do your homework.
The Galleries' collection is famously important, but the building it calls home is incredible too and has a fascinating history of it's own! Don't shortchange it!
The guards are famous for barking "NO FOTO!" all day long, but they do have a point. Many people unwittingly though certainly not maliciously forget to turn the flash off. Exposure to all that flashing ruins the pigments of these centuries-old paintings.
As you exit the Galleries you pass through a series of shops. You'll find the usual postcards and souvenir gadgets, but you'll also find a great kids' books section and one of the best art history bookstores anywhere!
If you're looking for Michelangelo's David or Botticelli's Venus, then this is the place. The powerful Medici family commissioned Giorgio Vasari to design the building as an administrative office, in the late 16th century. As the works of art accumulated, it became Italy's best-endowed gallery. In 1737, Anna Maria Ludovica de Medici, last of her line, bequeathed it to the city as a public museum.
Over the years, further parts of the palace evolved into a display place for many of the paintings and sculpture collected by the Medici family or commissioned by them. 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." After the house of Medici was extinguished, the art treasures remained in Florence by terms of the famous Patto di famiglia negotiated by Anna Maria Lodovica, the last Medici heiress; it formed 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. Because of its huge collection, some of its works have in the past been transferred to other museums in Florence; some famous statues are ow in the Bargello. We could have spent a week viewing all of the works in this 64,000 ft palace.
Since we didn't go inside the Uffizi we spent some time admiring the architecture of the building itself and the many sculptures found outside. As you can see by the picture, we weren't the only ones taking pictures.
We couldn't make reservations because we were backpacking and had no real itinerary. But if we did, I would have made reservations. Even first thing in the morning the line was painfully long. It was hot out and we didn't want to waste precious hours waiting in line. Next time we're in Florence we'll be prepared.