Tuesday 10 February 2015

When to visit Uffizi gallery?

I have been to Florence, Italy quite a few times before. I like it there, but M. absolutely loves it. Actually it is definitely one of her favourite cities, if not the favourite one.

We know the city quite well and we have visited the majority of its many sights before. The city has many museums worth visiting, but the most famous of them all is definitely the Uffizi museum. Apart from the Vatican museums (well, technically Vatican is not Italy), I suppose Uffizi is the most important Italian museum.

No matter how strange this might sound, we never got to visit the Uffizi museum before. On some occasions we did not have enough time (it can take most of an afternoon to slowly walk through it) and on other occasions we just did not feel like queuing in front of the entrance for hours.
If you are really into art or if you plan your visit in a company of a knowledgeable guide, many hours might pass before you find yourself on the streets of Florence again.

No matter what, it is always good to plan your visit ahead of time. This is even more essential if you happen to be in Florence in peak tourist season - i.e. spring and summer months. You can expect fewer crowds in winter months. In any case I suggest you book your tickets on-line directly through the Uffizi museum homepage or if you plan to hire a guide, it is probably even better to book through one of many tour agencies. Some even offer skip the line option that is well worth considering.

This time we were in the city just during the Firenze Marathon weekend and we did not know how many people to expect queueing in front of the entrance of the museum. Usually we explore museums on our own, but since we were really happy with a guided tour we did in Rome, we decided to look for a similar tour company in Florence. Luckily we found out Skip the Line: Uffizi Gallery Tour is on offer by City Wonders tour company.

Simply put, if you choose one of the Skip the Line options, it is always the right time to visit Uffizi!

This is why we booked our Uffizi tour through them and were not disappointed. Chiara, our guide, took excellent care of the small group. Her knowledge on the extensive collection of artefacts housed in the museum is admirable. It was quickly evident she enjoys every aspect of her work and also knows many interesting stories about numerous museum pieces. With sharing many details from the lives of artists as well as the people depicted in various works Chiara helped us see the exhibition from a much wider perspective.

I think it is fair to say that after 2 hours everyone in our group was really satisfied with the result of the tour. Although our brains were already overflowing with information, M. and I decided to stay in the museum for a bit longer and stroll through the parts we enjoyed the most for the second time. We also seized the opportunity to take another look at a stunning view of the Ponte Vecchio from the top floor of the gallery.

If it has been a while since your last visit to the Uffizi, there is another thing worth noting... At the moment they allow use of all kinds of cameras inside the gallery (as long as you do not use flash). So if your camera was the only thing you were missing during your last visit, maybe it is time to pay them another visit.

We were glad we opted for this tour and can easily recommend it to anyone. If we visited Uffizi on our own we could hardly get so much out of it.
Thanks again, Chiara!

Clicking on any one of above photos will reveal them all in a much more flattering resolution.


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