With so much on display at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, it’s going to be hard to see everything. That doesn’t mean you can’t try to see the pieces that interest you though. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the museum every year, and nearly all of them walk out with a smile on their face despite not seeing all of the hundreds of masterpieces. Although you can’t really go wrong with seeing any of the collections, some are more highly coveted than others and you should give them priority on your visit.
Before you can even think about tackling the Uffizi Gallery, you need to allot yourself plenty of time. Although you might think that you can see the majority of it in one day, the reality of the situation is much different. The combination of the crowds and the sheer number of masterpieces there is going to make your most ambitious plans next to impossible to complete. Therefore, try your hardest to allow for multiple visits over multiple days. If you only have one day, it would probably be best to sign up for a guided tour so you can hit most of the major pieces and so that you won’t have to bother with waiting for your ticket since guides will have them already. Whatever you do, don’t just show up and expect to gain entrance a few minutes later. Planning ahead is essential with the Uffizi, which means you should either sign up for a guided tour or reserve your ticket in advance online or on the phone.
Once you gain entry, you really can’t go wrong with whichever collection you choose, but it is helpful to keep in mind that some of the museum’s best works are those from the Renaissance. More specifically, the focus tends to be on Italian Renaissance artists, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Although the Uffizi may seem like a maze of artwork, there is some order to its layout. As you make your way along its corridors, the artwork will be displayed in chronological order. The first few rooms will expose you to Pre-Renaissance and Early Renaissance works, including works by Masaccio, Angelico, Piero della Francesca and Paolo Uccello. In that area there is also a room devoted entirely to Filippo Lippi, which everyone should make time for. The Madonnas of Lippi and the religious paintings of Sandro Botticelli are some of the most popular attractions.
Moving along the corridor, you’ll make your way to Leonardo da Vinci’s works, which more or less speak for themselves. A few of his more famous pieces are on display there as well as his contribution towards his teacher Verrocchio’s paintings. You’ll find The Tribune a couple of rooms down, which was the original display space of the Uffizi. It now houses portraits of the Medici family as well as older sculptures. Work your way to the other side of the courtyard and you’ll find works by Michelangelo, Raphael and Florentine artists created during the High Renaissance, which often times steal the show. Right next door you’ll find work by Venetians Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto, who explored new territory with color, light and composition.
After making your rounds at the Uffizi Gallery, you’re going to discover that every collection is essentially a must-see. The more time you give yourself, the more you’ll be able to take in. Rest-assured though that even a small taste of its offerings will be enough to leave you feeling full, yet wanting more.