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Discover the treasures of the Renaissance on your Uffizi tour
A visit to the Uffizi is something of a pilgrimage for art lovers. This extraordinary art gallery contains not only the greatest works of art in Florence, but in the entire world. On this special private tour of the Uffizi Gallery, you’ll see masterpieces by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian, Caravaggio, and many more. Accompanied by an expert guide - usually an art historian - you’ll learn all about the historical context of the works, and the lives of the artists. As you discuss Florentine culture and society while admiring Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, or hear stories about the extraordinary life of Raphael as you stand in front of his Madonna of the Goldfinch, you’ll gain a new understanding and appreciation of Renaissance art.
The Uffizi: the world’s greatest art gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is situated in the heart of Florence, next to Piazza della Signoria. Built in the 16h century, the Uffizi was originally a complex of offices (“uffizi”) for Florentine magistrates. The project was commissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici, who planned to use rooms on the piano nobile for the display of artworks belonging to the Medici family.
The Medici’s astonishing collection of art - including works by many of the most important artists of the time - expanded over the years, until it was eventually opened to the public as a museum. Today, it is without a doubt one of the most magnificent collections of art in the world, and a highlight of every visitor’s trip to Florence.
Giotto and Botticelli: exploring the birth of the Renaissance
Our guided visit of the Uffizi Gallery is a journey through the history of art, from late medieval painters such as Giotto to the Baroque innovation of Caravaggio. We begin with the roots of the Renaissance, viewing the works of painters who would influence future generations of artists. Cimabue was a pioneer, experimenting with more lifelike forms, while Giotto went even further, boldly creating a graceful, naturalistic style, unlike anything that had been seen before. You’ll also see beautiful religious works by Masaccio, and learn how he and his contemporaries paved the way for the revolution of the Renaissance.
The Uffizi is renowned for its collection of paintings by Botticelli, an extraordinarily talented painter who spent his life in Florence. You’ll come face to face with his beautiful goddess in The Birth of Venus, a lush, richly symbolic work that has been enchanting viewers for centuries. As you explore allegorical masterpieces such as Spring, as well as some of his lesser-known paintings, your guide will explain the Renaissance philosophy of beauty, enriching your appreciation of the paintings.
From Raphael to Titian: the masters of the Renaissance
On your itinerary of the Uffizi you’ll walk through galleries filled with works by some of the most important artists of the Renaissance, while your guide will help you to appreciate intriguing details of the paintings, as they discuss the artworks in-depth. After admiring paintings by Fra Angelico and Filippino Lippi, you’ll reach the galleries dedicated to the masters of the High Renaissance.
If anyone deserves the title “Renaissance man”, it’s Leonardo da Vinci. An artist whose talents and interests also included literature, astronomy and engineering, Da Vinci amazed his contemporaries, and left a long-lasting legacy. You’ll learn all about his life and work with your personal guide, and see one of his greatest works. Standing in front of his masterpiece the Annunciation - completed when he was still only in his early twenties - is an unforgettable experience, revealing the full extent of Da Vinci’s artistic genius.
Raphael was another prodigious talent of the Renaissance, producing a series of masterpieces before his premature death at the age of 37. The Uffizi contains one of his loveliest paintings - the serene Madonna of the Goldfinch - as well as his striking Portrait of Pope Leo X, which Vasari claimed was “so lifelike and true, it frightened everyone who saw it”.
In striking contrast are the sensual paintings of Titian, an artist with a very different cultural background. His Venus of Urbino is one of the most famous - and provocative - nudes of all time. During your Uffizi walk you’ll learn about Renaissance beliefs about love and sex, and understand why so many of these masterpieces feature nudity.
Although Michelangelo viewed himself primarily as a sculptor, there’s no doubt that he had a unique talent as a painter. When you view his unconventional Doni Tondo, your guide will draw your attention to his unusual, innovative style, which seems to anticipate the new Mannerist style. Seeing this remarkable painting on an Uffizi tour provides an interesting point of comparison for other works by Michelangelo, and is the ideal opportunity to learn more about this remarkable artist, who changed art forever.
Caravaggio: the dark world of the Baroque
Your walk through the Uffizi then takes you to the late 16th century, and the beginning of the Baroque. The most important and influential Baroque artist was Caravaggio, who is represented here by his terrifying Medusa, and the dramatic Sacrifice of Isaac. Your guide will tell you stories of Caravaggio’s complex personality and troubled personal life, as well as his mysterious death, adding a new dimension to the dark drama of his paintings. You’ll also see works by some of Caravaggio’s most notable followers, including Artemisia Gentileschi, whose powerful Judith and Holofernes is perhaps the Uffizi’s bloodiest work.
After your visit to the Uffizi, you’ll enjoy a walk across the nearby Ponte Vecchio, an ancient bridge which offers beautiful views of Florence. A secret passageway known as the Vasari Corridor runs above Ponte Vecchio, connecting Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti.
The beauty of the city and its art may be obvious to every visitor, but it takes an expert to help you learn its secrets, bringing the past to life. On your visit to Ponte Vecchio you’ll learn about the importance of the Vasari Corridor for the Medici family, the dynasty that once dominated Florence, as your guide explains how art, religion and politics were closely intertwined in Renaissance Florence.
For an immersive experience of Renaissance art, join us in Florence.
At the equestrian statue of Cosimo I in Piazza della Signoria
This is a tour through the city centre with uneven surfaces. We recommend comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water
Our guides are fluent in English and have a contagious passion for Rome's inspiring cultural heritage. Experts in their fields, they will immerse you in the hidden histories and intriguing lives of history's great protagonists. So much to see, so easy to miss out: with the help of our guides, visit the most absorbing sites and uncover the stories that have changed the world. Don't miss this fascinating journey!