Museum Passes in Florence: Part One – Amici degli Uffizi

June 14, 2011 — Tuscan Traveler has compared the two museum passes available in Florence. Check this link.

As the prices of reserved tickets to the Uffizi or the Accademia hit 14 euro ($19) or above (depending on if an extra exhibit is included, such as last year’s Caravaggio or Mapplethorpe shows), there is much talk in Florence about a multi-day museum pass. And, in fact, the mayor has announced that soon a three-day 50 euro pass ($67) will be available.

But Florence already has a great museum pass – the Amici degli Uffizi membership card.

Membership cards to the Amici degli Uffizi - Friends of the Uffizi

Membership cards of the Amici degli Uffizi - Friends of the Uffizi

Established in Florence in 1993 by a group of concerned citizens, following a terrorist bombing that damaged the Uffizi Gallery and some of its precious artworks, Amici degli Uffizi (Friends of the Uffizi) embarked on the task of restoring and maintaining the artistic heritage of the Uffizi Gallery.

Since 1993, the Amici degli Uffizi has supported the Uffizi Gallery in Florence by facilitating acquisitions, supporting restorations and organizing special temporary exhibitions. The Friends of the Uffizi Gallery (the American sister organization), in conjunction with the Amici degli Uffizi, raises funds to support all of these activities through an international group of members and patrons.

Over twenty important restoration projects, designated priorities by the Uffizi Gallery, have been completed over the last several years and include important paintings, altarpieces, sculptures and tapestries. The organization also underwrites special free exhibits for the public such as the recent one of Self-Portraits of Women Artists.

Original symbol of the Amici degli Uffizi

Original symbol of the Amici degli Uffizi

But best of all, for residents and visitors of Florence, Amici degli Uffizi offers its members a year-long museum card for 60 euro ($80) for individuals, 100 euro ($134) for families (2 to 4 members included in the one price), and 40 euro ($54) for students. Memberships can be purchased online or at the the Amici degli Uffizi Welcome Desk located between Entry Door Nos. 1 and 2 at the Uffizi Gallery.

The best part of having the Amici degli Uffizi card, besides free entry to more than twenty museums, (at the end of this post is a list of all of the museums included in this card) is the ability to skip the line.  At the Uffizi and the Accademia visitors wait for hours unless they have the foresight and the extra 4 euro to make a reservation. With the Amici degli Uffizi card you go to the ticket office, show your card and a photo i.d., and you are given a ticket for immediate entry into the museum.

Not to belabor the point, but the Uffizi is a huge museum, mind-numbing in its number of paintings. With the Amici degli Uffizi card you can go in to sit for an hour or so in the Botticelli Room and come back the next day (or after a nice lunch) to enter again with a new free ticket to peruse the Titians and pop by the monolithic Byzantine enthroned madonnas.

In 2010, the Amici degli Uffizi and the Polo Museale Fiorentino, launched a permanent welcome service for the association’s members. “We wanted to create a welcome point for local citizens and visitors equal to those that have been available in the world’s other great museums for some time,” said Maria Vittoria Rimbotti, President of the Association. “This is the first time that an Italian state museum is offering such a service.”

The Welcome Desk is located between entrances #1 and #2 of the Uffizi museum. Its hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Tel. +39 055 213560 and +39 055 284034)

Today's Friends of the Uffizi

Today's Friends of the Uffizi

Although the Welcome Desk will be a reference point mainly for Florentines, it is an easy place to purchase your Amici degli Uffizi museum card. Greeted by polite and helpful (attributes frequently hard to find elsewhere in Florence) staff members (who also speak English) you will be able to register and become a member or renew your membership within minutes. (Remember to bring your passport.)

At the Welcome Desk, members will also be able to access useful information about the museum and the city, information about cultural programs sponsored by the province of Florence and the Tuscan regional government, and via the online connection with the APT (Agenzia Per il Turismo), visitors can obtain real-time information about current cultural programs.

The Amici degli Uffizi membership card provides free entrance to the following museums:

Galleria degli Uffizi,
Galleria dell’Accademia,
Palazzo Pitti:  Galleria Palatina,
Galleria dell’Arte Moderna,
Galleria del Costume,
Museo degli Argenti,
Museo delle Porcellane,
Giardino di Boboli,
Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Museo delle Cappelle Medicee, Museo di Palazzo Davanzati,
Museo di San Marco,
Giardino della Villa Medicea di Castello,
Villa Medicea della Petraia,
Villa Medicea di Poggio a Caiano,
Villa Medicea di Cerreto Guidi e Museo storico della Caccia e del Territorio,
Cenacolo di Ognissanti,
Cenacolo di Andrea del Sarto,
Cenacolo di Fuligno,
Cenacolo di Sant’Apollonia, and
Chiostro dello Scalzo.

