How to avoid the Uffizi queues

Posted by on Jan 2, 2019 in Discussion, News | 0 comments

In spite of reading all about The Uffizi queues and considering booking online before I left the UK – I decided that it would be better to wait until we arrived before doing so. After all we were here for a longer break – and I thought I would have space to book ahead. 

This was a big mistake – once we were here there were no spaces for pre-booking until several days after we had left, even though we had 4-5 days notice. Still, we thought, we can get up early and go. We arrived at the Uffizi at 8am for an 815 opening and there was already a long queue snaking across the courtyard and into the corridor under the gallery on the opposite side of the square. 

Then we thought it might move fast – it did not. At first we were fooled as the queue moved quite quickly – then it stopped tantalisingly close to the entrance for about one hour. 

It seems there is an absolute limit to the numbers allowed in at any one time and of course, those with timed bookings or in groups (some of which may be 50 people or more) take priority. We actually got in at 1045 by which time we were very cold, and exhausted. We rushed straight for the canteen (on the top floor) and enjoyed the view with coffees and light snacks. Not cheap but fantastically reviving and we could sit there as long as we liked. 

After that we had the marvels of the museum to enjoy. It was worth the wait – the Botticellis alone are worth the entrance fee and the long wait. They are simply stunning particularly, of course, ‘The Birth of Venus,’ and ‘Primavera.’  More tomorrow. 

As this was primarily to warn people about the queues (so you do not make the same mistake as we did) – here is what we have learned. 

BOOK AHEAD, BOOK AHEAD, BOOK AHEAD

1- book before you leave home at the Uffizi gallery site – it is not the first site that comes up, others are tour companies. 

2 – if you can’t or don’t book ahead,  go the queue on the day where you can book ahead (we did not find this but were told it later, probably door 3) e.g. go there at 08.30 and book for 11.30 (there will be a 4 euro booking fee but that is nothing).

3 – you could consider a tour – these are expensive but you do get in earlier than the queue-on-the-day crowd. 

4 – take some refreshments if you are going to queue on the day – it will be a long wait – you won’t be able to take anything left  into the museum but you will have plenty of time to finish whatever you have. 

5 – in the summer have some sun protection

Have a wonderful time once you are inside – remember to look out the windows of the gallery – there are lovely views up and down the river and of the Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio

 

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