The Vasari Corridor
The Vasari Corridor: A Unique Aerial Corridor in Florence
The Vasari Corridor is still closed to the public as of September 2023. It was scheduled to be open this year but no official date has been released. One source of the delay was new a new archeological discovery.
The Vasari Corridor is approximately 3/4 of a kilometer long, and passes through some of Florence's most iconic landmarks, including the Ponte Vecchio and the Boboli Gardens. It also has a view into the church of Santa Felicita.
The corridor was built in 1565 by Giorgio Vasari for Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici. Cosimo I wanted to be able to travel safely between his residence in the Pitti Palace and the government offices in the Uffizi without having to mix with the common people - and it also allowed for some discrete spying as you can see and hear what is happening on the streets below and the Ponte Vecchio without being seen yourself.
In modern times, the Vasari Corridor has been turned into a museum. It is open to the public and visitors can take a guided tour through the corridor (when it isn't under renovation!) and learn about its history and the art collection.
Highlights of the Vasari Corridor
- The collection of over 700 self-portraits, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Rembrandt will no longer be a part of the corridor - they will be replaced with "a selection of ancient statues and inscriptions, sixteenth-century frescoes originally decorating the external walls of the Corridor, and two memorials dedicated to the 1993 Via dei Georgofili Bombing and the 1944 WWII Bombing of Florence respectively.1"
- The views of Florence from the windows.
- The opportunity to walk over the Ponte Vecchio without having to mix with the crowds below.
- The unique experience of walking through a secret passageway that was used by the Medici family.
Tips for visiting the Vasari Corridor
- Once they are available again, book your tickets as far in advance as possible, especially if you are visiting during the peak season - the tickets will be limited as the space can only hold so many people at a time.
- Wear comfortable shoes, as you will be doing a lot of walking.
- Be aware of your surroundings and be respectful of other visitors.
New arrangement of the Vasari Corridor
A view of the Ponte Vecchio from the Vasari Corridor
The Vasari Corridor was closed for renovations in 2016 and is scheduled to reopen in 2023, but an exact date has yet to be released. The new arrangement of the corridor modernizes the structure in terms of new safety rules, full accessibility, and a new air conditioning system.
The 73 windows of the corridor are one of the main focuses of the visit. Through them, visitors can enjoy the view of the historic center as Grand Duke Cosimo did in the second half of the 16th century.
Along the way, visitors can also admire a selection of Greek and Roman statues and ancient inscriptions, the sixteenth-century frescoes decorating the corridor's exterior, and two important sections dedicated to the history of the corridor and the city.
Here is an official video:
1. This information is from the official website
Here is the official location of Vasari Corridor on the map: