• Leslie

DIY Preparation and Ticket Tips For Visiting Florence's Amazing Uffizi Gallery

Updated: Jul 27


ceiling in the Uffizi Gallery decorated with grotesque frescos popularized by Raphael


Here's my guide to everything you can do to prepare for a visit to Florence's truly amazing Uffizi Gallery, including how to get advance tickets to the uber popular museum.


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 and purchase tickets in advance. 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.



Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1486 -- the most popular painting in the Uffizi


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

Masterpieces


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.



Michelangelo, Doni Tondo, 1505-06


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.



Filippo Lippi, Madonna and Child With Two Angels, 1460-65


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.



Titian, Venus of Urbino, 1538


6. Listen to the Smarthistory YouTube Videos About Uffizi

Paintings


Check out these super informative YouTube videos about specific master art works at the Uffizi:



Sandro Botticelli, Primavera, 1482


7. Take a Virtual Tour of the Uffizi Gallery


The fairly new Uffizi Gallery Facebook page is a fount of information and images. Install the Google Arts & Culture App to explore the entire collection.


The Uffizi's own HyperVision tours are also excellent, analyzing masterpieces or focusing on a particular theme. If you want to take a deep dive into the catalog, the Uffizi also has a digital archive.


8. Uffizi Card


If you’re planing on visiting more than three or four museums while you’re in Florence, there are two discount museum cards available. One lasts three days. The other, providing entry only to state museums, is best for longer stays in Florence.



Rembrandt, Self Portrait, 1669


9. How To Get Uffizi Tickets


And, finally ... drumroll ... how to you get into the august Uffizi? The line for the Uffizi is horrifically long. Trust me. To enjoy your visit, you must reserve tickets in advance. If you book online at B-ticket here, there's an extra € 4 fee for a total of € 20. But it's worth it as opposed to waiting in the general line.


Many companies offer excellent guided group tours of 90 minutes, 2 hours or 3 hours. The tours must be booked in advance and leave at pre-scheduled times. If you want a group tour, I recommend Context Travel or Walks of Italy.


You can also opt for a combined ticket that allows you to visit (and skip the line) at the Uffizi, Pitti Palace, and the Boboli Gardens. It’s valid for three days in a row and you can enter each museum once for the total cost of €v18 (from November to February) or €v38 (from March to October).


You can book Uffizi tickets in person at the following locations: (1) Door 2 of the Uffizi; (2) the National Archaeological Museum ticket office; (3) the Orsanmichele museum store; or (4) the ticket office of any national museum in Florence.



Raphael, Madonna of the Goldfinch, 1506

Other Practical Information & Tips for Visiting the Uffizi Gallery


Address: Piazzale degli Uffizi, adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria


Hours: Open daily 8:15 am to 6:50 pm Tuesday through Sunday, closed Mondays and holidays. In the summer, to accommodate crowds, the Uffizi sometimes stays open until 11:00 pm a couple nights per week. It's not announced in advance. Check the Uffizi Website.


Entry fee: € 16.50. If you book online here, there's an extra € 4 fee. But it's well worth it as opposed to waiting in the general line.


Audio Guide: The Uffizi audio guide is € 6. You can also download an audio guide in advance of your visit.


Website: The official website for the Uffizi and several other city museums is polomuseale.firenze.it



Artemisia Gentilleschi, Judith and Holofernes, 1620


If you'd like to explore more of Italy's stunning art, check out my other guides:


20 Iconic Museums in Florence

Guide to the Palazzo Vecchio

Florence for Art Lovers

Caravaggio's Art in Rome

Bernini's Art in Rome

Virtual Italian Museums

20 Best Museums in Rome

Guide to the Doria Pamphilj

Guide to the Capitoline Museums

Guide to the Palazzo Barberini

Guide to Villa Farnesina

Guide to the Borghese Gallery

Must See Masterpieces at the Vatican


If you'd like to do to some DIY prep before visiting the famed Uffizi Gallery in Florence, pin it for later.



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