Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the oldest modern museum

The Uffizi in Florence is one of the most famous museums in Italy. They are so vast and rich in precious works that you probably have to make a list to follow to the letter to see everything you deserve. Here you can find some of the most iconic works of Italian painting. From Giotto to Leonardo da Vinci, from Piero della Francesca to Botticelli just to mention the best known. 

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The Uffizi Gallery in Florence hosts, in fact, thousands of works of art among paintings and sculptures and it is not always easy to understand where to start; fortunately, the internal path is structured in chronological order and, following the order of the rooms, you can admire the works from the oldest to the most recent.   

Sala delle Maestà 

The Sala delle Maestà is dedicated to the painting of the thirteenth century and houses various works from the main Florentine churches; in particular, you can compare the three large altarpieces representing the Madonna enthroned with child, made respectively by Cimabue, Giotto and Duccio di Buoninsegna.

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Among the most important works stands out the “Madonna di Ognissanti” by Giotto, painted for the homonymous Florentine church at the beginning of the fourteenth century.  

Sala del Trecento senese 

We then move on to the Sala del Trecento Senese: here you can admire “The Annunciation” by Simone Martini, made as a decoration for one of the altars of the Duomo di Siena.

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Hall of the International Gothic 

Next, here is the International Gothic Hall, where it is recommended to stop in front of the painting “The Adoration of the Magi” by Gentile da Fabriano, commissioned at the beginning of the fifteenth century by the merchant Palla Strozzi for the family chapel.  

Hall of the Early Renaissance 

Also the Hall of the First Renaissance houses works of art of extreme importance, first of all the “Diptych of the Dukes of Urbino” by Piero della Francesca representing Federico da Montefeltro and his wife Battista Sforza.

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Sala del Botticelli 

As its name suggests, the Sala del Botticelli is entirely dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of numerous masterpieces by the Florentine artist. In particular, “La primavera” and the “Birth of Venus” stand out, both commissioned by Lorenzo il Magnifico on the occasion of his cousin Pierfrancesco’s wedding.

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La Tribuna 

Another very interesting room is the Tribune, located in the middle of the first corridor with its octagonal shape designed by the artist Bernardo Buontalenti by the will of Francesco I de’ Medici.  

The room represents the four elements of the world, making use of decorative architectural expedients: the red velvets on the walls are the fire, the floor marbles the earth, the mother of pearl the water and the rose of the winds on top of the dome the air.  

The Tribuna is one of the oldest places in the museum and, in the past, housed the most important, rare and precious works of the Medici collection.  

Leonardo’s Room 

The Sala di Leonardo exhibits many works by the artist, among which stands out without any doubt “The Annunciation”, painted by a Leonardo just twenty years old. The scene portrayed takes place in the courtyard of a Renaissance palace, with typical Tuscan details.

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Room of Michelangelo and Raphael 

Inside the Uffizi you could not miss the Sala di Michelangelo e Raffaello, illustrious exponents of Italian art. Among the works present it is right to mention the “Tondo Doni” by Michelangelo, commissioned by the spouses Doni – precisely. Of the latter there are two portraits, made by Raphael. 

Portrait room of Bronzino 

On the first floor of the Uffizi is the Portrait Room of Bronzino, a Florentine painter of the sixteenth century specialized in the realization of portraits of the court. Among the most beautiful is the “Portrait of Eleonora di Toledo with her son Giovanni”, which portrays the wife of Cosimo I de’ Medici.

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Sala di Tiziano 

The Sala di Tiziano pays tribute to another great exponent of Italian art, in particular with his “La venere di Urbino”, one of the most famous works in the world. The painting arrived in Florence through the inheritance of Vittoria della Rovere and following her marriage to Ferdinando II de’ Medici. 

Caravaggio’s halls and followers 

As a celebration of another representative of Italian art, the Halls of Caravaggio and followers guard a large number of works of the artist, in particular his “Medusa”: it is a shield, more than a painting, made at the end of the sixteenth century on commission of Cardinal Del Monte, linked to the Medici family.

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Church and Museum of Orsanmichele  

After completing the ecstatic visit to the Uffizi and taking a breath of fresh air, it is highly recommended to visit the Church and Museum of Orsanmichele, one of the most prestigious Florentine architecture of the fourteenth century.  

Its history is as ancient as it is articulated: in 1290 Arnolfo di Cambio erected a lodge for the wheat trade, which burned down in 1304. In 1337, then, Francesco Talenti had the market-loggia rebuilt, but larger, so much so that in 1404 it became a two-storey.  

At the end of the fifteenth century the market was moved and the remaining building was transformed into a church, while maintaining its unusual rectangular structure. Even today, it represents a unique and rare example of adherence to the most creative and decorative ways of late Gothic European architecture, as desired and requested by the Signoria.  

The building, as mentioned, consists of two floors: the upper one remained a grain warehouse, while the lower one became a church dedicated to the Virgin. Outside, however, there are numerous niches designed to accommodate the statues of the patron saints of the various guilds of the arts.  

The decoration of the Church was attended by the major representatives of the art of Florence and, for this reason, the building is a real artistic pearl, a precious treasure to be kept with extreme care.

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