Uffizi diffusi - the gallery takes artwork on a tour of Tuscany

The Uffizi goes on a tour of Tuscany

By Region Culture News North-west Italy

‘Uffizi diffusi’ – that’s the name of the Uffizi gallery’s latest project. It is taking its artwork across Tuscany to museums in towns associated with the art.

The idea is to highlight the work in a local context. The first stop is the island of Elba to celebrate Napoleon’s bicentenary.

The Uffizi Gallery houses masterpieces by Michelangelo, Botticelli, da Vinci, Caravaggio and others as part of its Renaissance art collections.

Scattered Uffizi

Now some of these treasures are taking to the road art tourism project called Uffizi Diffusi (Italian for “scattered Uffizi”).

Some pieces will travel to as many as 100 sites across the greater Tuscany region. Each piece will have a local connection to the museum or area where they’re on display.

At a press conference Uffizi Gallery director, Eike Schmidt, said the project will shine the spotlight on various parts of the cultural history of Tuscany, encouraging tourists to explore more of the region. This takes the heat off Florence, for instance, which was among the Italian cities struggling with overtourism pre-pandemic.

Other dates have yet to be confirmed.

First stop – Elba

The first stop on the tour is Elba. The Tuscan island is where Napoleon Bonaparte spent his exile from May 1814 until February 1815. The pieces will be in time for the exhibition Nel Segno di Napoleone (In the name of Napoleon) at the Pinacoteca Foresiana gallery in Portofferaio.

The Uffizi website describes the exhibition as having a “twofold aim of underlining the indissoluble bond between the French emperor and the island of Elba”, and of “highlighting a fundamental juncture in the island’s history through the treasures of the Uffizi and the Pinacoteca itself”.

The exhibition opened last week and will run until October 10, 2021. On Elba it showcases artwork associated with the military and political leader including canvas, marble and porcelain portraits.

“Thanks to this initiative, we will be able to enjoy the treasures of the Uffizi that would otherwise have remained unknown to us and at the same time learn more about a key figure in the history of modern Europe like Napoleon Bonaparte, who had a deep bond with Tuscany,” said Eugenio Giani, president of the Tuscany region.

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