Florence’s Secret Passage

The general public may soon be able to gaze at the paintings lining the mysterious Vasari Corridor, which connects Florence’s famed Uffizi Gallery to the Pitti Palace via the Ponte Vecchio. Access to the corridor, built in 1564 by Giorgio Vasari, is currently only available through private tour companies, with tickets starting at €45 – almost $50 per person.

But Uffizi director Eike Schmidt plans to abandon the privileged access and open the passage to the general public.

“My aim is to offer the possibility, not the obligation, of passing through the Vasari Corridor to the Pitti Palace on a separate ticket from the one giving access to the Uffizi, and which is in line with normal prices for museum access,” he was quoted by the news agency as saying.

The Pitti Palace is the former home of Tuscany’s grand dukes and the King of Italy, which today also houses a collection of paintings and sculptures.

Schmidt also said he intended to move a collection of self-portraits created by Cardinal Leopoldo de’Medici, displayed in the corridor back to their original place in the Uffizi Gallery.

The entrance to the corridor, which contains over 1,000 paintings, is located on the first floor of the Uffizi, behind an unmarked door. Visitors will also be able to marvel at the view of the Arno River as they walk along the passage.

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