6 Most Interesting Uffizi Gallery Facts

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6 Most Interesting Uffizi Gallery Facts

Home to the powerful Medici dynasty, the Uffizi Gallery is more than just a collection of artwork – it is a living, breathing testament to the city’s glorious history.

It is known for its world-famous artworks, but did you know that many other fascinating Uffizi Gallery facts make it so unique?

There is much to explore and learn about the Uffizi, from the secret corridors to some artworks that could have resulted in severe punishment.

Here are some of the Uffizi Gallery interesting facts that you should be aware of before your visit:

Uffizi means what?

In 1560, the Duke of Florence, Cosimo I de Medici, planned to “modernize” the infamous neighborhood of Baldracca. 

He thought the best way to do this was to build a majestic building called the Uffizi, which means “offices” in Italian. 

Giorgio Vasari initially constructed it in the 16th century as the Medici family’s offices, one of the most influential families in Florence during the Renaissance. 

Moreover, it is close to Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of political power in Florence. 

Created as a symbol of grandeur, elegance, and power, today, it is one of the most renowned and visited art galleries in the world.

It’s more than 250 years old

Another interesting fact is that the Uffizi Gallery dates back to the 16th century, when the Medici family began collecting art, making it over 250 years old.

The collection continued to grow over the centuries, and visitors were allowed into the gallery in the late 18th century.

Today, the collection comprises over 8,000 artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.

A private art collection

The Uffizi Museum has 45 rooms and is home to some notable works of art, such as The Birth of Venus, The Procession of the Magi, and Primavera, to mention a few.

There are four floors in the gallery. Each floor has multiple rooms. 

Each room is dedicated to a specific period or artist, making it easy for visitors to navigate the collection.

The Uffizi Gallery is also home to a collection of ancient art, including ancient Egyptian, Etruscan, and Greek art, as well as valuable and remarkable pieces of Islamic art.

A gift from the noblewoman

Many of Uffizi’s works were gifts from the wealthy Medici family. The family was a renowned patron of the arts with a vast collection. 

This remarkable decision was known as the “Patto di Famiglia,” or “family pact.” 

Through this, Anna Maria Luisa gifted the Medici’s art collections to the city of Florence, directing that they could never be moved from the city. 

Her legacy has enabled the world to appreciate the remarkable artwork that Florence has to offer today.

The Uffizi’s secret

Two secret passageways in the Uffizi connect the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti. 

The original Vasari Corridor was built to allow the Grand Duke to move around the city without being seen by the general public.

The second corridor was built in 1943, allowing the Italian dictator Mussolini to travel secretly between the two palaces.

You can see the Vasari Corridor with a relevant ticket once it reopens in late 2023 after renovations.

Some more Uffizi Gallery Interesting Facts

One of the most interesting Uffizi Gallery facts is that Vasari, the gallery’s designer, wrote a book about it called “Lives of the Artists,” referring to various patrons. Some more are: 

  • The Uffizi Gallery was once the site of the infamous trial of Giordano Bruno, a Dominican friar who was burned for being unorthodox.
  • Florence experienced a severe storm in 1966, but villagers and visitors saved the priceless artworks from the Uffizi Gallery before the floods reached the gallery. That’s how they got the name “mud angels.”
  • In 1911, the Mona Lisa from France’s Louvre disappeared. It was discovered after two years when the thief, Vincenzo Peruggia, tried to sell it. The painting was recovered from the thief and temporarily hung at the Uffizi.
  • The car bombing in 1993 outside the Uffizi Gallery killed five people and permanently destroyed three paintings, including Gerard van Honthorst’s Adoration of the Shepherds (1620).

The mysteries of the past are preserved at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery because they have withstood the test of time.

With its rich collection and beautiful setting, the Uffizi Gallery offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore some of the most influential artworks in history.

Featured Image: Tripadvisor.in

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