The Vasari Corridor (Corridoio Vasariano) or the Prince’s Passage in Florence, links the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge to one the city's finest Renaissance palaces.
This passageway, located above the famed Uffizi museum, not only showcases beautiful and rare views of the city, but also contains over 1000 priceless paintings.
These include self- portraits of many famous artists, such as Rembrandt and Bernini.
The corridor was built in 1565 by architect Giorgio Vasari for the Grand Duke of Florence, Cosimo I de' Medici. Cosimo I had taken over the city when Florence was in deep economic trouble.
By 1561 the population had even fell to just sixty thousand, less than any other major Italian city of the time.
It was the moment for hard decisions by hard men and the city experiennced an urban renewal plan dictated from the very top. So, Vasari always understood that his artistic ideas were related to the will of the Duke.
The passageway was built as part of a reconfiguration of the main zone of government in Florence. This also included rebuilding Piazza della Signoria and interventions to the Uffizi.
The design of the corridor allowed the Duke to benefit from walking freely and in private from his place of residence in the Pitti Palace and office, away from the prying public eye.
Visiting the Vasari Corridor is not something that you can do easily like most museums. It is such an exclusive and special opportunity it is necessary to make an appointment with a private tour group.
These tours usually last around three hours and range in price.