Art history in Florence: the Vasari Corridor

Art history in Florence: the Vasari Corridor

One of the most beautiful mastepiece Florence can be proud of is the Vasari Corridor, an elevated passageway from Palazzo Vecchio towards Palazzo Pitti, passing through the Uffizi Gallery. Its path covers the Lungarno Archibusieri and Ponte Vecchio, and part of the façade of the Santa Felicita church too. Unfortunatelly, it is mostly closed to visitors.

The Corridor was built in just five months in 1564 by order of Cosimo I de’ Medici and designed by Giorgio Vasari. It was commissioned along with the marriage of Cosimo’s son, Francesco, with Johanna of Austria. Cosimo wanted this corridor in order to move freely between his residence and government palace, avoiding normal streets. At the time it was infact a common  between rich families to feel insecure in public. The meat market of Ponte Vecchio was moved for the occasion because of its smell and in it was replaced by the goldsimth shops that you can still see on the bridge. Furthermore, the Corridor was forced to pass around the Mannelli’s Tower, after the opposition of that family to its destruction.

From the middle of Ponte Vecchio, the Corridor offers a suggestive view of the Arno and Ponte Santa Trinita; the windows that you can see nowadays were built for will of Benito Mussolini. It is also known that Hitler liked the visit to the Vasari Corridor; this fact saved Ponte Vecchio from distruction during the II World War.

In the Santa Felicita church the Corridor has a balcony where the Medici used to follow the mass without mixing with the populace.

In the Vasari Corridor a large and prestigious collection of portraits is showed.

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