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Photo credit: Molly McIlwrath

When computer issues came up at the Uffizi yesterday, there was a bit of a panic! But thank goodness someone remembered they had tucked away unused tickets from the late 1990s and were able to find them to use them as valid receipts by adding the current ticket cost on them. The old tickets still show the cost of lire on them, back when the euro still didn’t exist.

The long lines at the museum yesterday might be a bit forgiven by all those who can now keep this “vintage” ticket as a souvenir of their day at the Uffizi gallery 😉

Last year marked the start of major changes at the Uffizi with the arrival of a new director in the second part of the year. Slowly, some changes have been made but many are still to come. The Vasari Corridor was closed temporarily for a few weeks this summer, only to now be reopen again last week on a very limited basis until the end of November.

To read more about what the new director, Eike Schmidt, is planning and what the new changes mean for Florence and the Uffizi, I recommend you read this recent article in The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/arts/design/taming-the-uffizi-gallery.html

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The popular Tuesday cultural festival “Uffizi Live” continues this August with several repeat performances and new shows. From medieval to classical music, from theater to magic shows, visitors to the museum on these Tuesday evenings will enjoy their cultural experience at the Uffizi with the added art on show!

This the calendar for August, with 5 Tuesdays:

August 2: String female quartet, the “Quartetto Euphoria”, travels across the museum with music related in some way to works of art nearby. Among these, the struggle between Hercules and Nexus with a tango and Vivaldi’s Primavera next to Botticelli’s masterpiece.

August 9: Double show with itinerant musicians and mimic performances. Along the corridors, the Mitmacher company presents “The Passion”, a historical reenactment of the route along the streets those condemned to death had to make from the Middle Ages to the first Renaissance as they headed to their own execution. With ambiance music and suggestive dialogue with many references to painters of the time, the young workshop artist that has been “condemned” for the crime of murder.

In the Niobe Hall, Federico Bertozzi’s Dummies Project Company will perform a mimic theater dance recalling the episode from Dante’s time of Farinata degli Uberti in “full masks” in contemporary style.

August 16: An itinerary between art and musical styles projected by Giovanna Maria Carli in a homage to Mozart in Italy, with a recreation of a violin and harpsichord concert the young genius held in Florence at the Villa of Poggio Imperiale for the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Peter Leopold of the Hapsburg-Lorraine dynasty.

August 23: Another double show on this Tuesday, with a commedia dell’arte recital by Roberto Andrioli’s “La Macchina del tuono” using a wide repertory of songs and jokes from the 16-17th centuries from well-known “masks” such as the poor Zanni and stingy Pantalone to the ever cleber Harlequin.

Three separate settings with the Uffizi museum will inspire the international contemporary dance “Inter Pares Project” between movement and static poses inspired by the works and their surroundings spaces.

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August 30: The month closes with another two performances – Magician Bustric returns as a “night guardian” at the museum and will perform magic numbers between the sculpture and paintings of the museum, while the trio of young musicians/jugglers Bacenetti-Gherardi-Piccioli perform and share their fun “Ball Percussion” project that brings together body percussion, choreographed movements and the able handling of juggling objects.

Enjoy your visit to the Uffizi on Tuesdays with the extra performances!

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Renovation works to completely revamp Halls 10-14, called the Botticelli rooms, have just been completed and a reopening of the Botticelli halls is planned for Tuesday, October 18th. A whole new setting and exposition of the works has been projected.

Over the next weeks, the work of preparing the room for the return of the works will be be completed. The entire renovation works of these halls, and Hall 41 where Botticelli’s Spring and Birth of Venus have been admired by over 2 million visitors over the last year, were funded by the non-profit organization Friends of Florence.

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The Uffizi Gallery just announced that it will have a special opening on MONDAY, August 15th, day of the week when the museum is usually closed and this year also a national holiday. On “ferragosto”, the museum will be open with normal hours, from 8.15am to 6.50pm. Last entry that can be reserved will be at 4.45pm.

The opening was just announced after the museum leadership reached an agreement for the opening with staff union representatives.

The Vasari Corridor

News just sent out by the director’s office of the Gallerie degli Uffizi is that the Vasari Corridor is, effective immediately, closed to visits to all groups. This after an order by the Provincial Command of the Fire Department was issued after an on-site visit by officials of the Fire Department to ascertain the security conditions of the corridor. Details as to what exactly was found lacking were not provided in the news release by the museum.

