by Melinda Gallo

Galleria degli Uffizi

I made reservations for my family to go to the Galleria degli Uffizi today. I decided to join them and handed the woman my tessera (membership card) for the "Amici degli Uffizi" to get my free ticket. We had to go to an office across the main entrance to pick up the tickets. We waited in a short line for a few minutes and then walked back to the special entrance for groups and reservations and were ushered quickly inside. After going through the metal detectors, we walked up the grand steps a few levels up and began our tour of the Uffizi.

Living in Florence :: Galleria degli Uffizi

What can be said about the Uffizi museum? It is truly magnificent. Anyone who visits Florence must come look at all of the impressive paintings and sculptures. The museum shows off the prosperity of the city and, of course, the Medici family.

The only pictures you can take from inside the museum are of the outside. I took this picture of the Uffizi, Palazzo Vecchio, and the Duomo from this upstairs area.

My niece had a children's book with pictures and a brief history of some of the artists. We walked from room to room to spot the one shown in her book and I read the small passage to her. She was impressed by the elaborateness of the paintings.

We were fortunate that they are having an exhibition called, "La mente di Leonardo da Vinci" (Leonardo da Vinci's mind), which ends in January 2007. They had two large areas where they displayed notebooks of his sketches and thoughts and had computer representations of how many of his inventions worked. One interesting item was how he drew small objects that each represented a word to then create a sentence. He didn't mix the letters, but rather put the same letters together in the same order to create something new.

In one area, we saw how Leonardo created many experiments to better understand the human eye. He studied how our eyes view things so that he could understand how to paint. On one of the walls, it said, "The fundamental instrument for the painter is the eye, directly connected to the mind and thus the soul."

The last time I visited the Uffizi was back in 1998 when my mom came to visit me while I was living in Florence, so it was wonderful to be able to visit the museum again with my other family members. The museum is still as fascinating as it was the first time I came and I'm sure it won't be the last time I visit. With my tessera, I can go back again at any time for free!

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