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The Uffizi Gallery Tour in Florence

Two painted crosses, one of the twelfth and the other from the thirteenth century and a half of the thirteenth century diptych depicting the Crucifixion and the Madonna and Child with Saints attributed to Bonaventura Berlinghieri.

From March 20 to 29 the Uffizi Gallery presents to the public the result of the restoration of three of its oldest paintings on wood, made possible only thanks to the funding of the ‘Association of Friends of the Uffizi, the private non-profit institution founded just twenty years ago, in 1993, to support the museum after a terrible attack, and use the funds raised to help increase and maintain the museum’s collections, increase its cultural activities and exhibitions.

At the same association was responsible for the recent restoration of three statues: Ariadne asleep, marble Asia the second century AD, the Venus with Cupid, by the mid-second century AD greek marble and Apuan, and Nereid on a seahorse, in Parian marble of the first century AD, all work completed in the past year.

The Uffizi gallery in Florence

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The building of the Uffizi complex was begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de’ Medici so as to accommodate the offices of the Florentine magistrates, hence the name uffizi, “offices”. The construction was later continued by Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti; it was completed in 1581. The top floor was made into a gallery for the family and their guests and included their collection of Roman sculptures.

The cortile (internal courtyard) is so long, narrow and open to the Arno at its far end through a Doric screen that articulates the space without blocking it, that architectural historians[6] treat it as the first regularized streetscape of Europe. Vasari, a painter and architect as well, emphasised its perspective length by adorning it with the matching facades’ continuous roof cornices, and unbroken cornices between storeys, as well as the three continuous steps on which the palace-fronts stand. The niches in the piers that alternate with columns of the Loggiato filled with sculptures of famous artists in the 19th century. Cosimo de’ Medici by Luigi Magi and Andrea Di Cione (Orcagna) by Niccolò Bazzanti

The Uffizi brought together under one roof the administrative offices and the Archivio di Stato, the state archive. The project was intended to display prime art works of the Medici collections on the piano nobile; the plan was carried out by his son, Grand Duke Francesco I. He commissioned the architect Buontalenti to design the Tribuna degli Uffizi that would display a series of masterpieces in one room, including jewels; it became a highly influential attraction of a Grand Tour. The octagonal room was completed in 1584.

Over the years, more sections of the palace were recruited to exhibit paintings and sculpture collected or commissioned by the Medici. For many years, 45 to 50 rooms were used to display paintings from the 13th to 18th century.