The Uffizi Gallery (Italian: Galleria degli Uffizi, is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in the Historic Centre of Florence in the region of Tuscany, Italy. One of the most important Italian museums, and the most visited, it is also one of the largest and best known in the world, and holds a collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance.
After the ruling house of Medici died out, their art collections were gifted to the city of Florence under the famous Patto di famiglia negotiated by Anna Maria Luisa, the last Medici heiress. The Uffizi is one of the first modern museums. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, and in 1765 it was officially opened to the public, formally becoming a museum in 1865.
Today, the Uffizi is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Florence. The Uffizi hosted over two million visitors in 2016, making it the most visited art gallery in Italy. In high season (particularly in July), waiting times can be up to five hours. [Note: this is exactly why you should buy your tickets in advance and not spend 5 hours of your day just waiting to get in.]
The building of Uffizi complex was begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de' Medici so as to accommodate the offices of the Florentine magistrates. The name "uffizi" literally means "offices". The construction was later continued by Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti and 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.
Some of the key artists include: Giotto di Bondone, Fra Angelico, Sandro Botticelli, Piero della Francesca, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, Michelangelo, Caravaggio,
Read more about the Uffizi (link opens in a new window).