on June 27, 2008
This gallery is housed in the Palazzo degli Uffizi, begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de' Medici as the offices for the Florentine magistrates. Gradually many of the masterpieces of the Medici family came to be displayed here and was finally opened to the public in 1765This famed gallery is extremely busy in holiday season and there can be huge queues to get in. So first huge tip is to pre-buy your ticket which can avoid the very long queue to buy tickets. There are several different entrances depending on what type of ticket you have or not. There are three types - if you are here with a group, have a pre-bought ticket and then if you don't have tickets. If you have pre-bought tickets these have to be collected from the office on the opposite side to the three entrances. Then on entrying, there are metal detectors and x-ray machines, they are really tight on security, so be warned don't bring anything like pocket knives or even bottles of water. Then are the cloakrooms - if you have a large bag or rucksack you'll have to check it in, again attendents are sticklers. Then finally into the actual gallery, though you have to climb 2 long flights of stairs (there is a lift). And then into the scrum for the first number of rooms. The first rooms are filled with religious artwork, many taken from churches. Some are exquisite, but you really need to have some clue what you are looking at, so do your research or listen into a tour guide. These first few rooms tend to be extremely crowded and I got continually jostled about while in them. Rooms further around tend to be less crowded. On the top floor, there is a small cafe and terrace area, but the prices are fairly steep! The artwork was incredible, and I enjoyed spending several hours here but to really get the most its worth doing some research just to find out what you are looking at, and also to pcik just a few to look at in a little more detail.
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