Vasari Corridor

A tour of the Vasari Corridor in Florence is a highlight from my recent trip to Italy.

Cosimo I de’ Medici is responsible for the existence of the corridor.  Constructed in 1564, designed by Giorgio Vasari, it was built in connection with the wedding of Cosimo’s son.  The idea for the corridor came about because the Grand Duke wanted to be able to travel between his residence and offices without having to go out in public.  He was not very comfortable traveling in public, like most monarchs of the time.

The corridor traverses the River Arno on top of the shops that line the Ponte Vecchio (notice the large windows in the center)…

vasari corridor

 The meat markets which were there were relocated in order to remove the unpleasant smell and were replaced by goldsmiths shops that still occupy the bridge today.

Our tour began on the Uffizi side of the corridor and I felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland as we entered the obscure unmarked door accompanied only by our guide and a security guard…

Vasari Corridor

the beautiful ceiling…

Vasari Corridor

looking back toward the door where we entered…

Vasari Corridor

This area was the site of a terrorist attack in 1993.  During a night in May, a car full of explosives was set off killing 5 people and damaging several houses as well as this section of the Corridor.  Some of the damaged paintings have been pieced back together and hang here to serve as reminder…

Vasari Corridor

looking out to the river…

Vasari Corridor

The middle section of the corridor now contains large windows which replaced the smaller original windows in 1939.

here is an original window…

Vasari Corridor

Benito Mussolini had the panoramic windows installed prior to Adolph Hitler’s visit to Florence in order to enhance the view.

It was a bit creepy to stand there and think of Mussolini and Hitler standing in the same spot looking out of the same windows…

Vasari Corridor

In the Uffizi section hangs the museum’s famous self-portrait collection…

Vasari Corridor

 

Vasari Corridor

Vasari Corridor

After crossing the Ponte Vecchio, the corridor passes over the church of Santa Felicita on the same level as the church’s balcony overlooking the interior.  This enabled the royal family to attend services without coming in contact with the public…

Vasari Corridor

Vasari Corridor

Vasari Corridor

When I told you I felt a bit like Alice you will really believe me when you see where we “popped out” of the corridor on the palace side of the river…

Vasari Corridor

see the small door on the far left of the grotto…

Vasari Corridor

This is the exit for the corridor today, it actually emptied into the interior of the Pitti Palace originally.  You should have seen the look on people’s faces when the door opened and the 6 of us strolled out!…

Vasari Corridor

When you go to Florence, you don’t want to miss this extraordinary hallway…

dog in hall

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