The Vasari Corridor linking the Uffizi to the Pitti Palace in Florence was closed in 2016 for safety reasons, but after 18-month of analysis, it has been announced that everything is ready to start the renovation work and that the reopening is scheduled to take place in 2021.
“Everything is finally ready to guarantee democratic openness for visitors from all over the world – said the director of the Uffizi Galleries Eike Schmidt at a press conference – We wanted everyone to be able to enjoy this extraordinary heritage, and in total safety, offering visitors the opportunity to walk through the heart of Florence’s art, history and memory.”
Adding that, “the occasion of its reopening will be a key measure for tourism in Florence and Italy: it will be oxygen for the entire sector and will contribute to creating new jobs in the sector and in its industry.” Indeed, it is estimated that once reopened, the Vasari Corridor will attract 500,000 visitors a year – but no more than 125 at a time. In the coming months, a tender will be put out to identify who will oversee the renovation, which is expected to last a year and a half.
The Vasari Corridor, commissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1565 to celebrate the wedding of his son Francesco I and Joanna of Austria, is the enclosed passageway that joined the residential Pitti Palace with the Uffizi and Palazzo Vecchio, so that the dukes didn’t need to walk the streets to go from home to work. After the opening, the visitors’ flow will be in one direction only, starting from Palazzo Vecchio, crossing the Lungarno dei Archibusieri, along the north bank of the River Arno until crossing it on Ponte Vecchio before reaching the Pitti Palace. There, visitors will be able to choose between visiting the Boboli Gardens or continuing the visit to the Palace.
Ilona Catani Scarlett