Visiting the Uffizi Museum When in Florence Italy

Uffizi Museum, Florence ItalyGuest Post By: Karen Mills

When you come to Florence, visiting the Uffizi is practically an obligation.  The Uffizi is one of the oldest and most famous museums of the western world.  It was originally built in 1560 by Giorgio Vasari as commissioned by Cosimo I de Medici.  Cosimo I wanted to consolidate all of the offices within one building.  He also wanted a few rooms in the building to put some of his growing art collection.

Over the years, the Medici collection grew to fill the entire second floor of these offices.  Anna Maria Luisa, the last of the Medici heirs, gave the entire collection to the commune with the understanding that the collection is never to leave Florence.  The gallery has been opened to visitors since the 16th century, and in 1765 was opened to the public.

Waiting line to enter Uffizi Museum, Florence ItalyWhen you visit, it is a good idea to have a plan on exactly what you want to see.  The collection is vast, (1700 works on display and another 1400 in storage) and unless you have a particular interest and/or knowledge about art of this time period, it can easily be overwhelming.  I recommend before you go purchasing your tickets on line.  There are many vendors so check around for the best price.  These vendors will charge the price of the ticket, plus a handling fee, which can vary.  There are also guides available should you prefer that.    Online booking might cost a little more, but will insure that you get into the museum when you want, and don’t have to spend your precious vacation time standing in a long line waiting.( I have heard as long as 5 hours)  The prebooked tickets will insure an entrance time, so that you can plan your day accordingly.

Uffizi Clock Tower, Florence, ItalyThe interior of the museum itself is worth the visit, with the beautiful wood and frescoed ceilings, marble floors and statues.  The light from the windows along the perimeter is lovely and some of the views from the loggia at the end near the Arno are stunning.  Although you aren’t allowed to take pictures inside the museum of the art work, the area of the loggia looking over the river and the Ponte Vecchio is a great place to get a beautiful panorama.

Before you enter the museum, take a minute to acclimate yourself to the art and artists that you want to see.  The galleries are divided by the artists and time periods, so once you know which ones you are interested in, you can go directly to these salons.   I guess it goes without saying that you absolutely do not want to miss the works of Botticelli, Annunciation, La Primavera and The Birth of Venus, Leonardo DaVinci’s Woman’s Head and Adoration of the Magi, Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo, Raphael’s self portrait, and the Venus of Urbino by Titian.

Dumo from Uffizi, Florence, ItalyThere is a nice café in the museum, which has outdoor space on the top of the loggia.  You can get coffee, drinks, or a light lunch here.  As you might guess, it is expensive, but worth taking a look even if you don’t indulge, for the close up view of the campanile of the Palazzo Vecchio and the Duomo.

For more information on Florence sites, visit

Karen Mills is an American woman who made the decision to leave her corporate life behind to live “la dolce vita” in Florence, Italy, Read more about her experiences at An American In Italy or contact her at

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