The Uffizi by Touch Tour
Visitors to Florence with vision disabilities and impairments should know that they can visit the Uffizi Gallery with the Uffizi by Touch Tour.
The museum offers a special itinerary through the museum, free and with a guide, that allows blind and visually impaired visitors to use another of their senses, their sense of touch, to “see” and admire several of the works of art contained within the Gallery.
The itinerary focuses on one the most important part of the Uffizi’s collection, its works of art in marble. While the Medici family grew to collect and commission fine works from top artists of their time, their first love started with collecting beautiful, ancient Greek and Roman marble sculptures. These take the form of busts, bas-reliefs, sarcophagi, altars, full size statues and epigraphs which visitors can admire in the main corridors of the Uffizi.
Among the masterpieces included in the itinerary:
– the Hermaphroditus, Roman art from the 1st century A.C., located on the second floor in hall 38 (#14)
– the Altar of the Vicomagistri, 2nd century A.C., located on the ground floor in the Hall of the Horse (Sala del Cavallo)
– the Sleeping Cupid, Roman art, located on the second floor in hall 36-37 (#10)
– a portrait of Cicero, on the ground floor Hall of the Horse (Sala del Cavallo)
The Uffizi by Touch tour is free and does not require reservations. Just head to the ticket office (with proof of disability) and a staff member will accompany you along the itinerary to help guide you across the museum.
You’ll have a pair of latex gloves so you can touch the Roman/Greek sculptures freely. Next to each of the works, you’ll find the display with information on the work of art, and over it in transparent material, the text in Braille. All of the works that are part of the itinerary have the heading “Uffizi da toccare / Uffizi Touch Tour” so that they can easily be identified.
The itinerary starts on the second floor and also includes the bas-relief of Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, completed especially for the itinerary, located in Hall 10-14 with the original right above. By Hall 38 visitors will then take the elevator down to the ground floor to continue the visit in the recently opened Hall of the Horse (a large marble sculpture sits center stage in the room) which contains over 20 additional pieces of marble works of art. This new hall is exclusively for visitors of the tour so that they can move around the room and explore the sculptures independently.