6 reasons why you should visit the Uffizi Gallery on a private tour

The Uffizi Gallery is the most frequently visited museum in Florence. Its incredible collection of Italian painting attracts the visitors from all over the world.
Most of the guests who enter the Gallery want to admire the masterpieces by Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Caravaggio. However, the Uffizi Gallery offers much more than that!

How big the Uffizi Gallery is?

Corridor of the Uffizi Gallery
The corridor on the second floor of the Uffizi Gallery, photo by Luca Aless.

The Uffizi Gallery is located in a sixteenth-century building, which used to host the state administration offices. Its unique architecture, designed by Giorgio Vasari, offers a topic for a separate article. However, the Uffizi turned into an art gallery during the eighteenth century during the Habsburg-Lorena family rule. Today the exhibition space of the Gallery covers the two floors of the Uffizi’s immense structure.  There are 101 rooms and a temporary exhibition space. The Uffizi are a sort of temple of art but for these who visits the Gallery for the first time, the Uffizi might seem a labyrinth. How not to get lost between the gallery rooms? How to get the most of your visit?

Why it is worth booking a private tour of the Uffizi Gallery?

In my opinion, the best way to visit the Uffizi is to hire an expert private guide who will show you around and help you to make the most of your time. Let me explain you why it is worth visiting the Uffizi Gallery with a private guide.

One: Your Uffizi Gallery tour is fully customized

Hiring a private tour guide allows you to fully customize your visit. This is particularly important if you travel with your children and you want them to enjoy the visit as well or when you have a particular interest and you plan a themed visit. For myself, I always prepare family friendly tours if I know there are younger guests in the group. Children, depending on their age, get customized colouring books with some information about the paintings and with the stories about the artists’ lives. I also enjoy designing themed visits, itineraries focused for example on particular period or subject. Together we can learn more about the introduction of linear perspective to painting, iconography of the Virgin and Child, Caravaggio and his followers and so on. With a private guide you decide the content of your tour!

Two: You have an expert at your side

Johann Zoffany, The Tribuna of the Uffizi, 1778-78, Royal Collection, Windsor Castle.

Visiting the Uffizi Gallery with a private guide means that you have an expert at your side ready to answer any of your questions. I always advice travellers to check the curriculum of their guide. It is worth booking your tours with an art historian, historian or an archaeologist who has studied art and history and possess an in-depth knowledge of the subject. An expert at your side is a source of interesting stories, curiosities and surprising observations about art.

Three: Private tours are often more convenient

Private tours are often considered a luxury while most of the times they are much cheaper than group tours. Without any doubt, private tours offer more value for money!

Let us have a look at the prices of the most popular Uffizi group tours. You can easily book a 1h30’ group tour of the Uffizi for 65 euro per person. This price includes also the tickets to the gallery, so the tour costs only 41 euro per person because the price of the ticket is 24 euro. It seems much cheaper than 180 euro + the tickets that you can find on my website.

Where is the difference? First of all, the group tours last 1h30’ including the time you need to enter the Gallery. Even with a pre-booked ticket, you need to allow some time for the security checks at the entrance and with 15 people in the group it might take a while. Then there is the ticket control and the group needs to climb the two floors to get to the gallery. It can easily take about 20 minutes to enter the Uffizi. At this point your guided tour will last only 1h10’, which is enough only to see the second floor of the Gallery. What about Caravaggio whose paintings are displayed on the first floor, at the very end of the itinerary? The truth is that the group tours often do not get there. Your tour guide will most probably leave you at the cafeteria on the second floor and you will explore the rest of the gallery on your own.

Bronzino’s portraits are located on the first floor of the gallery. Most of the group tours never get to see them!

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If you travel on your own, group tours are cheaper but if you are a family, a private tour is much more convenient.  Imagine a family of 5 paying 325 euro for a 1h30’ guided tour with the tickets included. My price for a private tour for 5 people with their tickets is 300 euro and it is a 3-hours tour of the Gallery! You pay less and the tour is twice as long! For me a 3-hours tour means that we spend 3 hours inside of the gallery! If there is a line for the visitors with the reservation, I do not count that time to our visit. You don’t pay me for queuing!

Why do I offer 3-hours tours? Because I think that this is the optimal amount of time to visit the Uffizi without rush. In 3 hours, we have time to properly visit the Gallery on a relaxed pace, we have time for a coffee-break and pictures. We don’t have to run between the rooms!

However, I am flexible as well, so if you prefer a shorter tour, just ask me for it. 2-hours tour costs 120 euro + the tickets, so if you travel with your partner or friend and it’s only two of you, you spend 168 euro for a private tour against 130 euro for 1h30’ group tour! Great value for money!

Four: Private guide is flexible

As I wrote before, private tour guides are flexible! You can decide how long you want to tour with me, what museums you want to see. If your hotel is in the historical centre, I can pick you up directly at the hotel. I can help you organize private transportation, food tastings, and other local experiences. I can construct your itinerary around your needs and interests! You don’t have to choose ready products and do what you don’t want to do!

Five: Private guide offers you useful tips and advises  

A private tour guide is an infinite source of tips and advises about Florence and Tuscany. During our tour you can simply squeeze me like a lemon and ask me anything you want. I can advice you where to go for dinner, where to shop, where to find good leather products, what kind of shops you should avoid and what other sights you should see. I am here for you and I want you to enjoy your holiday!

Six: Your private guide speaks your language and only your language!

Unfortunately, if you book group tours, it can happen that your guide offers a bilingual tour and repeats the same information in two languages, even if you thought your tour would be only in English. These little details are rarely specified on the websites of tour agencies. It is often happens that what was advertised as an English-speaking tour, is a bilingual tour in English and Spanish. With a private guide you avoid that risk! Your guide speaks your language and you don’t have to worry about the other members of the group!

Caravaggio, Medusa, 1597, Uffizi Gallery, Florence. – This would be my face if I would have to listen to a bilingual tour!

I hope that this little article can be helpful! Unfortunately, many tour agencies don’t describe their products very precisely. Before booking your tours, always look for reviews of your guides and tour agents. And remember, private guides always offer the best value for money!

Looking for a tour of the Uffizi Gallery? Contact me to organize your visit!