From March 1, 2018, tickets to the Uffizi Galleries will include free entry to Florence’s National Museum of Archaeology.
This incentive by the Uffizi Galleries is more than a ticket deal; it is part of city-wide efforts to decentralise the influx of visitors, encouraging tourists to venture beyond the iconic landmarks and explore the lesser frequented areas of Florence.
The two museums have been working closely for over a year, with the new ticket scheme forming part of a five-year agreement to develop stronger ties through collaborative research, lecture and workshop series, and exhibitions on archaeology and ancient civilizations. 2.5 per cent of the Uffizi’s ticket sales will be invested in the Archaeology Museum for restorations of archaeological artefacts, infrastructure and research projects.
At the press conference, Uffizi Galleries director Eike Schmidt commented, “The renewed connection between the Uffizi and the National Archaeological Museum of Florence highlights the central role of the classical civilizations and disciplines studied to understand the subsequent historical development and today’s and tomorrow’s world.”
Director of Florence’s National Archaeological Museum Mario Iozzo also explained, “The new partnership agreement with the Uffizi Galleries is to be regarded as an extremely positive initiative as the two institutions, which have had a shared history for most of their existences, now enjoy greater integration. Visitors to Florence will be stimulated to appreciate what is on display in the Uffizi in the same historical context as the Medici and Lorraine collection now on show in the Archaeological Museum, alongside many Etruscan treasures subsequently acquired thanks to archaeological discoveries in the last two centuries.”
For centuries, the Uffizi was famous for its collection of ancient artefacts, originally exhibiting the ancient marble collections of the Medici alongside Egyptian statues and Etruscan and Roman art. With the restructuring of the museum during the Risorgimento, the Grand Duchy’s collection was moved off site with almost the entirety of its artefacts now conserved at the National Museum of Archaeology. This is the type of narration that the city’s cultural officials are hoping will entice true art and history lovers to venture off the usual tourism route.
In 2017, the Uffizi boasted around 2.2 million visitors, while the National Museum of Archaeology in Florence had closer to 65,000, of which only a third were paying customers.
Article updated January 25, 4pm.