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Up until September 27th, the Uffizi Gallery has organized longer openings hours every Tuesday while it offers a Festival of the Performing Arts called “Uffizi Live“.

The summer festival includes theater, dance and musical shows and concerts within the Uffizi’s rooms between 7pm and 10pm on these Tuesdays.

Visitors will thus have an extra plus to their evening visit at the museum on these days, having a chance to enjoy the pictorial and sculptural artworks of the museum along with other forms of art. The shows range from traditional performances to more contemporary and experimental shows.

(Above you see the Versiliadanza Ensemble who performed on June 14th an itinerant piece of contemporary dance across the rooms of the Gallery.)

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On June 28th, the actress Stefania Stefanin, accompanied by the musical notes of Emma Nicoletti’s violin, re-evoked the Ovidian myth of Niobe and the massacre of her children, the Niobids, in the Hall of the Niobe.

The live performances are included with your museum ticket to the Uffizi and should transform a simple visit to the Uffizi into an extra special visit! Check out the program for July below (program for August and September should be released toward the end of the previous month):

Tuesday, July 5th:

The first Tuesday of July will offer a fascinating concert of medieval music and singing. The San Felice Ensemble, composed of five musicians and two singers under the direction of Maestro Federico Bardazzi, will play a selection of sacred and profane pieces of laude and contrafacta written by Francesco Landini, a Florentine composer and musician of the 14th century.

Tuesday, July 12th:

A double show for Uffizi visitors: a classical music concert and a theatrical performance inspired by the “mimic” method. In the Niobe Room, the young Stefania Scapin plays a solo harp piece directed by Maestro Michele Sarti called “Between Bach and Scarlatti”. Meanwhile, across the various rooms of the museum, actors from the Down Theatre Company will bring artworks to life by using mime movements, inspired by the acting method of the great Master of Drama, Orazio Costa.

arte-opera-viva

Tuesday, July 19th:

The Antica Liuteria Sangineto presents “The depicted sound – musical instruments in the art of painting”, a project that mixes music and art history. The artisans of the Sangineto family will display the faithful reconstructions of ancient string instruments they have handcrafted by copying the original ones featured in paintings within the Gallery. The instruments will thus “relive” and play again, each one next to its depicted replica.

Tuesday, July 26th:

July ends with an original and unusual show: a performance of illusion and magic expressly conceived for the artworks of the Uffizi Gallery by Bustric, the Magician. Disguised as an odd night attendant of the museum, Bustric will talk about the artworks while accompanying visitors in a colorful, poetic itinerant tour through the rooms of the Uffizi Gallery.

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Company Blu inaugurated the season on the last Tuesday in May with a contemporary dance performance entitled “4 Steps 4 Angel” by Charlotte Zerbey in the Niobe room.

 

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Have you seen that the Uffizi is currently hosting the exhibition dedicated to painted wooden sculpture of the 15th century, called “He Made Sculpture out of Wood and Colored It”? Make sure you stop by during your visit, because it is really quite breathtaking!

In addition to a simple stop, if you’re at the museum on Thursdays, you could join in on a guided visit to the exhibit. Every Thursday, in fact, the museum is offering 2 guided visits, at 2pm and 4:30pm. The visits are free with paid admission.

All you need to show up at the entrance to the exhibit (at Hall 83 on the first floor) about 10 minutes before. Groups of up to 15 people will then be led into the exhibit together. You can book your spot by calling 055.238.8693 between Tuesday and Saturday, 2:30-4:30pm.

If you miss the guided visits, don’t worry but don’t skip the exhibit! It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see some works up close before they head back to churches and altars.

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On Saturday, May 21st, the Uffizi Gallery will participate in the Europe-wide initiative of “Night at the Museum” and have a special opening in the evening, staying open from 7 to 10pm.

Entrance will be a symbolic 1 euro (except for cases in which entrance is free). Note that it will not be possible to book entrance ahead of time for these hours.

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Starting May 31st and continuing through the summer until September 27th 2016, the Uffizi Gallery will have prolonged opening hours every Tuesday evening. From 7pm until 10pm, the museum will also organize special events connected to works of art in the museum for these special openings which will include music, literature, dance or theater. A detailed program should be available in the next few weeks and we look forward to sharing it with you.

EDIT: Here’s the program for July and for August.

Entrance into the museum during these extra hours will be paid admission, you will be able to book by phone (+39-055-294-883) or online – check the info on this page for more details. The last available time that can be pre-booked is 8pm but you can just head directly to the museum to enter at a later time.

Happy summer visits to the museum!