Vasari Corridor – Florence holiday
If you have recently booked a Florence holiday, or are thinking of going, now is a great time to go. With Dan Brown’s “Inferno” being filmed in Florence, never have secret passageways and doors, been more relevant than now! The Vasari Corridor is a little better known than this, however, most people indulging in a Florence holiday, will still return home without having visited.
The Vasari Corridor connects the Palazzo Vecchio, the Palazzo Pitti and the Uffizi Gallery, and can be walked between all three if you take part in a tour. Historically the Vasari Corridor only took 5 months to build on the orders of Grand Duke Cosimo I de’Medici in 1564. The intention was for Cosimo to travel between his residence and government palace, without coming into contact with the public, whose response to him he felt would be less than favourable.
At the time the meat market was moved due to its stench travelling up to the corridor, and replaced with the goldsmith shops, which are still there. As well as this there is a balcony made into part of the Church of Saint Felicity, so that Cosimo’s family could enjoy the church service without mixing with the locals. Two well known political figures had an impact on the structure of the Vasari Corridor - Mussolini who ordered the small panoramic windows facing the Arno, and Hitler who requested that larger windows were then installed, so that he could enjoy a better panoramic view of the river.
The building of the Vasari Corridor was not without its problems. The corridor had to be built around the Mannelli Tower as the owners of the tower refused to alter it. Ironically enough the Church of Saint Felicity lost part of its own façade by the corridor’s presence. For the corridor to make its way to the Pitti Palace, it has to weave its way over rows of houses, becoming narrower by each turn. Most of this last part is not accessible to visitors.
Unfortunately the Uffizi entrance was badly damaged in 1993 due to Italian Mafia releasing a car bomb in the area. This resulted in the building being damaged and some works in the corridor being completely destroyed. Luckily some were able to be salvaged and returned to their original location as a reminder of the anniversary.
Having read all about Florence in Dan Brown’s latest installment, you really need to add this fantastic tour to your Florence holiday. As always we recommend booking these prior to travel to avoid any disappointment. Time to follow in Robert Langdon’s footsteps!