on February 3, 2010
Any self respecting art lover would not miss a visit to the Uffizi while in Florence. But like the Louvre in Paris and Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Uffizi has more works of art than a person can take in on one visit, even though the Uffizi mainly has paintings, few sculptures and artifacts. I found it really helps to have someone guide you through the gallery. We did our tour of the Uffizi through Context Tours, a company we highly recommend. [www.contexttravel.com] Like most tour guides, their docents can help point out highlights and get you to the works you want to see, but the Context docents are all highly educated in history and art history, many with PhDs, and provide the historical background and context for the gallery and art works which many other guides do not. Such as the building of the palace was begun in 1560 for Cosimo I de’Medici as the offices for the Florentine magistrates — hence the name "uffizi" which means offices.The collection is huge ranging from the 13th to the 18th century and particularly strong for Renaissance paintings. Key works by early Renaissance artists, Cimabue, Giotto, Masaccio, Fra Angelico, are on display. There are famous paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, an entire room for Botticelli, some of the few Michelangelo paintings, as well as works by Raphael. Later Baroque artists including Caravaggio, Rubens, and Rembrandt are in the collection.The Uffizi is open Tuesday to Sunday from 8.15 to 18.50. Tickets are €9.50 for non-EU citizens. But the line for ticket purchases are long. You can purchase tickets online or telephone for reservations at: 055 294 883 (in Italy).
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