The Vasari Corridor (Corridoio Vasariano), designed by Giorgio Vasari in the 16th century, is an elevated medieval passageway connecting Palazzo Vecchio and the Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti), each set on opposite banks of the Arno River in Florence. Snaking through and along many of the city's landmarks, the near-mile-long, elevated walkway was once a secret, used by the Medici family to travel unnoticed through Florence. Today, it is an art gallery, home to Italy’s most important collection of self-portraits. Visitors can admire views over the river from its large windows running over the Ponte Vecchio.
This near mile-long walkway is only accessible via small-group guided tours, rendering gallery visits a rare and coveted experience. Official corridor tours are limited to a maximum of one hour for groups of no more than 25, and booking in advance is a must. A literal walk through history, tours take visitors through the Uffizi Gallery; across the river in an enclosed passageway running atop the Ponte Vecchio; along a private balcony in the Church of Santa Felicita; and into the Boboli Gardens, as it extends to the interior of the Pitti Palace. Vasari Corridor tours can be combined with a skip-the-line Uffizi Gallery tour and a private tour of the Pitti Palace museums.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tours are fast-paced, and there are a number of stairs at the beginning and end. The corridor is not wheelchair accessible, nor is it recommended for those with limited mobility.
- The full length of the corridor is not open to the public, so the tour is one-way, leaving visitors in the Boboli Gardens near the Buontalenti Grotto.
- Visitors asked to check large bags will have to make their own way back to the Uffizi Gallery to collect their belongings.
How to Get to the Vasari Corridor
Entrance to the Vasari Corridor is in the western hall on the second floor of the Uffizi Gallery, located in the heart of Florence next to the Palazzo Vecchio. The museum is a 10-minute walk from Santa Maria Novella train station. From there, walk down Via Cerretani until you reach Piazza del Duomo and then take Via Calzaiuoli toward Piazza della Signoria. When facing Palazzo Vecchio, head to the right to find the Uffizi Gallery.
When to Get There
Access to the Vasari Corridor is only available via advance reservations as part of small-group tours led by professional tour guides, so crowds are not an issue even in summer; you can expect a quiet and nearly private visit. As such, space is limited and tours frequently sell out, so if visiting in spring, summer, or fall when there is more demand, be sure to book your tour ahead of time.
Art at the Vasari Corridor
More than 1,000 artworks line the corridor halls, including a famous collection of self-portraits that dates back to the 16th century and features paintings by European greats such as Bernini, Guido Reni, Rubens, Ingres, and Delacroix.