The Uffizi Palace in Florence, was originally constructed during the 16th century as the offices of the Magistrates, but even then rooms were set aside to display some of the prized works of art belonging to the Medici family, these rooms became the Galleria degli Uffizi, or Uffizi Gallery. The church of San Piero Scheraggio, which originally stood on the site, was dismantled to construct the Uffizi, although some ground floor remains are still visible.
The Gallery, built in the shape of a horseshoe, has now forty-five rooms displaying thousands of works art created by some of the worlds most celebrated artists, and is rightly considered to be one of the most important “must see” places to visit in this historically important city. Located close to the Piazza della Signoria, this popular attraction can become very busy during peak times, so we advise reserving tickets in advance to ensure entry and to avoid long queues.
The Uffizi is packed with works from such artists as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Giotto, and Raphael to name just a few. Items on display include approximately 1700 paintings and 300 or so sculptures, but this is only a fraction of the works the Uffizi has in their possession, so plans are in place to greatly expand the gallery so that many of these other items, which are presently in storage, can be displayed.
The Medici family have always been keen patrons of the arts and in 1737 the works held within the Uffizi were bequeathed to the people of Florence by the heir of the Medici family fortune, Anna Maria Luisa.
The Uffizi, claims to be the oldest museum in the world to be open to the public. These days it is open from 8:15 in the mornings to 7:00 in the evenings Tuesday through to Sunday. The Uffizi Gallery is closed on Mondays.