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Originally built as offices, or uffizi in Italian, for the Florentine magistrates, the building eventually changed roles. In the 16th century it adopted the Medici family’s massive collection of art. The structure has seen a lot of action over the years, including a mafia car bomb and severe flooding, both which have had effects on the collection. Today, thanks to modernization efforts, Florence has brought the Uffizi into the 21st century, making it a world-class museum.
As it overlooks the Arno River, the Uffizi is a photogenic marvel itself. It’s the artists whose work is hanging on the walls, however, who are the real stars. The museum features more than 100 rooms highlighting Renaissance artists like Caravaggio and Titian, among other Italian masters. Your guide will tell you the secrets and stories behind several important works, like Raphael’s “Self Portrait.” You’ll witness first-hand Botticelli’s “Primavera” as well as his iconic “Birth of Venus,” a painting that has been a part of popular culture for years. You’ll be able to browse the rest of the collection afterwards, armed with essential knowledge to appreciate these Renaissance masterpieces.