Uffizi Gallery tickets and tours
Cosimo I de Medici, Tuscany’s first Grand Duke, initiated the Uffizi project in 1560 to create administrative space for Florence (‘Uffizi’ means ‘offi...In the top 5 attractions for Florence
The inside story
Cosimo I de Medici, Tuscany’s first Grand Duke, initiated the Uffizi project in 1560 to create administrative space for Florence (‘Uffizi’ means ‘offices’). He commissioned famed architect Giorgio Vasari, who added a secret corridor to the Pitti Palace (which you can visit today) and demolished other ancient buildings. The arches and columns you see on Via deal Ninna are remains of the Romanesque church of San Pier Scheraggio.
The building first became a gallery in 1581, when Francesco I de Medici established a private collection in the octagonal Tribuna room. The family then added to this collection until they died out in the eighteenth century. It wasn’t until 1789 that the public was first allowed access to the gallery. These days, the Uffizi and the Vatican museums in Rome are the two most visited museums in Italy (the Uffizi itself attracts a million people annually). As a result, the Uffizi is currently being modernized by architect Arata Isozaki to increase space and access. It remains open throughout the process.