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  • Address: Via de' Bardi, 60-red
  • Hours: Wed & Fri at 2pm & 4:30pm and Thurs at 9am & 11:30am
  • Admission: €9.50-15, plus obligatory booking charge (€4) and Uffizi Gallery tkt (€11)
Built in 1564, the Vasari Corridor was designed to enable the Grand Duke Cosimo I de Medici to move between the Pitti Palace where he lived, the Uffizi where he had his offices, and on to the Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of Florentine government since the 13th century. Almost one kilometer (two-thirds of a mile) long, the elevated corridor passes overhead from the Uffizi, across the Arno River over the top of the shops lining the Ponte Vecchio, through the church of Santa Felicita, crossing gardens and houses until it reaches the Palazzo Pitti.

It was built in just five months, making it a major feat of both architecture and civic power – and paranoia: the Grand Duke no longer wanted to mingle with his people and risk being abused or possibly knifed. He also disliked the smells emanating from the butchers’ shops along the Ponte Vecchio and had them all replaced with the less offensive goldsmiths, which to this day still line the bridge.

The Vasari Corridor is lined with self-portraits by artists, nearly 1,000 paintings in all, dating from the 16th century and still being added to today. Access to the corridor is only by guided tour.

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