The Vasari Corridor, the elevated enclosed passageway built in 1585 to connect Palazzo Vecchio to the Pitti Palace in Florence, will reopen to the public in 2021. Closed since 2016 for safety reasons, it will undergo an 18-month, 10-million euro renovation. The announcement came on Monday from Uffizi Director Eike Schmidt during a press conference in Florence, who talked of the “democratic opening, for visitors from around the world, of the very famous Vasari Corridor” (so far it was only accessible occasionally or by special arrangement).
The Vasari Corridor will only be walked in one direction, from the Uffizi to Palazzo Pitti, with an estimated maximum number of 125 people in the corridor at the same time. At the end of the itinerary, visitors can choose whether to exit via the Boboli Gardens or continue inside Palazzo Pitti, near the Galleria Palatina.
The renovation project includes the reopening of the corridor’s 73 windows (finestre del Vasariano). Until now, many were obscured to protect the paintings. Thus visitors will be able to enjoy a unique panoramic walk, which overlooks the historic heart of Florence, passing over the Ponte Vecchio, crossing the Arno river and the Oltrarno district to reach the former Medici’s residence.
The Vasari Corridor will also feature two historic Memorials, the detached frescoes of the outer vaults, about 30 ancient sculptures and a few hundred Greek and Roman inscriptions. The more than 700 self-portrait paintings that lined the corridor have been removed and will be exhibited in a new series of rooms scheduled to open soon on the first floor of the Gallery of Statues and Paintings.
It is estimated that, once reopened, the Vasari Corridor will attract 500,000 visitors a year. The Corridor will be open on a regular basis, from Tuesday to Sunday, as per the Uffizi’s opening hours, with the possibility of extra opening days, two Mondays a month, when the Boboli Gardens are also open. Advance reservation will be required. To access the Vasari Corridor, visitor will have to buy a special ticket, which is expected to cost €20 in low season, €45 in high.