The Uffizi Galleries in Florence is one of the most important and best-known museums in the world. Located in a palace built by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 on the orders of Cosimo I de’ Medici, the museum is home not only to masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance, but also works by German, Flemish, Dutch and French masters.
Among the most recognized artists, we find works by Cimabue, Giotto and Duccio di Buoninsegna, as well as some by the great Sienese artists of the 14th century, Simone Martini and the brothers Piero and Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Followers of the Giotto school are also on display inside the Galleries.
But the true symbol of the Uffizi is the artist Sandro Botticelli, whose most emblematic works are on high display: The Birth of Venus, Primavera, the Madonna of the Magnificat and the Madonna of the Pomegranate.
Leonardo da Vinci's masterpieces are equally glorious, such as The Baptism of Christ, which he executed alongside his master Verrocchio, the Adoration of the Magi and the Annunciation, made early in the artist’s career. There's also Mantegna's Triptych of the Uffizi, works by Perugino, Signorelli and Piero di Cosimo, and even the monumental Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello.
Pontormo, Giorgione, Tintoretto and Correggio are just some of the other grand masters on display in the Uffizi. Plus there are the countless European masters, such as El Greco, Velasquez and Goya, in addition to Rembrandt, Hans Memling, Rubens and Dürer.
The most famous paintings include the double Portrait of the Dukes of Urbino by Piero della Francesca, the fragile Madonna del Cardellino by Raphael, masterpieces by Caravaggio, like Bacchus and the petrifying Medusa.
We mustn't forget Michelangelo's extraordinary Tondo Doni, Titian's Venus of Urbino and Judith Slaying Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi.
The Uffizi also encompass the Vasari Corridor, the breathtaking raised walkway that connects the Palazzo Vecchio, in Piazza della Signoria, with the Pitti Palace, on the other side of the Arno crossing the Ponte Vecchio and passing through the Boboli Gardens.
It was designed by Giorgio Vasari in order to allow the grand dukes to move safely from their private residence to the government buildings. From the Corridor you can enjoy unparalleled views over the River Arno and the church of Santa Felicita through a marvellous window right inside the church, once used by the Medici family to participate unseen in religious services.
The Vasari Corridor is temporarily closed to the public.