Florence's two most famous museums will re-open the kilometre-long corridor that connects them and is itself lined with precious artworks, closed for safety reasons since 2016.
The Uffizi Gallery and its satellite Pitti Palace are linked by the Vasari Corridor, which crosses the iconic Ponte Vecchio, above the shops and houses. Before the closure, it was open only to organized tour groups, but when it re-opens in 2021, the gallery says it will be open to anyone paying for a ticket.
Before it opens, it will get new emergency exits, air conditioning, LED lighting and video surveillance, as well as restored walls and floors. A new ground floor entrance and ticket facility will also be created.
The passageway, commissioned by Cosimo de Medici to celebrate his son's wedding, is named for the architect and builder. It was originally used by Florence's ruling classes to move between the two palaces, long before they became museums. It's the reason the bridge is lined with jewelers, rather than butchers; in 1593, Ferdinando I banned the butchers because the smell of their work entered the corridor.