Monday, 14 March 2016

How to visit the Vasari Corridor in Florence

Update 15 March 2016: Tours of the Vasari Corridor.

Eike Schmidt, the director of the Uffizi Gallery, plans to introduce a moderately priced Vasari Corridor ticket (separate from admission to the Uffizi Gallery). He emphasizes that this will give visitors an “opportunity, not an obligation” to explore the corridor. Right now we have no date for when this will be implemented but as soon as we know we will post the details here.

One disappointing aspect is that the many excellent self-portraits currently hanging in the Vasari Corridor will be removed because it won't be possible to climate control the corridor suitable for paintings on canvas and wood.

The Vasari Corridor from above
The Vasari Corridor from above

Update 14 May 2014: Tours of the Vasari Corridor.

Tours are now again offered by the company that handles ticketing etc. for many museums in Florence and elsewhere, namely Opera Laboratori Fiorentini Spa. The most recent information that we have from them is that a tour can be arranged for a maximum of ten people for € 363 plus a reservation fee of € 4 per person and an Uffizi entry fee of € 6.50 per person. The contact email is: .

Update 3 February 2014: Inexpensive tours of the Vasari Corridor during February, March and April 2014.

The Uffizi Gallery is offering a range of guided tours of the Vasari Corridor (included in the price of admission to the museum, plus the reservation fee) from 7 February to 30 April 2014. The tours will be held on Wednesdays (14:30 and 15), Thursday (at 10:30 and 11) and Friday (14.30 and 15) meeting at the entrance to the Vasari corridor (in the Uffizi). For each visit a maximum of 25 persons will be allowed and the expected duration is 75 minutes.

Update 30 September 2013: The Vasari Corridor in Florence is once again accessible to the public.

The Vasari Corridor has re-opened to the public after a period of re-organisation of the pictures. There are now 127 self-portraits by Italian and foreign artists from the Uffizi archives on display there. As I described previously, it was the self-portraits that remained most in my mind among the pictures that I saw when I toured the corridor. Visitors will see more recent works such as the famous "Afternoon in Fiesole" by Baccio Maria Bacci and "The Autocaffè" by Giacomo Balla up to the astonishing and provocative self-portrait of Rauschenberg, a skeletal structure made ​​with X-rays. In addition, there are works by De Chirico, Marino Marini, Vedova, Pistoletto, Paladin, Clemente and Paolini, plus non-Italian artists, among them Böcklin, Denis, Chagall and Siqueiros. This new display is likely to make the art in the Vasari Corridor as interesting as the Corridor itself. Here is the current information on how to visit the Vasari Corridor in Florence.

New reservation arrangements:

Currently, there appear to be no shared tours being managed by the Uffizi itself which means you must either use an agency that assembles groups or get together your own group of 10-15 or more and make your own reservation. Obviously, the latter option is going to be the most economical. (See the note at the top of the post.)

You can then make a request for a visit by email to For more information on how to access the Vasari Corridor, you can call the telephone number +39 055 290383, available Monday to Friday 8.30 to 18.30 and on Saturdays from 8.30 to 12.30.

This was my review from 2010.

Yesterday (14 October 2010) I visited the Vasari Corridor for the first time and I would like to pass on some tips about how to visit the Vasari corridor in Florence. The Vasari Corridor connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti. It begins on the south side of the Palazzo Vecchio and then joins the Uffizi Gallery where the tour begins. It crosses the Lungarno dei Archibusieri and then, following the north bank of the Arno, it crosses the Ponte Vecchio. The corridor covers up part of the façade of the Church of Santa Felicità. The corridor then snakes its way over rows of houses in the Oltrarno district, becoming narrower, finally to join the Palazzo Pitti. It was designed by Vasari - hence the name - and completed in 1564 in the astonishingly short period of 20 months.

Small groups (max. 25 persons) are conducted through the Vasari Corridor from the Uffizi and reservations several weeks in advance are essential. Make your reservation directly with the Uffizi by phone - this is simpler and MUCH less expensive that booking through the various agencies that make this offer. Phone the booking office at +39 055 2388651. I was surprised to discover that they included 3 hours in the Uffizi itself in the ticket. I picked up my ticket at 8.50 am, wandered the Uffizi and then started the corridor tour at 11.30. It cost 16 euro.

IMPORTANT: please see the new booking arrangements at the top of this post.

The official website for the Uffizi tickets is - once again note that many other official-looking web sites offer Uffizi tickets at enormous markups.

Vasari corridor Uffizi Florence
Interior of the Vasari Corridor in Florence
The corridor is lined with paintings, the more interesting ones being an amazing series of self-portaits by famous and not so famous artists, including a surprising number of the Pre-Raphaelites - for example, a very fine self-portrait of William Holman Hunt. The corridor had a doorway and still has a window opening into a balcony high up in the church of Santa Felicita so that the Medici family could attend mass privately, without being seen or subject to attack. No photography of the corridor itself is allowed, but you can take pictures through the windows. The especially large windows overlooking the Ponte Vecchio were specially created for a visit by Mussolini in the late 30's. Part of the corridor snakes around the Torre Mannelli which belonged to the only family that Cosimo I was unable to buy out. Instead of building through the tower, Vasari built around it using a system of supporting brackets. Cosimo was quite sanguine about this - every man is king in his own house, he reportedly observed. The meat market on Ponte Vecchio was moved to avoid its smell permeating the passage, its place being taken by the goldsmith shops that still occupy the bridge.

More about the Vasari Corridor in the 19th and 20th centuries.

More about what to see and do in Florence.

More about Florence Museum Cards and Florence Museum Passes.

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