The stunning Renaissance Galleria degli Uffizi (Uffizi Gallery) is one of the most famous and old museums in the world.
When the building was designed it was meant to house the Florentine magistrates’ offices, from here the world Uffizi that in Old Italian mean offices. To realize his project in 1560 Cosimo I de’ Medici hired Giorgio Vasari, one of the most celebrated artists and architects of the time. It took more than twenty years to complete the building, other two architects were involved: Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti.
The idea of Cosimo I was to use the building partly for the administrative offices of the city and partly to display a selection of the family art collections. When Francis I became Grand Duke of Tuscany he asked Buontalenti to build the stunning Tribuna degli Uffizi in order to showcase an even bigger amount of art pieces. The unique collection displayed in the Tribuna became one of the principal attractions of the Grand Tour, a very popular trip of Europe among the European Upper-class.
The Medici Family art collections never stop growing; the building was remodeled many times in order to accommodate the new pieces of art. Vasari wrote that artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo where spending time in the Uffizi for inspiration.
When, after centuries of dominion, the Medici Family extinguished their stunning collections were donated to the city of Florence; the Uffizi was probably one of the first modern museums created.
Since the 16th century it was possible to visit the Uffizi Gallery by request, by the end of the 18th century the museum was opened to the general public. The collection is so vast that it is not possible to display every single piece of art; in the recent past some of the art works were moved in other Florence’s museum in order to be more appropriately showcase.
Things to see
The incredible number of art pieces are displayed chronologically; visitor can get lost admiring unique masterpieces like Giotto and Cimabue paintings, Masaccio and Piero della Francesca works or the famous and breathtaking Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli!
It is also possible to book a visit to the Vasari Corridor that connected The Uffizi Gallery with Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti. Long over a kilometer the Corridor is embellished by 17th and 18th century paintings. The views of Florence from its windows are simply spectacular!
Today the Uffizi Gallery is among the most famous attractions of Florence with almost two millions visitors every year.