Uffizi Gallery - Florence

The finest collection of Italian Renaissance art in the world

Nothing quite compares or prepares you for the experience of viewing original masterpieces right before your eyes

The building complex known as the Uffizi was begun in 1560, by artist and architect Giorgio Varari, commissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici to accommodate the offices of the Florentine magistrates, hence the name, Uffizi ‘offices’ and completed in 1581. A vast U shaped Palazzo, the Uffizi brought together under one roof the administrative offices, tribunal and state archives as well as housing the prime art works of the Medici collections.

Artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo were said to gather there ‘for beauty, for work and recreation’.  

As it expanded over the following centuries it formed one of the first modern public museums with the Medici paintings and treasures forming the basis of the collection.

Considered integral to any ‘Grand Tour’ of the continent, the Uffizi was officially opened to the public in 1765. 

One of many turning points in the history of the Florentine collections came in 1737 with the end of the Medici dynasty, the last heiress, Anna Maria Luisa to reside in the palace departing for France to marry the king of Lorena. She signed an agreement bequeathing all her artistic possessions to be used for public show on condition that they were not to be removed from Florence.

Today the Uffizi, remains one of the most popular attractions of Florence, home to a vast collection of major artworks, spanning the gamut of art history from ancient Greece to 18th c Venetian paintings, at its core however is its magnificent Renaissance collection, acknowledged as the finest collection of  Italian Renaissance art in the world.

Not to be missed the revered Botticelli Room (numbered 10-14) is usually packed – for good reason, housing masterpieces such as the well known Primavera, Annunciazione de Cestello, Adoration of the Magi and The birth of Venus adorn the walls.

In summer via general admissions queuing for up to 5 hours is not irregular, the long lines are almost as famous as the artworks in the gallery itself.

The best way to see the gallery of course is on a private guided tour. If interested, the ideal day is your free day during the 5 night stay in Tuscany - Elegant Italy & France at Leisure tour. Bypass long public queuing with preferential entry by booking before you leave Australia to have ample time to immerse yourself in the wonders of masterpieces by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titan, Carravaggio and so many more.