Florence’s Uffizi Gallery complex attracted over four million visitors in 2022. This is just short of the 2019 record visitor levels.
The Uffizi Gallery complex in Florence, reported on Thursday it received more than double the number of 2021 visitors. At around 4.1 million visitors, it was more than double the 1.7 million visitors that went to the complex in 2021.
However, the figure was still some 300,000 fewer visitors than in 2019, the year before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that point, the complex registered its all-time record of 4.4 million visitors.
The Uffizi Gallery complex includes the Uffizi, the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens.
Revenue and price increases
The complex also recorded record revenues of €35 million in 2022, with around two million coming from exhibitions organised abroad.
Only recently, the Uffizi announced price rises for 2023. Visitors can expect price changes from March 1, 2023. High season tickets are increasing from €20 to €25. Early risers will receive a minimal discount upon arriving between 8.15 and 8.55am, paying €19 instead of the current €20.
Ticket prices for Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens and PassePartout season tickets remain unchanged, as do low season reductions.
Implemented by the museum’s board of directors and approved by the regional museum directorate for Tuscany and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, the hike has been justified by rising energy and building management costs.
Will the service improve with the price increase?
Whilst the Uffizi Gallery complex is increasing high season tickets by a further 25%, the question remains is will the bar for the experience also be raised? The price rises are aimed squarely at international visitors, the Gallery’s bread and butter.
Queues to enter the Uffizi are notoriously long during the most popular months. Even with pre-booked tickets, as there are only four security entrance points, you can almost guarantee a lengthy wait.
The layout of the most popular pieces of artwork also means it is nigh impossible to spend any time with an uninterrupted view of the masterpieces. Take Botticelli’s Birth of Venus; naturally all guides stop to discuss the painting, it is a major draw and to not discuss its finer points would be remiss. However, without sufficient space around it, there is little chance of visitors getting to see it in all its magnificence.
Whilst we understand it takes considerable care and cost to maintain these precious pieces of art, perhaps Mr Schmidt would care to consider the standard user experience when implementing such a huge hike in entrance fee. It is the visitors, after all, who contributed the majority of last year’s €35million revenue.