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Florence Virtual Tour - Uffizi Gallery

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The Uffizi Gallery covers an area of about 8.000 sq.m.. and contains one of the most important collections of art of all times, including classical sculpture and paintings on canvas and wood by 13th to 18th century Italian and foreign schools.

The Gallery of the Uffizi was also the first museum ever to be opened to the public: in fact the Grand Duke granted permission to visit it on request from the year 1591. Its four centuries of history make the Uffizi Gallery the oldest museum in the world.

Cosimo I de' Medici decided to build the Palace, whose construction was started by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 and later completed by Buontalenti, who designed the famous Tribune, to house the administrative offices (or "uffizi") of the Government because Palazzo Vecchio, which also overlooks Piazza della Signoria, had become too small to hold them all.

However it was his son Francesco I who was responsible for starting to turn the palace into a museum in 1581, when he closed the second floor Gallery with huge windows and arranged part of the grand-ducal collection of classical statues, medals, jewellery, weapons, paintings and scientific instruments here.

 
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