Welcome to the Uffizi
Sitting on the banks of the Arno in Florence, the Uffizi galleries house one of the best collections of Renaissance art anywhere in the world.
Uffizi means 'offices', and the building was made in 1560 as offices for the Magistrates of Cosimo I de' Medici, head of the city's most powerful family. Wander the courtyard and admire the building, and also spot the statues of famous Florentines like the poet Dante!
The galleries welcome around 2 million visitors every year, but you can skip the queues here and explore the hallways...
Make sure to look up and spot the magnificent ceiling frescoes, done in 1580-81 by Alessandro Allori.
And enjoy the sculptures which adorn the corridors, as well as the view out over the river...
From here you can spot the crowds flowing over the famous Ponte Vecchio.
The Annunciation (c.1472-75), which you can find in the Uffizi galleries, is one of the earliest works by Leonardo da Vinci.
The young Leonardo, probably in his 20s, completed the picture alongside his master, Andrea del Verrochio. Though it's a collaboration, certain details like Mary's hand on the Bible, the translucent drapery on the book stand, and the hazy background, are quintessential Leonardo.
Annunciation by Leonardo da VinciUffizi Gallery
The Birth of Venus (1485-86) by Sandro Botticelli is maybe the most famous painting in the gallery's collection.
According to myth, the goddess of beauty emerged from the sea fully formed, and was blown gently to shore by Zephyr, the wind god.
The birth of Venus by Sandro BotticelliUffizi Gallery
Explore the rooms branching off the main corridors to discover the incredible collections. Up ahead is Michelangelo's Doni Tondo (1507). The circular work is his only surviving panel painting, and shows the Holy Family.
Outside are the arches of the Loggia dei Lanzi, housing replicas of some very famous statues, and the vast Palazzo Vecchio.