The Uffizi Museum made it to hit over 100.000 followers on its Instagram profile ‘UffiziGalleries’. One of the top Italian museums in number of followers, the Uffizi even competes with the top contemporary art museums such as the Venice Peggy Guggenheim that has 147.000 followers. On Twitter, the Uffizi is second only to the Milan Brera museum, although it’s the first in terms of engagement, the frequency with which followers react to posts. In addition, the launch of the new official website has brought the museum to be the first in all research engines and browsers, a quite important result as the infinite websites of online scalpers are not following the museum’s official.
The Director of the Uffizi Museum Complex, Eike Schmidt, welcomed such good results with great satisfaction and appraisal.
“Our two social media and our website are fundamental tools to favor dialogues and debates on the art of the Uffizi as well as on the the life of the museum. Just over two years ago, the Uffizi did not even have a website, and now we are amongst the best among Italian museums,” said Schmidt.
“It is of particular value that both on Instagram and Twitter we are able to interact with a loyal public that access our profiles even several times a day to see, and respond to, the new contents that our social platforms generate; in addition, in the case of Instagram, our public is really worldwide/global, whereas our followers on Twitter are mostly from Florence and Tuscany. Therefore, thanks to new technologies, we are contributing to make the dream of Grand Duke of Tuscany Pietro Leopoldo come true, of making of the Uffizi the “museum of the world and, at the same time, of the Florentines,” said Schmidt.
The artworks most appreciated by online followers are Michelangelo’s Tondo Doni, which had about 7.875 ‘loving hearts’ last month, Baccio Bandinelli’s Laocoon (7.618 hearts), Botticelli’s Pallas and The Centaur (7.195), Leonardo Da Vinci’s Annunciation (5.800), and the Torso Gaddi (5.285).
After the ruling House of the Medici died out, the Medici’s art collections were gifted to the city of Florence under the famous Patto di famiglia negotiated by the last Medici heiress, Anna Maria Luisa, also known as the ‘Electress Palatine’. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the 16th century, was officially opened to the public in 1765, and formally became a museum in 1865.
Because of its huge collection, some of the museum’s works were transferred to other museums in Florence such as, for example, the Bargello. In 2006, the exhibition space was expanded to almost 13,000 metres² (139,000 ft²), allowing public to view many artworks usually in storage; the halls were modernized; a new exit was planned; and the lighting, air conditioning and security systems updated.
In 2016, the Uffizi was the most visited art gallery in Italy having hosted over two million visitors. In high season, particularly in July, waiting times to enter the museum can be up to five hours. However, tickets can be bought online in advance to reduce the waiting time.