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Vasari corridor - closed?

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Reading, PA
Level Contributor
309 posts
1,052 reviews
Vasari corridor - closed?

I looked on the polo museale website for information about the Vasari Corridor and it said it was closed temporarily. I took a tour in May 2011. I was able to purchase tickets directly from the Uffizi for list price plus a reservation fee. I will not pay hundreds of dollars for a tour with a private company. I would like my husband to be able to visit. He was not with me last May.

I had heard the Vasari Corridor was going to close for several years for renovations, but I see the private companies are still booking tours.

Anyone know what the situation is?

Level Contributor
1,144 posts
35 reviews
11. Re: Vasari corridor - closed?

Tuscan and Eugene,

You have sold me. The next time the corridor can be accessed through Polo Museale instead of through one of the rip-off private tours, I will be there.

I am fascinated by self-portraits. For one thing, many were done by artists when they were still so poor that they had problems paying for models - which is frequently before they found whatever style was most marketable for them.

How does the private balcony at Santa Felicita compare with the private balcony for Maria Maddalena de' Medici at SS Annunziata?

Castellina in...
Level Contributor
3,017 posts
13 reviews
12. Re: Vasari corridor - closed?

"How does the private balcony at Santa Felicita compare with the private balcony for Maria Maddalena de' Medici at SS Annunziata?"

Can one enter the one at SS Annunziata? I've heard but not seen that that her chamber there communicated with the church via a grate through which she received communion. In apparent contrast, the balcony off the Vasari corridor at Santa Felicita is wide open but incredibly high up. Don't go near the balcony itself if you suffer from vertigo!

Level Contributor
1,144 posts
35 reviews
13. Re: Vasari corridor - closed?


As of a few years ago, you could enter the balcony at SS Annunziata through a corridor which flies over the Via Gino Capponi from the Princess's former palace, which is now the Archeological Museum - one of our very favorite museums anywhere.

The corridor ran along the first floor (European style - second floor American style) and was open for a short period several times each day. The corridor was lined with cases filled with commemorative medals, coins, and other more or less interesting tchotchkes - some of them ancient - from Lorenzo il Magnifico's collections.

As I remember we went through the corridor twice. On both occasions, the balcony was - apparently - in its more or less original state - fussy, baroque, and more than a bit shabby, sort of like the rest of the church, only perhaps a bit more so.

As we all know, nothing ever stays the same in Florence, so I have no idea what if anything has changed. I will try to get back there in the not too distant future.

Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
989 posts
14. Re: Vasari corridor - closed?

The two balconies are very different in nature and character.

The balcony at S. Felicita gave the members of the Medici family access to the church from the Vasari Corridore, enabling them to participate in services without having to mix with the riffraff (or eventual assassins). Imagine the balcony of a small movie theater - there you have it.

Maria Maddalena de' Medici was born, as she's been enigmatically described, "malcomposta nelle membra", "badly put together in her members". She was severely crippled, maybe even deformed. It was extremely difficult for her to move about and almost impossible to use stairs. Her residence was in Palazzo della Crocetta, where today you can visit the Museo Archeologico. The architect, Giulio Parigi, created a raised passage for her, not unlike the Vasari corridore, to give her access to the church of la Santissima Annunziata. The passage gave her two advantages: she could easily reach the church without having to deal with stairs, and she could get there and attend mass without her deformities being seen by the public. Her balcony is a very small and intimate two-tiered room behind an elaborate bronze grate that hid her from view. She would sit behind the grate, her attendants and ladies-in-waiting behind her on the slightly raised platform. The balcony is actually much higher up than the one in Santa Felicita and offers an unforgettable view of the interior of SS. Annunziata. I find just sitting in her seat there especially moving, imagining what the life of this woman, who died at only 33, could have been like. the balcony of Maria Maddalena is not open to the public.

Reading, PA
Level Contributor
309 posts
1,052 reviews
15. Re: Vasari corridor - closed?


I agree with you. There are many wonderful places in Florence - our favorite is the Bargello actually. We visit Florence once or twice a year and I am always looking for new options. I have been to the Vasari and you are correct, the paintings are not the best. In amongst the portraits of the "famous faces of Firenze" are a few noteable works of art. I think it's the challenge of being able to "get in" on a regular ticket - not a $100 plus per person tour.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. We will be in Firenze January 2 - 6.


Level Contributor
6,762 posts
51 reviews
16. Re: Vasari corridor - closed?

Thank you for that Eugene. I knew about the Medici one, but not the Maria Maddalena part.

I will soon be ready for my tour guide badge!

luvroma - "our favorite is the Bargello actually". Good call - The Bargello is the favourite of a lot of people. I never miss it when I am in town.

Ocean City, MD
Level Contributor
7,157 posts
7 reviews
17. Re: Vasari corridor - closed?

According to the reviews on TA, www.florencetown.com is offering 'exclusive' tour (3.5 hrs) of the Uffizi and the Vasari Corridor -- starting at 85 Euro p/p.(whoa).


lulroma, I love the Bargello too and it warrants a visit every time I go to Florence. Have a wonderful visit to Bella Firenze.

18. Re: Vasari corridor - closed?

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