According to rankings published by the art newspaper Giornale dell’Arte, the Uffizi Galleries was the most visited Italian museum in 2021. It beat the Vatican and Colosseum for the first time ever.
The Gallery occupies the first and second floors of a large building, on the banks of the river Arno, constructed between 1560 and 1580 and designed by Giorgio Vasari. It is famous for its collections of sculptures and paintings.
The collections of paintings from the 14th-century and Renaissance period include masterpieces by the likes of Giotto, Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo and Caravaggio. It also houses ancient statues and busts from the Medici family and consists of ancient Roman copies of lost Greek sculptures.
With 1,721,637 visitors last year, the Uffizi pushed the Colosseum into second place with 1,633,436 visitors (in 2020 the Colosseum held the top spot with 1,085,695 visitors).
The Uffizi also came ahead of the Vatican Museums which registered 1,612530 visitors in 2021 and Pompeii archaeological park with 1,037,766 ticket sales.
Director Eike Schmidt thanked the team who worked to make the Galleries even more popular and frequented than before, particularly in the current difficult period. “We are back on an upward trajectory that bodes well for the future. It has been a team effort that has involved all the colleagues who work at the Uffizi with the most diverse tasks. Together it has been possible to achieve the three decisive factors that have been able to attract and retain visitors: the new rooms of the 16th century opened last May, the exhibitions that range from classical antiquity to contemporary art and the cultural offer that we also promote on the web and on social networks”.
The Uffizi also staged the most visited exhibition in Italy in 2021, with a show by the Italian Arte Povera artist Giuseppe Penone attracting 435,283 visitors.
The Uffizi is in 20th place in the list of global rankings which is topped by the Louvre in Paris with 2,825,000 visitors in 2021.