The Uffizi Gallery is one of the best museums in the world, also one of the oldest. Millions visit the Uffizi every year to admire with their own eyes some of the most famous masterpieces that have marked mankind’s artistic innovation through the centuries.
Location and Opening hours
The Uffizi is located right in the center of Florence, next to Piazza Della Signoria and its beautiful Palazzo Vecchio. The Uffizi sits between Palazzo Vecchio and the Arno river, with a wonderful view of Ponte Vecchio.
Opening hours: From 8:15 am – 6:50 pm
Closed: every Monday, January 1, May 1, December 25.
Address: Galleria degli Uffizi
Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6
50122 Florence, Italy
Uffizi: How to skip the line
If you want to avoid the long lines in front of the Uffizi Gallery and your time in Florence is limited, we recommend you consider booking museum tickets ahead of time or book your own guided tour to make the most of your visit.
You will be able to discover some of the great masterpieces of Western art at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and skip the long lines to tour it with an authorized guide. Booking tickets ahead of time is the smartest choice if you want to go and spend more time in the museum rather than standing outside waiting in line.
Uffizi Gallery History
Few people know that the huge building housing the Uffizi Gallery today wasn’t even meant to be a museum. It was ordered to be constructed in 1560 by Cosimo I de’ Medici, known as Cosimo the Great and first Grand Duke of Tuscany, and was to house the judiciary and administrative offices of Florence, the “uffizi” (which in Italian means “offices”). At the time when the building was being built, the Medici hegemony was secure over Florence.
A few years later, in 1581, Francesco I de’ Medici, Cosimo’s son and the new Grand Duke of Tuscany by then, set up a private Gallery with statues and other precious objects on the top floor of the east wing of the Uffizi, that was part of the private family collection of art objects.
The collections of the Medici family would continually be enriched by every member of the Medici dynasty until the family died out in the 18th century.
Sixteen years after that, the Uffizi, built by Cosimo the Great, the founder of the Grand Duchy, was made open to public viewing and still contains works commissioned and collected by the Medici.
How to visit Uffizi Gallery
There are plenty of ways you can visit the gallery, but we will only suggest the best ways. So, then you won’t be annoyed by waiting in line, but you will be able to fully understand the art and explore the Uffizi to its fullest.
Visiting a museum such as the Uffizi with a tour guide, is probably the best idea. You will have the opportunity to enter the building directly without waiting and your guide will make sure you won’t skip any of the most important pieces of artwork in the museum.
Your guide will tell you about the works of the greatest artists from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance: Giotto, Botticelli, Cimabue, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, and others. Here you will find original world-famous paintings you have seen in magazines, books, and on TV. You will learn about the secrets of the artist’s craft, techniques, and tools. Looking at the most famous artworks of the period, you will understand why Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance.
Another of our suggestions is to visit the Uffizi and Accademia Gallery. You can enjoy a guided tour of the Accademia Gallery and Uffizi on the same day to marvel at the masterpieces by Michelangelo and others.
Other museums to visit in Florence
Florence is a crowded city in terms of museums. You will probably need a week to visit just half of the museums. In total there are 72 museums but only some of them stand out, some others may be underrated and the rest are smaller and have less visitors. Read about it in our previous article about museums in Florence.
A quick tip:
A lot of the tips for visiting the Uffizi will also apply to visit the Galleria dell’Accademia. The most important tip I can give is to buy your tickets in advance to avoid the long lines. The Accademia Gallery is not as large as the Uffizi so it can take less time to explore, however, you should still plan your visit in advance as much as possible.