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Florence Museums

There are those who argue that the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, is the greatest art museum in the world. While those who love the Louvre in Paris or the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York might argue with this assertion, clearly, the Uffizi’s collection of Renaissance art is among the finest in the world. Those visiting for the first time might be surprised to discover just how small the museum is compared with its international reputation, but there are few museums that dazzle so brightly or cause one to marvel at the stunning collection of masterpieces all in a single place.

The Galleria degli Uffizi, located in the heart of Florence, Italy, on the Piazza della Signoria, is a u-shaped gallery that contains the finest works of the Renaissance. This is only fitting considering the important role that Florence played during this time period in nurturing the artists of the period and using civic pride and wealth to create the “modern” Italian city. With visions of Ancient Rome’s legacy, the wealthy bankers and merchants of Florence (none more memorable than Lorenzo “the Magnificent” Medici, commemorated in the Uffizi’s courtyard) lent their support to arts and used their civic pride to amass fine art collections and create superb monuments within their fine city.

Visiting the Museum

The Uffizi Gallery controls its crowds unlike many other more famous museums in which it becomes hard to enjoy the art. This is a real advantage for the tourist, but it also means that some pre-planning is a good idea during peak travel months. For those who plan to visit Florence and the Uffizi, reservations are a good idea. For a small additional charge, a traveler can save themselves hours of waiting in long lines.

There are two options, the first of which is no doubt the easiest. When booking a room at a local Florence hotel, ask if a museum reservation for the Uffizi can be made. This is a common practice. The second option is to call and reserve a time yourself, and there are English operators who can assist travelers without skill in Italian. Booking online is also a possibility. With a reservation, the traveler will have an assigned entry period (within 15 minutes) and a confirmation number that will allow them to bypass any waiting crowd to the museum, a distinct advantage.

Collection of the Uffizi

Just what can travelers expect to see? The works in the Uffizi Gallery span the 13th to 17th centuries, roughly Medieval times through the Renaissance, the glory period of Italian art and Florence itself. Following the building’s u-shape, the Left Wing is the more impressive wing of the museum, containing Medieval art through the Renaissance. The connecting hallway contains sculpture, and the Right Wing contains art from the High Renaissance through the Baroque period.

Artists whose work can be seen at the Uffizi Gallery include masters such as Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli (with the most famous painting in the collection likely being his “Birth of Venus”), Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Rubens, Titian, Uccello, and more. Each room, each painting or sculpture is likely to elicit wonder from anyone with even the most basic art education.

Travelers are likely to leave stunned, so amazing are the works of art within the Uffizi Gallery. Beyond a few hours, it’s not possible to take any more in. Yet there is one more treat to enjoy before leaving the Uffizi, and that is the café, located at the end of the last hallway. While its food and drinks are unremarkable, the café has a lovely terrace with stunning views of Florence’s Duomo. All in all, it’s a fitting end to a wonder-filled visit to the Uffizi Gallery.

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