Editors' Picks

Galleria degli Uffizi

(39) 055- 238 8651

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The Uffizzi can be maddening, what with outdated galleries, uninspired audio guides, disgruntled staff, dimly lit halls and an insane timed-ticket system that puts you on a line no matter how savvy your planning. And who thought that the array of unrelated shops (including a wine store and a Ferragamo boutique) you have to traverse before exiting was a good idea? But of course the art is so extraordinary that all of these inconveniences quickly fade away. Most of the small rooms on the second floor interconnect in a horseshoe pattern, and mapping out a plan of attack is crucial. Don’t try to see everything: instead, pick a handful of galleries, and read up on the works beforehand or bring a good guidebook along (the audio tour is a complete waste of money). Indagare members can contact our booking teams to arrange a visit with an expert guide, including ones specially trained to educate and engage children.

The busiest gallery is the one that holds Botticelli’s Primavera and Birth of Venus. Like the Mona Lisa, in Paris, these works always have crowds standing in front of them, but it’s worth waiting for your chance at an unobstructed view; they are stunning in their meticulous attention to detail. The da Vincis, Raphaels, Veroneses, Titians and Michelangelos also draw crowds. But don’t forget the other famous Renaissance names: Duccio, Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Lippi and Verrocchio.

Getting into the Uffizi is a notorious nightmare. Here are the four ways to manage it.

  • Without a Reservation. Line up at door 2, and be prepared to wait for hours.
  • With a Reservation. Reserve a specific day and time online (www.b-ticket.com/b-ticket/uffizi). Take your confirmation printout to door 3, where you will be given tickets allowing you to line up at door. You still have to stand on line, but the wait is much shorter. There’s an additional €4 processing fee for this option. Do not be talked into ordering through your hotel; my husband and I did so, paying €20 per ticket, and still had to pick them up ourselves and stand on line.
  • With a Guide. Sign up with Indagare’s preferred tour operator in Florence for a scholar-led tour, and even though you will still have to wait on the reserved-ticket line and contend with other visitors, you will be with an expert who can lead you to the most important rooms and answer all your questions about Renaissance painting.
  • As a Donor. A gift of $500 to the nonprofit Friends of Florence, which funds the restoration of many historic sites in the city, gives you off-hour to the Uffizi, as well as to the Galleria dell’Accademia, during off-hours.

Written by Simone Girner

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