Founded by Francesco de' Medici to delight himself during his walks, the Uffizi Gallery has become through the centuries one of the most famous and admired museums in the world.
It was Francesco I de' Medici who created an art Gallery on the second floor of the Palazzo degli Uffizi to delight himself, during his walks, with the collection of paintings, sculptures and arrases belonging to the Medici family. Thanks to Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici the Gallery became a "public and inalienable good": the Duchess, in fact, handed it over to the Lorena family providing that it would remain open to the public. At the present day the Uffizi Gallery is one of the most famous and celebrated museums in the world, the symbol of the vocation for collecting and to patronage.
An interesting group is represented by the artworks commissioned by the corporations of arts and trades thanks to their economical, cultural and artistic exchanges, Florence has become the world capital of art and, especially a meeting and exchanging landmark for the most important Italian and foreign artists. Other artworks come from private donations, from diplomatic exchanges, from antique convents and dynastic inheritance.
The entrance is located under the left portico. After the ticket office you access the Aula di San Pier Scheraggio, the still existing central aisle of the antique church which was destroyed to widen via della Ninna. Presently it is an exposition seat rich of decorations belonging to the Roman and Medieval ages among which historical-religious frescoes by Andrea del Castagno.
From the ticket office you enter the Monumental Staircase by Vasari which leads you to the first floor. From the big hall you pass on to the exposition and reference room of the Drawings and Prints Cabinet: a vast collection of drawings by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Pontormo, Vasari and others. The collection, among the greatest and most important in the world, has very antique origins. It was started by the will of Lorenzo de' Medici and it was continued by his followers. It cannot be visited at the present day for studying reasons. After the Drawing and Prints Cabinet there's the Library and the areas reserved for temporary exhibits.
The Gallery is located on the second floor.