Is the Uffizi Gallery worth visiting? It’s a question we often get asked. So instead of giving you one answer, we’re going to give you eight. 8 excellent reasons why the Uffizi gallery is well worth a visit. Here we’ll show you some of the highlights of the Uffizi, explain a bit about the magnificent gallery itself, and tell you the best place for a coffee – with a view.
Is the Uffizi worth visiting? 8 Reasons Why you should Visit the Uffizi Gallery
1. See iconic masterpieces
This is an easy one. You’ve probably seen some of the Uffizi’s masterpieces in one of the many replicas, textbooks and guides. So if you’re in Florence, it’s time to see them first hand. Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” and “Allegory of Spring”, the Adoration of the Magi by Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio’s Medusa are among the world’s best known paintings.
Art lovers will find any number of masterpieces to salivate over, and can embark on a spectacular journey into Italian Renaissance and Mannerist art, to see how the style developed from Giotto to Michelangelo and Raffaello. But even if you’re not really into art history, you’ll have an immersive experience that you can’t fail to appreciate.
=> Check out the Top 10 Artworks to see at the Uffizi
2. Check out the newly restored halls
In the last few years the Uffizi has been hard at work refurbishing some of its rooms. The idea has been to give it a more modern feeling, and make it more user-friendly to explore. Today you have more space, and the perfect light, to admire the great works of the Renaissance masters. One example being the new Botticelli hall that can now accommodate a lot more visitors. In total, fourteen new rooms were opened, 1.100 square metres with 104 paintings. “It’s like a new museum has been created inside the Uffizi”, said the director of the Uffizi Eike Schmidt.
3. Walk around the corridors where the Medici used to do business
The Uffizi started life as public offices (uffizi, or uffici, means offices in Italian). The building that hosts the gallery today was designed in 1560, when the Duke of Florence Cosimo I de’ Medici decided to tear down this neighbourhood and create a smart-looking building to be used by the city’s magistrates. Cosimo I thought it handy to have the most important administrative and judicial offices near Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of political power in Florence, while ‘gentrifying’ this area. So a visit to the Uffizi means soaking up a piece of Florentine history, and retracing the Medici steps!
4. Awe at Leonando da Vinci’s wonders
Personally, I find the Leonardo Hall the most mesmerising spot in the Uffizi. If you only have time for one painting, make it the “Adoration of the Magi’ by Da Vinci. Admire it, contemplate it, and spend a bit of time in its (rather unsettling) company.
On paper, it’s a pretty common religious scene – the New Testament’s account of the three wise men (or Magi) paying homage to the newborn Jesus and the Virgin Mary. But Leonardo gives life to a mystifying, bizarre sequence of eerie faces, struggling horsemen, phantom staircases and broken columns. And, as if this was not weird enough, during restoration “a whole new world” of figures was found in the under drawing that has puzzled the world of art experts. Almost as if Da Vinci was hiding a secret message under his “Adoration”, something that will delight any fans of “The Da Vinci Code”.
5. Location, location, location
Ok, I hear you. You’re just not that interested in art. Well you could argue that it’s worth visiting the Uffizi simply for its location. It’s a few steps from the handsome Piazza Signoria, and it overlooks the river Arno, giving incredible views of Florence through the many windows along its corridors. Almost as if Florence, the river and the hills that embrace it are all works of art on show.
=> Check out the reasons Why is the Uffizi famous
6. Admire the building in all its amazing detail
The Uffizi building is a perfect example of Renaissance architecture, showing rational design and elegant harmony. Built by Vasari in 1560, the U-shaped palace creates a clean open space in the middle square. Vasari, one of the top architects and artists of Florentine Renaissance, had a clear idea in mind. To design a building that would follow modern concepts of balance, symmetry and proportions. A far cry from the chaotic Medieval town planning of the time.
Cosimo I de’ Medici also asked him to construct an elevated passageway that would link Palazzo Vecchio – the seat of government in Florence where he worked – to his new residence Palazzo Pitti, located on the other side of the river Arno. This is how the famous Vasari Corridor was born.
The interior of the Uffizi building was later decorated. You’ll notice the vaults of the corridors covered in frescoes: you find grottesche – a type of decor that started trending in the 15th century, showing a fantastical combination of humans, strange beasts and plants, and religious-themed decorations.
=> Discover the secrets of Palazzo Vecchio, hidden rooms and staircase on this intriguing Secret Passage Tour!
7. Ancient Statues at every corner
The Uffizi collection includes a vast number of ancient statues, mostly Roman art. The statues flank the beautiful corridors making it even more special to wander its many rooms.
While outside, in the Piazzale degli Uffizi, you can check out the 19th century statues of famous Tuscans, such as Dante Alighieri, Galileo Galilei, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Giotto and Michelangelo.
8. Coffee on the open air terrace overlooking piazza signoria
Not all coffee shops serve up views like the one at the Caffetteria degli Uffizi. So when you need a break from all the art, head here for a cappuccino or an aperitivo. Here, you can sit outside and reflect on the wonders of the Renaissance while gazing out over Piazza Signoria. It’s not cheap, but even if you don’t look at any paintings, it’s worth going just for this view.
=> Discover the Most Beautiful Squares in Florence
7. Should I book a guided tour of the Uffizi?
With its 45 rooms, the Uffizi gallery is a lot to take in. Visiting with an expert guide can really helps you make the most of it. Most tour guides pick a few important paintings to better help you understand how the Renaissance started, and which were the key points of its development. They also lend colour the facts with some anecdotes that make the experience more intriguing. If you join this Small Group Guided Tour of the Uffizi you’ll skip the line and see the highlights with a professional guide. This 1 and half hour tour is limited to 14 people, and you get headsets.
GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY => This Combo Saver Guided Tours include the Uffizi & the Accademia, and a Walking Tour around Florence’s historic centre. It’s perfect to see all the highlights in one day with an expert guide.
If you visit it on you own, make sure you pick a few things to see beforehand, and allow at least one and half hour for the visit. Book in advance on the official site => rates are 12 Euro (from 10th January to 20th February and 10th November to 20th December), and 25 Euro (from 21st February to 9th November and during Christmas holidays).
=> Are you into Contemporary Art? Check out the Top Places for Contemporary Art in Tuscany.
Page last updated in August 2023.
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