On Italy’s Republic Day, June 2, some of Florence’s most important museums and cultural sites reopened to the public, following the reopening a week or two earlier of such iconic sites as Palazzo Pitti, the Boboli Gardens, the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, the Cathedral, the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile.
Let’s have a look at what has reopened and what the new rules and opening hours are for the time being.
There’s no longer a single ticket to enter the sites that make up the Duomo complex, but five different ones, all requiring advance reservation.
From June 1, the Cathedral, museum and other sites within the Duomo complex will only be open on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and on June 24 for Florence’s Patron Saint Day. Opening days and hours will be adjusted in the months to come based on the influx of visitors. Access to the Cathedral is free, but still requires advance reservation. To enter the Duomo the cost is €10, €5 for the Baptistery and €15 for Giotto's bell tower.
For each site’s opening hours, please visit https://duomo.firenze.it/en/home.
The English-style garden of Villa Bardini, with its woods, winding paths, statues, fountains and beautiful view over Florence has reopened with extended hours (open from 8:45 am to 9 pm until the end of August). Every Saturday and Sunday in June, children visiting the garden with their parents will be offered complimentary breakfast or afternoon snacks at the Loggetta bar. At sunset, the Italian flag will be projected on the villa’s facade, and it will be best admired from Lungarni along the banks of the Arno river. Villa Bardini will remain closed until some renovation work is completed. https://www.villabardini.it/en
The Accademia Gallery, famous for housing the David, also reopened on June 2, after almost three months of closure due to the nationwide lockdown. Good news for visitors: the entrance fee has been reduced from €12 to €8, and a maximum of 50 visitors can be inside the museum at the same time, making for a much more enjoyable experience. The Opera Laboratori Fiorentini has developed an app for Accademia visitors, which can be downloaded for free when inside the museum: it warns visitors by vibrating when they get too close to other visitors. The app is called ‘The Right Distance’. At the moment, visitors need to follow a specific one-way itinerary. More info is available here: http://www.accademia.org/.
The Museum at Palazzo Vecchio with its magnificent Salone dei Cinquecento also reopened on June 2. Parts of the museum, including the walls walkway, the Arnolfo Tower and the archaeological excavations, remain closed. Opening hours are from 2 pm to 7 pm. Advance online reservation is mandatory at the following link: http://bigliettimusei.comune.fi.it/.
Palazzo Pitti has been open since May 28. As for other museums and sites in Italy and Florence, a thermoscanner at the entrance takes the temperature of everyone entering; those with a temperature of 37.5°C or higher will be forbidden entrance. It is mandatory to wear a face mask at all times and to keep a distance of 1.80 meters with other people. It’s not possible to assemble and groups cannot exceed 10 people. Tour guides must use microphone and earphones, regardless of the number of people in their group. The entrance ticket remains unchanged, while opening hours, at least for now, have been reduced to allow for daily sanitizing operations (8:30 am to 1:30 pm).
At Palazzo Pizzi, the Treasury of the Grand Dukes and the Porcelain Museum, where social distancing cannot be guaranteed, will remain closed for now.
When the Boboli Gardens reopened on May 27, more than 2,000 people entered the site in the following four days. About a third were Florence residents, and the rest were Tuscan residents (given that the borders among Italian regions were still closed). The Gardens are open from 8:15 am to 6:15 pm every day except on the first and last Monday of the month. Wearing a face mask is mandatory also in the gardens.
On June 2, the Loggia dei Lanzi reopened in Piazza della Signoria, one day before the much awaited re-opening of the Uffizi. Even if outdoors, the Loggia dei Lanzi had also been closed during the lockdown. Now, a maximum of ten people can access the area at the same time.
“We decided what to open based on the guidelines provided by the scientific committee: first the open-air museums, such as Boboli, then the smaller museums, those with less than 100,000 visitors a year, and finally the largest ones, such as the Uffizi,” explained the Uffizi director Eike Schmidt, who welcomed the first visitors to the museum on June 3 in person.
As for other museums, at the Uffizi a thermoscanner at the entrance will measure visitors’ temperature, hand sanitizing solutions will be available at the entrance, in and outside bathrooms and in several locations across the museum; a maximum of 450 people at the same time will be allowed inside. For those who can, it’s an opportunity to visit one of the world’s most famous museums without crowds. https://www.uffizi.it/en/the-uffizi.
The Uffizi have reopened with the following times: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 2PM - 6.30PM (last entry 5.30PM); Saturday and Sunday 9AM-6.30PM (last entry 5.30 PM).