The Uffizi Galleries reached record numbers in 2018 in terms of visitors and revenue, boasting a 6 per cent and 50.5 per cent increase, respectively.
The museum complex, which comprises the Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens, welcomed 4,153,101 visitors throughout the year, over half of whom went to the Uffizi. Though visits to the gallery were actually down by 0.2 per cent compared to 2017, the museum remains the most visited in Italy.
Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Galleries, expressed how these numbers highlight the “initial results of our work towards deseasonalizing the tourist flows, meant to reduce peak presence typically seen in the spring and summer, and bring more people into the museum in the winter months. We also achieved our goal of attracting visitors to Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens through a series of dedicated measures, helping to alleviate the heavy crowds inside the Uffizi.”
The museum also reported record earnings in 2018, thanks in part to a new seasonal ticketing scheme. The result was 34,090,512 euro, a considerable increase compared to the previous year. It should be noted that almost 30 million of this revenue came from tickets, while roughly 1.3 million derived from photography and publication rights, concessions for filming and renting out spaces for special events. An additional 918,000 euro was earned through private donations.
“The increase in revenue,” Schmidt explained, “allowed us to support initiatives to safeguard our collections, which was not possible for many decades, as well as enhance the usability of the museums, opening new spaces or reopening ones that were closed for several years. We have also been able to invest more energy into scientific research and educational activities.” Evidence of these enhancements can be seen in the opening of the new rooms dedicated to Caravaggio and the 17th century, Michelangelo and Raphael, Leonardo, and the Contini Bonacossi Collection, as well as the opening of the Vasari Auditorium, allowing the museum to host talks and conferences.