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Guided tour recommended for 1st visit to Uffizi & Accademia?

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Canton, MI
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Guided tour recommended for 1st visit to Uffizi & Accademia?

My wife & I will be visiting to Uffizi & Accademia for the 1st time on our 1st visit to Italy on Sunday, June 30th.

We're wondering if a guided tour is recommended or whether we should just reserve in advance & go it alone?

Any recommendations for tour operators offering guided tours to Uffizi and/or Accademia?

How much time is recommended for visit to each place?

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1. Re: Guided tour recommended for 1st visit to Uffizi & Accademia?

The Uffizi is stunning, even if you know little about the Renaissance, but if you are well-prepared or reasonably well-informed, you will get much more from your visit. Some prefer to do their own research beforehand, others would rather be guided through the collection - each to his own. You can get an audioguide or there are plenty of guides who will be recommended to you by posters on here.

If you click on 'things to do' on the left of the screen and then 'Tours' you will find details fo many different tours and guides. A brief look suggests that #18, 21,41,74,75,,76,77 may have something you might find useful.

For the Accademia, the star attraction is obviously Michelangelo's David. If you want to see the most famous sculpture in the world, see the original here and ignore those who say you might just as well look at the copy in the Piazza della Signoria. There is no comparison and the copy is only really there to show where the original statue stood. Other may disagree, but, as long as you prepare a bit in advance, you can 'do' the Accademia on your own.

If you decide to book tickets in advance, please read the article here :


As for time - Uffizi, minimum of 2-3 hours, Accademia, upwards of one hour.

Edited: 24 May 2012, 14:08
Savannah, GA
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2. Re: Guided tour recommended for 1st visit to Uffizi & Accademia?

I'd run straight to Eugene Martinez! The difference in brushing the surface at these two wonderful experiences and being immersed - immersed! - is having a passionate, informed, articulate guide who will expose you to levels upon levels of knowledge, appreciation (and even gossipy little tidbits!) of an artistic heritage. (His web site is www.ars-opulenta.com.)

How much time is recommended? Approximately a lifetime! But if you make the investment of being accompanied by an advocate (for YOU and the ART), you will thank yourself for many years to come. And you'll talk about this guy the way we do! (His English is splendid, too, {He's a transplanted American} and this helps if you're going around the first time and not yet accustomed to the delightful, but quirky Italianish of some of the Italian native guides.)

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Guided tour recommended for 1st visit to Uffizi & Accademia?

This is from someone who would rather die than do a tour: Why wouldn't you want to experience this fantastic collection of art by yourselves?

My husband and I walked through the Uffizi on our first day for a few hours. We thought about what we saw that we wanted to know more about. The next day, we bought a thick Uffizi guide in the museum bookstore, went to the galleries we had not yet visited, and sat down at lunch with the book. Then we revisited the paintings we liked the most, struggling all of the time to avoid the tour groups.

As to l'Accademia, the David is fabulous, of course, but there are also wonderful paintings in that gallery that are mostly ignored.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Guided tour recommended for 1st visit to Uffizi & Accademia?

I am with New York -- tours are my personal hell -- I am sure there are excellent ones -- but there are many who trade in clever anecdotes to entertain those who don't know much about art and culture -- they drive me nuts

on the other hand, the Malcolm Miller lecture/tour at Chartres was fascinating --

and I have friends who are docents and whose tours I have attended with benefit

a lot of it depends on what you enjoy -- I enjoy studying up and then seeing what I want to see at the pace I choose

if you have enjoyed tours other places, no reason you might not enjoy one at the Uffizi.

Canton, MI
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5. Re: Guided tour recommended for 1st visit to Uffizi & Accademia?

Thanks for all the great advice!

We've reserved a 8:30 AM spot for Accademia (through the ticket office) for us to visit by ourselves & get as early (uncrowded) access to David as possible.

Any recommendations to help us decide between Art Viva vs. Guided Florence Tours for small group tour of Uffizi?

We'll debating between a 2 hour guided small group tour of Uffizi with either Art Viva @ 1:30 PM or Guided Florence Tours @ 3 PM. Art Viva seems to charge less (39 €/pp), since their group can be twice as big (i.e. up to 22 people) vs.Guided Florence Tours which charges 50 €/pp.

6. Re: Guided tour recommended for 1st visit to Uffizi & Accademia?

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