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Special opening of the Vasari Corridor was just announced starting from February 7 (tomorrow!) through April 30 with 6 openings every week.

Guided visits will include entry ticket and booking fees to the Uffizi Gallery but do not include the visit to the Uffizi, just the corridor.

Visits are for Wednesdays at 2:30pm and 3pm, Thursdays at 10;30am and 11am and Fridays at 2:30pm and 3pm. Each group will be limited to 25 people and the visit lasts about 75 minutes, with exit at the Boboli Gardens.

To reserve your visit, you need to call Firenze Musei at +39-055-294-883, it is the only way to access these visits. Don’t delay, spots are going to be reserved fast!

Note: If you don’t get access to the Corridor through these times, remember you can still visit the Corridor at other times with external tour agencies.

New Michelangelo Hall 35

The Polo Museale released numbers last week of visits to the various museums in Florence.

The Uffizi saw an increase of almost 6% from 2012, with a total of 1,875,176 visitors in 2013.

The months of October, December, August and May were the months with the most growth, with increases of over 10% in numbers of total visitors, while the remaining months all saw smaller increases.

As the New Uffizi project continues, the museum hopes to be able to continue improving its services to all visitors so that all those that come to Florence and to the Uffizi are satisfied with their visit. In the meantime, please remember that the museum still has several ongoing renovation projects designed to bring the Uffizi to modern standards.

The exhibition TURNABOUT. The hidden side of the collections, from December 17, 2013 to February 2 , 2014, will reveal through forty works the stories contained in the rear which are almost never visible from the side we most commonly see them.

You will find amazing discoveries as other paintings, sketches, drafts of paintings, poems, handwritten notes, numbers of old inventories, tags for exhibits or certificates of ownership and much more are revealed in this interesting temporary exhibit at the Sala delle Poste Reali of the Uffizi.


The exhibition, conceived by the Uffizi Gallery, organized by the Friends of the Uffizi and curated by Giovanna Giusti with the contribution of the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, is part of the cycle “Never Seen Before” which every December presents pieces of the collections of the Florentine museum little known to the general public.

“I think it’s an amazing way to end a historic year for the Friends of the Uffizi,” declared president of the Friends of the Uffizi Maria Vittoria Rimbotti. For our twenty years of life we offer to the city a masterpiece by Bill Viola, one of the greatest artists on a global level, and the new appointment with the “Never Been Seen” that enhances and presents some of the treasures that the Uffizi Gallery preserves.”

“With this selection of works,” says Giovanna Giusti, curator of the exhibition, “the curious visitor will be involved with the “two-faced visibility” which is generally just reserved for “insiders” so that together with paintings, sculptures and furniture of the highest quality, even mysterious numbers crossed out, once deciphered, will reveal their important contribution in clarifying the path of the collection of the works.”

The exhibition Turnabout, consisting of paintings, antique marbles, tiles, a cabinet and an altar, offers a double vision of the works, presenting the front and back. The signs that these masterpieces often hide in areas not visible to the public will be able to speak to us about their lives and their journey through the collections.

For example, among the works from the 15th century, the scene of the Annunciation is painted on the back of the boards of the noble portraits of the Baroncelli, while in the Triptych Froment, who in the severity of Alps culture presents episodes from the life of Christ, culminating at the center in the resurrection of Lazarus, the doors once closed, present the Madonna and Child along with the patrons of the work.


There is even a travel altar, closed within a precious trunk which was used in the Medici court. That and a cabinet from the 19th century offer several surprises.

In addition pieces from the Uffizi’s collections, the exhibition will also host works on loan from the Palatine Gallery, the Bargello Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art in Palazzo Pitti, the Medici Villa of Petraia and Opificio delle Pietre Dure.

TURNABOUT. The hidden side of the collections
Uffizi Gallery – Sala delle Reali Poste
December 17, 2013 – February 2, 2014
Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday , hours 10:00 to 17:00
Free admission

A new work by Bill Viola, entitled Self Portrait, Submerged will be shown at the Uffizi in the ex-church of San Piero Scheraggio, starting next week from December 16th – 22nd. The animated work depicts the artist immersed underwater in a state of peace, with subtle animation as ripples pass across his body.

After December 22nd, the work will be moved to the Vasari Corridor as a part of the Uffizi’s permanent self-portrait collection which includes some of the most famous masters of painting from the 16th to the 20th century, including, Filippo Lippi, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Delacroix and Ensor.

The non-profit organization, Amici degli Uffizi, secured the acquisition of this work with sponsorship from the Friends of the Uffizi. The association promotes cultural and educational activities which enhance public awareness and appreciation of the Uffizi Gallery, and have also played a fundamental role in opening the museum’s collection to contemporary art.

BILL VIOLA. Self portrait – Submerged
Uffizi Gallery – ex church of San Pier Scheraggio
December 17 – 22, 2013
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm
Free entrance

As the New Uffizi project moves forward, we are happy to share with you the official opening of 6 new halls today which are dedicated to Florentine artists from the 17th century.

After the opening of the 10 “Blue Rooms” dedicated to foreign artists in December 2011, the nine “Red Rooms” in June 2012 and six rooms in June 2013 dedicated to modern Mannerism, this latest opening of six “Yellow Rooms” numbered 95 to 100 marks an important stage in the completion of the work of the New Uffizi project. All of these new halls mark the renovation and renewal of the first floor Western wing of the Vasari complex with updated climate control and security measures.


