DIY Prep For Visiting Florence's Amazing Uffizi Gallery
Updated: Jun 29
Here's my guide to everything you can do to prepare for a visit to Florence's truly amazing Uffizi Gallery.
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most famous museums in the western world. It may be Florence's #1 attraction, after the Duomo. The Uffizi is overflowing with amazing art works from the International Gothic period and the early, high, and late Renaissance.
A visit to the Uffizi is a visually rewarding experience. But it can be exhausting. There's a masterpiece at every turn. Plus, if you're not an art expert, the Uffizi can be hard to decipher.
Don't just show up. It's best to have a plan of attack. The Uffizi is much more appealing if you've done your background research and know what to expect. Then, you can take in the astonishing art without confusion, stress, or FOMO.
Everything You Need To Know To Prepare For Visiting Florence's Uffizi Gallery
If you're like me, you don't always like formal tours. I like to linger over things and not be rushed from room to room. Plus, what I like may not be what a tour guide is showing me.
Here's what you can do, DYI style, to prepare for and tackle your visit to the Uffizi in efficient fashion. You can plan your visit down to the last detail, if you're so inclined.
1. Identify and Educate Yourself On the Must See Uffizi
First, read up on the must see masterpieces in the Uffizi. I've written an extensive guide to the Uffizi, complete with 15 must see masterpieces and tips for visiting and getting tickets.
2. Learn the Uffizi Layout With a Map
The Uffizi is spread out over three floors. The ground floor is the ticket office and main entrance. The first floor features the lesser halls, like the Cabinet of Prints and Drawings. The second floor is the main event, where all the masterpieces are shown. That's where you begin your tour.
The Botticelli Room is the most popular in the Uffizi. At peak times, the Birth of Venus is perpetually besieged by guided groups. Visit very early or late in the day to avoid this, and don’t visit in the summer if you can help it.
3. Read an Ebook
Another way to get some digestible information is through an ebook on Amazon Kindle. Click here for an ebook for first timers at the Uffizi. It's from an art historian in Florence that covers a 5 hour visit to the Uffizi.
4. Listen to Rick Steve's Free Audio Guide
Rick Steve's free audio guide to the Uffizi pairs nicely with the ebook by Alexandra Korey. Click here to download it.
5. Listen to Free Uffizi Podcasts
These podcasts are handy primers for visiting the Uffizi. They come from ArtTrav, Rebuilding the Renaissance, the Renaissance Podcast, and Art Curious.
Introduction to the Uffizi Gallery: This podcast provides a brief introduction to the building designed by Giorgio Vasari and the logic of the Uffizi collections.
The Giotto Room: The Giotto room is the first room you enter in the galleries. With large Madonnas by Giotto, Cimabue, and Duccio, this room demonstrates the proto-Renaissance. This podcast helps you understand the subtle differences between these paintings.
International Gothic Room: When you leave the Giotto room you go into a room with some very important and beautiful paintings that are in a different style. This podcast explains what the International Gothic style means and how it's a pre-cursor to the Renaissance.
Uffizi Medieval Paintings: This podcast, by Rocky Ruggeiro, discusses the Uffizi's extraordinary collection of medieval paintings. These include works by Giotto, Simone Martini, and Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
Gentileschi's Judith and Holofernes: This podcast takes a deep dive into Artemisia Gentileschi's most famous painting. Gentileschi was the most famous female artist of the Baroque period.
Leonardo da Vinci: This podcast gives an overview of the life and career of Leonardo da Vinci, perhaps the Renaissance's most famous artist. Leonardo's paintings, The Annunciation and Adoration of the Magi are must see paintings at the Uffizi.
6. Listen to the Smarthistory YouTube Videos About Uffizi
Check out these super informative YouTube videos about specific master art works at the Uffizi:
Gentileschi's Judith and Holofernes