In 2012 the Uffizi Gallery and its artistic itineraries have been extended to offer its visitors 17 new rooms located on the first floor and painted on either intense blue or red. This first step of the “New Uffizi” project expanded the visible collections and gave a better distribution of the museum’s spaces. The eight new Blue rooms are dedicated to foreign painters from Flanders, Holland, France and Spain from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. The nine Red ones to Italian High Renaissance paintings by masters such as del Sarto, Fiorentino, Pontormo and Bronzino. In addition, the beautiful octagonal Tribune in the West wing was finally reopened after two years of restoration and rearrangement. The Tribuna was built in 1581 by Bernardo Buontalenti, as a place for Grand Duke Francesco I to display his treasures. Octagonal in shape, it has a dome crowned with a lantern and is lit by windows on the upper walls. Its chief glory is the precious mother-of-pearl decoration against a bright blue ground on the drum of the dome, and the dome itself covered with 6000 shells against a crimson background, all of which have been spectacularly restored on this occasion. The adjoining Stanzino delle Matematiche has now been opened and renovated with its emerald green walls and “grotteschi” on the ceiling.
by Massimo Parlanti – Westin Excelsior Florence