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Galleria degli Uffizi
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most famous art galleries in the world. Originally the building, constructed at the end of the 16th century, was the offices ("Uffizi") of the Florence magistrates. The Medici used it to store and display the art works they bought or commissioned and it was opened to the public as early as 1765. Today the Gallery occupies the first floor but many works are in storage or have been given to other galleries in the city. Plans are underway to extend the available space. Many of the great works of the Italian Renaissance can be seen here, including paintings by Cimabue, Giotto, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Titian, Uccello, Piero della Francesca, Raphael. Artists from other countries are also represented: Dürer, Rembrandt and Rubens. The beauty of the building itself should not be ignored, with its long perspective between the two wings leading from the Piazza della Signoria down to the Arno, and the frescoed internal decoration. Queues to get in can be exceptionally long in the main tourist season, and visitors are advised to consider booking on-line in advance. Details of this and opening times are on the website.
The Ponte Vecchio (translated as “Old Bridge”) over the Arno River dates from Roman times and was rebuilt in 1345 with further restructuring in 1564. It contains a number of shops and arches, with a corridor above the shops. There is also a statue of Cellini on the bridge.