Guided Tour of the Uffizi Gallery
Entrance to the Uffizi Gallery Museum and visit with monolingual guide
Walking tour of Florence
GEarphones for groups of more than 15 participants
Tour Participation Requirements
Though the Uffizi Gallery may be the most resplendent palace you have ever laid eyes on, it originally had a far less glamorous function. As the name Uffizi ("offices") would suggest, this breathtaking structure was originally an administrative building, a "city hall" built by the renowned Medici banking family.
Even so, the Medicis had style. Not only did they invest the greatest architecture of the time in building their offices, they even painstakingly constructed a passageway through the rooftops of Florence so they could walk from their home at the Pitti Palace to the Uffizi without setting foot in the street. Called the Vasari Corridor after its designer, this passageway is no mere catwalk: over half a mile long, it arches over the streets of Florence, spans the Ponte Vecchio bridge, and is itself a marvel to behold, lined with paintings, sculpture, and beautiful architecture.
And yet residents of Florence soon discovered that having the Medicis off the streets did little to keep these rulers out of the locals' hair. Their fondness for the Vasari Corridor not only prompted the Medicis to outlaw butchers from the shops on the bridge (replacing them with the more aesthetically pleasing shops of goldsmiths), but it also resulted in a battle with the owners of the Manelli Tower as they attempted to modify the august structure to accommodate their new passageway (they ultimately settled for snaking the passageway around the tower).
But perhaps the most outrageous modification was the balcony the Medicis cut from their passageway into the church of Santa Felicita itself. Their reasoning? They wanted to be able to go to mass en route to their offices... without actually having to attend.
Artifacts in arms
In 1993, the Uffizi Gallery was damaged when a Fiat van packed with explosives exploded, destroying three famous paintings, collapsing a 258-year-old building, and killing five people. It turned out that the Gallery and other cultural spots had been targeted by the Mafia in retaliation for a government crackdown. The irony was that the explosives used were themselves museum pieces: including TNT salvaged from a World War II shipwreck by a Sicilian fisherman.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.