Results tagged “uffizi”

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Popularly known as the "Gaddi Torso" for the wealthy Florentine family that possessed it in the early 16th century, this sculptural fragment of a faun or centaur - half man, half beast - was probably "discovered" in Rome.

It is of Greek origin, from around the second century B.C. and may have been in the private collection of Lorenzo Ghiberti before coming to the Gaddi.

It is one of the most perfect pieces of sculpture I have ever seen (yes, I am putting this piece up there with the Pietà  of Michelangelo) - it is so alive, so coiled - I always expect to see it spring off the pedestal. I am not sure why the scholarship has the history as it does, it is hard to find a lot of detail on pieces like this in English. But why it is listed as "Fauno" and not just a fragment from something else is purely an interpretation of the pose - the centaur tied with his hands around his back is an iconic image of the late Hellenistic period - and it must be assumed that is what scholars see when looking at this. Remarkably and I think correctly it has never been "restored" - meaning hands, arms, legs, etc. attached from speculation. If it had been I think it would have lost much of its power.

This (smuggled) photo is from part of the "New" Uffizi and this piece's new permanent home. It used to be in the first room on the right in the main corridor on the top floor (when you reached the top and "entered" the museum proper, you would have to turn to the right and look at it from the corridor in the room full of other Greek and Roman sculptures). Now it is in the newly renovated part of the museum on the opposite side, which is painted a rather gaudy red. Again, according to current scholarship this was how these salons were originally set up and painted. I don't mind the color as much as the hallway like feeling of the room - the viewing experience, after all this work on the new rooms of the museum, seems cramped and rushed as most people at this point are just shuffling to the exit.

Still, this piece alone is in my top ten reasons to visit Florence. Try to see it off season or late in the day so you can spend some time in front of it without huge crowds around you.

Vasari Corridor Reservations

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This information was updated on March 2, 2014

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New dates for visiting the Vasari Corridor have been announced - it is now scheduled to be open from February 7th to April 30th, 2014, but of course if you visit the official page tickets are not available!

There are currently two ways to see the Corridor - do it yourself as described here, most likely with an Italian speaking guide (except on Fridays as mentioned in the comments below), or booking with a tour company. The first option is cheaper - but will take some diligence in calling Italy, the second is more expensive, but much easier.

The official website of the "Corridoio Vasariano" is here: http://www.uffizi.firenze.it/en/musei/index.php?m=vasariano.

If you want to try to make a reservation, call immediately - the Italian country code is 39, and the number to call is 055 294883. The best part - tickets are only €10.50 plus a €4 reservation fee.

Since we are Friends of the Uffizi (I will post about this soon) our entrance is actually free, and we will only have to pay the 4 euro reservation fee on the day we visit. Good luck!

Alternatively, if the tour sells out, or you can not get through, there is a tour company (one of many actually) selling guided tours in English. This is a more expensive option, but it may be your last and best chance to see the corridor for years if it closes for renovations (as planned - but not done yet for a lack of funding).

Pictures from the Vasari Corridor

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This morning we had a private tour of the Vasari Corridor with a guide from the Uffizi, Patrizia, who was very knowledgeable and greatly added to the experience. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time, and it was really a fantastic tour. The collection of self portraits in the main corridors is unrivaled in the world. They also keep a damaged painting from the bombing of the Uffizi in May, 1993, on a landing in the stairs leading down to the corridor as a remembrance to those who died. There are some other paintings and sculptures in the corridors leading to and from the main passageway over the river that are worthwhile also. After crossing the river you see the private balcony of the Medici's in Santa Felicita, and are let out into the Boboli garden by a little door just to the left of Buontalenti's Grotta Grande.

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You are not allowed to photograph the collection - all the shots above are from the windows along the way.

Official Florence Museum websites

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Their seem to be several "official" websites to many of Florence's museums and churches. Sometimes it is just overlapping bureaucracy (the Commune may have a site, the state may have a site, the museum itself may have a site), and sometimes it is people pretending to be an official site, either to try to get you to click on an ad or book a hotel or something else that either makes them money or brings their website traffic. Then there are the hundreds (if not thousands) of small sites who have their own listings and descriptions of some or all of the museums in Florence (like this one!). Below are links and brief descriptions to the official sites of the major museums of Florence: