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This 16th-Century Palace Is Packed With Artworks From Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo - and You Can Visit

Florence Museums Culture Art + Architecture
by Morgane Croissant Mar 29, 2023

The Uffizi Gallery is to Florence what the Louvre is to Paris or what the British Museum is to London: It is the precious reliquary of stunning artworks spanning centuries and artists that no traveler should pass. The gallery, inside the 16th-century Uffizi Palace that is impressive in its own rights, if filled with masterpieces from some of the world’s greatest artists: Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, etc. that you can easily with your own eyes for the price of a simple admission ticket.

Where is the Uffizi Gallery located?

The Uffizi Gallery is located in the historical center of Florence, Italy, a UNESCO World Heritage site. More precisely, it is situated between the Arno River and the famous Piazza della Signoria and its beautiful Palazzo Vecchio.

If you’re staying in the historical center of Florence (maybe in an Airbnb with great views), or arriving via the Santa Maria Novella station, the museum is very easily and quickly reached on foot.

Why is the Uffizi Gallery so famous?

Exterior of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence

Photo: Songquan Deng/Shutterstock

The Uffizi is one of the most distinguished museum in the world. Its collection includes world-famous sculptures and paintings by some of the most renowned artists, such as Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio. Beyond the artwork, the Uffizi Palace, where the collection is kept, is a magnificent 16th-century building that is heralded as one of the most significant examples of Italian Mannerist architecture.

Was the “Mona Lisa” in the Uffizi Gallery?

Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” has been displayed in the Louvre since in 1804, but it did spend a very short time in the Uffizi Gallery in the early 20th century.

Two years after stealing the “Mona Lisa” from the Louvre in 1911, Vincenzo Perugia, brought the painting to Italy in the hope of having it displayed in an exhibition organized by Florentine antique dealer, Alfredo Geri. He was caught by the authorities on December 11, 1913, thanks to the information provided by Alfredo Geri and Giovanni Poggi, the director of the Uffizi Gallery at the time. The “Mona Lisa” was then displayed in the Uffizi until December 31, 1913, the date when it traveled back to Paris by train.

Are there works by Leonardo da Vinci in the Uffizi Gallery?

There are two paintings by Leonardo da Vinci in the Uffizi Gallery, both of them with religious themes: “Adoration of the Magi” painted in 1482, and “Annunciation” painted in 1472.

“The Baptism of Christ” painted between 1470 and 1475 is the work of Andrea del Verrocchio with the help of its student, Leonardo da Vinci.

All three paintings are located in room A35 on the second floor of the museum. Consult the map of the museum for a detailed location.

What are some famous paintings in the Uffizi Gallery?

"Spring" by Botticelli. Photo: vvoe/Shutterstock
"Birth of Venus" by Botticelli. Photo: Hunter Bliss Images/Shutterstock

Some of the most famous paintings you’ll see in the Uffizi are:

  • “Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli (1485)
  • “Medusa” by Caravaggio (1597)
  • “Spring” by Sandro Botticelli (1480)
  • “Virgin and Child Enthroned, and Prophets” by Cimabue (1290-1300)
  • “Adoration of the Magi” by Leonardo da Vinci (1482)
  • “Sacrifice of Isaac” by Caravaggio (1603)
  • “Annunciation” Leonardo da Vinci (1472)
  • “Venus of Urbino” by Titian (1538)
  • “Doni Tondo” by Michelangelo (1505-1506)
  • “Madonna of the Goldfinch” by Raphael (1506)

Where are the Caravaggio paintings in the Uffizi?

Bacchus by Caravaggio in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence

“Bacchus” by Caravaggio. Photo: Takashi Images/Shutterstock

There are three paintings by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, more commonly known as Caravaggio, in the Uffizi:

  • “Sacrifice of Isaac” (1603)
  • “Bacchus” (1598)
  • “Medusa” by Caravaggio (1597)

Caravaggio’s paintings are located in rooms D29, D32, and D31 on the first floor. Consult the map of the museum for a detailed location.

Is the Michelangelo’s statue of David in the Uffizi Gallery?

Statue of David in the Accademia Gallery in Florence

Photo: Jon Chica/Shutterstock

Michelangelo’s David is in Florence, but not in the Uffizi. It is in the Accademia Gallery.

What does Uffizi mean in “Uffuzi Gallery”?

In the mid-16th century, when the grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de’ Medici, hired Giorgio Vasari to build a palace, he wanted an office building, hence the term uffizi (the plural of ufficio, office in Italian.) The grand Duke of Tuscany never meant to build a place to keep art, but it quickly became so.

How long does it take to see the Uffizi Gallery?

Budget between two and three hours to see all the highlights of the Uffizi. The museum has crafted an itinerary for visitors to see the best of the exhibits on their detailed map.

Uffizi Gallery tickets

Admission to the Uffizi costs $13 (12 €) from November 1 to February 28, and $27.10 (25 €) from March 1 to October 31. The museum is free for all those under the age of 18. Discounts are available, please check out the website to see if you can benefit from them.

Note that booking a ticket online in advance, which is highly recommended and allows you to skip the line, will cost you an extra $4.35 (4 €).

Admission to the museum is free on the first Sunday of each month.

Your ticket for the Uffizi Gallery gives you free admission to the National Archaeological Museum and the Museum of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure.

Uffizi Gallery hours of operation

The Uffizi is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 8:15 AM to 6:30 PM. It is closed on December 25.

Are there tours available at the Uffizi Gallery?

The Uffizi does not organize tours, but you can book one with a private operator such as Viator or City Wonders.

Where to stay in Florence to be near the Uffizi Gallery

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay.

Portrait Firenze — Lungarno Collection

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Portrait Firenze is a five-star luxury hotel located just three minutes on foot from the Uffizi. This property has 37 spacious rooms and luxury suites decorated with taste and elegant, contemporary furniture. The on-site Caffè dell’Oro is open from 7:00 AM to 10 AM and offers a wide range of meal options designed by a Michelin-starred chef, from breakfast to afternoon tea, aperitifs, dinner, and more.

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Hotel degli Orafi

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Located just one minute on foot from the Uffizi, the four-star Hotel degli Orafi features classic and elegant decor, and offers amazing view on the historical center of Florence. This property has a roof terrace where you can enjoy a meal or a glass of wine while looking at the magnificent Ponte Vecchio. Breakfast is served daily in an ornate 19th-century ballroom with view on the Arno River.

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Atelier delle Grazie

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Just two minutes away from the Uffizi on foot, the Atelier delle Grazie is an affordable, yet stylish and comfortable place to stay while in Florence. All the rooms have air conditioning, WiFi, a desk, a coffee machine and a kettle, a fridge, a minibar, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom.

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