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Since 2009, the Uffizi has offered visitors with vision impairment and disabilities the possibility to visit the museum following a special itinerary called the “Uffizi Touch Tour” where they can make use of their sense of touch to “see” works of art. The itinerary permits visitors to touch select pieces of sculpture (with latex gloves on) and a bas-relief of Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” especially created for the itinerary.

The Hall of the Horse

The number of works included in the itinerary has just been expanded from 14 to 27 pieces and was presented today, which marks the International Day of People with Disabilities.

The itinerary crosses the museum’s second floor, and includes beautiful works of Roman sculpture including the Hermaphroditus and Sleeping Cupid, said to have inspired Michelangelo in creating a copy of his own. The newly expanded itinerary then heads down to the ground floor to the Hall of the Horse where visitors can continue their exploration of a giant, marble horse which gives the hall its name, as well as the head of Mitra, the Altar of the Vicomagistri and a bust of Cicero, to name just a few of the works on display here. The hall, opened today exclusively for visitors of the tour, can also be reached from the Loggia of the Uffizi and permits its visitors to touch the sculptures in complete independence.

For more information on the tour, please read Uffizi by Touch Tour.

Fragment of sculpture with head of Mitra

Fragment of sculpture with head of Mitra

There is no official press release yet but the Superintendent’s office of the Polo Museale Fiorentino Cristina Acidini has spoken of the possibility that the Vasari Corridor will be reopening to the public as soon as January 2014.

The famous corridor, built by Vasari in 1565 in just a few months for the wedding of Cosimo I de Medici’s son, connects the Uffizi Gallery to Palazzo Pitti giving visitors today the chance to follow a unique internal walk through Florence. The hallway cuts across Ponte Vecchio and over and inside several medieval houses along its path, with its walls are displaying the Uffizi’s highly prized, one-of-kind collection of artist self-portraits and several works of art from the 16th and 17th centuries.

According to what has been publicized so far, the Vasari Corridor might open in an experimental mode starting January 2014, offering 12 guided visits per day to groups of up to 25 people.

The news of this possible opening is surely to be appreciated by all of our readers who often ask about how to visit the Corridor. As the opening is not yet official, please stay tuned for more updates. We will share all details as soon as they are available.

The current exhibition at the Uffizi, “The Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici: Collector and Patron of the Arts“, has been extended until January 6, 2014.

During this period, the Polo Museale Fiorentino has decided to offer visitors the chance to participate in a free guided visit of the exhibition on Saturdays. The first visits start this Saturday, November 16.

No need to book, just head to the start of the exhibition space located on the first floor between 9:30 and 11:30am and 2:30 and 4:30pm. Groups of up to 25 people will be formed to visit the exhibit with a guide on these days:
November 16, 23 and 30
December 7, 14, 21 and 28
January 4

Starting Thursday, November 14 and up to December 19, 2013, the Contini Bonacossi Collection of the Uffizi Gallery will be open for free guided visits. The collection is one of the most important from the 19th century, which in 1969, the Italian State purchased a part destined to the Uffizi Gallery.

It is an exceptional opportunity to see about 50 works of art set up in a palace just behind the Uffizi, between via Lambertesca and Chiaddo Baroncelli, that is normally closed to the public.

You can admire furniture, ceramics and masterpieces of European painters and sculptors from the 13th to the 16th centuries, with works by Andrea del CastagnoGiovanni Bellini, Girolamo Savoldo, El Greco, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Diego Velasquez and Francisco Goya. Read more about the collection here.

The guided visits are offered by the competent members of the assistants of the Uffizi’s staff, and made possible with the collaboration of the Friends of the Uffizi.

Visits are planned at 2:15pm and 4pm every Thursday only upon reservation. Groups will be composed of a maximum of 15 people. Visitors should meet right outside Entrance #1 of the Uffizi (near the entrance to San Pier Scheraggio) about 15 minutes before the visit.

To participate, book your visit at +39-055-285610 any time between Tuesday and Saturday between 2 and 4pm.

This year, as a pilot program, the Italian Ministry for Tourism and Cultural Heritage and Activities opened some of its sites for late openings on the last Saturday of the month, including the Uffizi. In Florence, the other two sites open are the Accademia Gallery and the Medici Chapels.

Since its start, more than 70,000 visitors have taken the opportunity for some late-night art appreciation across all of the sites open for the occasion in Italy.

The funds collected during “A Night at the Museum” goes to the new initiative “Art Helps Art“, where the admissions fees paid by visitors on these Saturdays help directly finance the restoration of a work of art in Florence, Naples, Rome or Venice. The Italian Ministry is inviting participation in the form of votes to decide which one of 8 works of art gets restored.

While the page is only in Italian, you can still cast your vote (you’ll have to enter an Italian region – you can enter “Toscana” – to vote), especially if you participated in “A Night at the Museum”. The first two works on the list are in Florence: the first one is a Roman equestrian sculpture housed in the Niobe Hall in the Uffizi Gallery and the second an important 13th-century Florentine crucifix housed at the Accademia Gallery.

You can vote up until November 15 at:
Go ahead and cast your vote now!

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