Piazza della Signoria and Uffizi Gallery

Overview

  • Throughout the tour, you will be guided by an expert in History or Art history, who will help you to discover our Florence.
  • You can choose the language you prefer...we have 14 different languages available!
  • You can choose the departure point: you can meet you guide at your hotel (if in city center) or an accessible point to start the tour if your hotel is not downtown or if you are coming from outside Florence.
  • If you are a small party, then this is the tour for you...you own guide all over Florence!
  • Admission to museums indicated is included.

The Uffizi Gallery

It was Francesco I dei Medici who created an art Gallery on the second floor of the Palazzo degli Uffizi to delight himself, during his walks, with the collection of paintings, sculptures and arrases belonging to the Medici family. Thanks to Anna Maria Luisa dei Medici the Gallery became a "public and inalienable good": the Duchess, in fact, handed it over to the Lorena family providing that it would remain open to the public.

At the present day the Uffizi Gallery is one of the most famous and celebrated museums in the world, the symbol of the vocation for collecting and to patronage. An interesting group is represented by the artworks commissioned by the corporations of arts and trades thanks to their economical, cultural and artistic exchanges, Florence has become the world capital of art and, especially a meeting and exchanging landmark for the most important Italian and foreign artists. Others artworks come from private donations, from diplomatic exchanges, from antique convents and dynastic inheritance. The entrance is located under the left portico. After the ticket office you access the Aula di San Pier Scheraggio, the still existing central aisle of the antique church which was destroyed to widen via della Ninna. Presently it is an exposition seat rich of decorations belonging to the Roman and Medieval ages among which historical-religious frescoes by Andrea del Castagno. From the ticket office you enter the Monumental Staircase by Vasari which leads you to the first floor. From the big hall you pass on to the exposition and reference room of the Drawings and Prints Cabinet: a vast collection of drawings by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Pontormo, Vasari and others.

The collection, among the greatest and most important in the world, has very antique origins. It was started by the will of Lorenzo dei Medici and it was continued by his followers. It cannot be visited at the present day for studying reasons. After the Drawing and Prints Cabinet there is the Library and the areas reserved for temporary exhibits. The Gallery is located on the second floor. In the first corridor the examples of sacred art, of the Renaissance and the artworks by Flemish artists narrate a nostalgic and enlightened past through the alliance between art and spirituality. The entrance hall to the Uffizi Gallery hosts Roman age sculptures belonging to the Medicean collection: plaster moulds and copies which serve as an anti-room to the museum. The first museum serves as an access to the rooms that expose artworks belonging to the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.

Along the perimeter of the corridor is the Medicean collection of head moulds and sculptures placed at regular intervals with one statue and two head moulds. On the vaults are frescoes that represent animals, imaginary monsters, satyrs and feats and Medicean achievements. Under the vaults are the portraits of famous men and rulers from all over the world. The first rooms are dedicated to the art of the 13th and 14th centuries. Here we find examples of sacred art among which the Madonna di Ognissanti by Giotto, the Maestà di Santa Trinita by Cimabue and the Maestà by Duccio di Buoninsegna. From the 14th century in Florence and Siena the Triptych of San Matteo by Andrea di Cione, the Polyptych of San Pancrazio by Bernardo Daddi and the Presentation to the Temple by Ambrogio Lorenzetti (rooms 3-4). The rooms 5-6 are dedicated to the international Gothic: by Lorenzo Monaco the Adoration of the Magi. Among the artworks of the early Renaissance the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin by Beato Angelico, the Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello, Portrait of the Dukes of Urbino by Piero della Francesca (room 7). In the rooms 8 and 9 are the artworks by artists such as Filippo Lippi: the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin, the Adoration of the Magi; by Antonio del Pollaiolo A Female Portrait, Hercules and Antes. Followed by the masterpieces by Botticelli: La calunnia, Primavera, the Birth of Venus, Adoration of the Magi, Madonna della Melagrana, Coronation of the Blessed Virgin. The Renaissance is celebrated by the paintings by Leonardo among which la Adorazione dei Magi and the Annunciation and by Perugino la Pietà, (room 15). In the Tribune is the 16th century in Florence with Medicean portraits by Pontormo. By Rosso Fiorentino l\\\'Angiolino musicante and by Andrea del Sarto la Dama col Petrarchino. In a series of adjoining rooms are the works belonging to German art of the 15th and 16th century and paintings from Lombardia and Emilia that evoke mythological tales and detailed Flemish landscapes (rooms 19 -23). Among them Adam and Eve by Lukas Cranack, Adoration of the Magi by Andrea Mantegna, the Blessed Virgin adoring the Child by Correggio.

In the second corridor, with wide windows, is disclosed an impressive foreshortened view over the city which narrates itself through art. The second corridor, also called \\"midday corridor\\", is certainly one of the most enthralling places of the whole Palazzo degli Uffizi. It is the connecting corridor between the two wings or structures which give the palace its unusual horse-shape. The impressiveness derives from its long windows that enlighten it and from which you can catch a glimpse at some views of Florence: the Ponte Vecchio, the Vasari Corridor, the Arno River, the hills: live postcards flow under the enthusiast eyes of those observing the harmony of the hilly landscapes and the serene gayness of the streets and of the elegant bridges of Florence. On the vaults are the precious grotesque frescoes: among them a painting representing a pergola with birds, flowers and plants and the Virtues of the Medicean Grand Dukes by Nasini.

Only the Miniature Cabinet opens on this corridor, originally called Camera degli Idoli (the Room of the Idols) and afterwards Camera di Madama (the Madam Room) since at first it hosted a collection of bronze statues and then the jewels of Cristina di Lorena. On the vault the Allegory of fame by Filippo Lucci. In the oval room is kept the collection of miniature portraits most of which come from the collection of Leopoldo dei Medici. Very characteristic is the marble pavement. The inlaid marble creates an image of a big carpet. Along the entire corridor, under the frescoed vaults, are the portraits of the rulers from all over the world. Among the sculptures is a Roman copy of Love and Psiche and numerous sculptures from the Roman age: flexuous female bodies and the powerful muscles of heroes and divinities.

The 16th century artworks by artists famous worldwide such as Michelangelo, Raffaello Sanzio and Rosso Fiorentino open the collections of the third corridor. Like the two previous ones, the third corridor has grotesque frescoed vaults which depict animals, famous personalities and Medicean achievements. Here as well there are the portraits of the \\"Jovian series\\" with the royalties from all around the world and the Roman statues. The museum\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s pathway starts again with the rooms 25- 27, which host the Florentine painters of the 16th century: by Michelangelo Buonarroti the Tondo Doni or Sacra Famiglia con San Giovannino; by Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio la Coperta di ritratto; by Raffaello Sanzio la Madonna del cardellino; by Andrea del Sarto la Madonna delle Arpie. By Pontormo Cena in Emmaus, by Rosso Fiorentino la Madonna col Bambino e Santi, artworks that introduce a dramatic manierism. Tiziano is represented as the most illustrious exponent of 16th century Venetian art (room 28): by the artist there is la Venere di Urbino, Flora. Among the examples of Italian painting in Europe in the 16th century (rooms 29-34): by Tintoretto Leda e il cigno (Leda and the swan), by Parmigianino Madonna dal collo lungo (Blessed Mary with a long neck), by Giorgio Vasari La fucina di Vulcano (the furnace of Volcano). From the 17th century, Rubens with the portrait of Isabella Brandt, Diego Velasquez with Filippo IV of Spain riding a horse. Followed by the room named after the queen Niobe: sculptures based on a mythological theme portraying the woman trying to protect her children from the deadly rage of Apollo and Diana who are shooting fatal arrows against them (room 42).

Following there are the 17th century collections through the examples of the Bacchus, The sacrifice of Isaac and Medusa by Caravaggio; by Rembrandt the Juvenile self-portrait and the Venetian foreshortenings and views by Canaletto (room 44). Next to this last room is located the entrance to the bar and to the terrace of the Gallery where you can admire the architectural masterpieces of the city such as the Tower by Arnolfo di Cambio which towers over Palazzo Vecchio and the Cupola by Brunelleschi.

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