The Amici degli Uffizi membership card also provides:

- Reduced price tickets for concerts of the Teatro Comunale (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino)
- Reduced price (15%) tickets for concerts of the Orchestra della Toscana at Teatro Verdi
- 20% discount on price ticket for premières and Saturday performances at Teatro della Pergola

40 thoughts on “Museum Passes in Florence: Part One – Amici degli Uffizi

  1. Thank you for doing the homework for me!! I would of gotten the wrong pass and tried to fit everything in to a 3 day marathon.

  2. We were thinking of getting the Firenze pass because we will only be in Florence for three days and will not be going back within a year. Should we save the 10 euro or is it still worth it for the Friends of the Uffizi pass?

  3. There are more sites where you can buy the Firenze pass so for a stay of three days it will be easier to find. BUT if you want to return to a museum in those three days (2 trips to the Uffizi) the Fireze Pass will NOT allow it.

  4. According to the website, the year is a calendar year, so if you join in November, as I may do, and come back in February you have to join again.

  5. You are correct, Virginia. The Amci deli Uffizi Card is a January to December membership. But it still makes sense in November if you want to access museums for more than three days during November and December.

  6. Where and how do I buy a pass – the Amici degli Uffizi pass is the one I’m interested in purchasing.

    Grazie e Pace -

  7. You have convinced me to buy the Amici degli Uffizi Card. I was going to buy it online because we aren’t going to the Uffizi on Day 1.
    Is the card mailed or will I have to go to the Uffizi to pick it up? I have read on other forums that people did not receive the card in the mail as promised and had to go to the museum to get it, which would defeat the purpose of buying it online.
    Also, it will be me and my adult daughter (22) traveling. Will she be considered a child if I purchase the family card, or should we get two cards – adult for me and student for her? She is a college student in the US, not in Europe.
    Thank you for the very helpful blog!

  8. Thanks for comment, Darlene. As far as I understand it you daughter would not qualify as a child, but will qualify as a family member so long as you aren’t trying to squeeze in another adult — 2 adults and 2 children under 18. I don’t know anything about the mailing of the cards. I do know that the woman who manages the office at door # 2 at the Uffizi is very nice and efficient.

  9. I would like to purchas teh Amici degli Uffizi Card on line. But, does it have be be picked up at the Welcome Desk of the Uffizi? I arrive on Sat night and thw Welcome Desk is only open Tues – Sat.

  10. I do not know how the delivery for the Amici deli Uffizi cards is done. You may want to consider getting the Firenze Card, which can be purchased at the Tourist Information Offices until 6pm on a Saturday evening and all day on Monday.

  11. Simple question that needs an immediate reply! If I order the Amici card do I also have to pay for reservation online for the day I want to visit the museum!? I leave for Florence tomorrow so your quick reply is appreciated!

  12. No, you just present your card at the ticket office of the museum and will get a ticket for entry immediately.

  13. I have seen this question asked before, but not really answered. If I pay online, do they mail the Amici card to my address, or do I pick it up at the welcome desk? Thanks!

  14. I believe you can get the cards through the mail BUT makes sure you leave plenty of time before your trip. I actually think it is just as easy to walk in and get the cards at the office (Door # 2 of the Uffizi). They take cash and credit cards. But the office is closed on Sunday and Monday so if you arrive late Saturday or on Sunday you may want to have the cards in hand.

  15. We are a family of 3 (husband, wife, 20 month old child) and visiting Florence in September for 7 days. We like the flexibility of being able to enter these museums (specially the Uffizi) multiple times, because I’m quite sure our toddler won’t let us see much at a stretch.

    We are trying to figure out timed entry reservations versus this membership. Firenze card is too restrictive (72 hours, single entry) for us. Timed entry is not so suitable for us (planning is hard with toddler, and desire to go multiple times). Lines are the critical factor though – child will NOT allow us to wait in lines… Any time waiting in line is time lost seeing Art! What I read online at the membership website is confusing me:
    “Free privileged admission to the Uffizi Gallery and the other State Museums in Florence (4 people every 15 minutes):
    Uffizi Gallery (recommended entrance : door no. 2)”. Isn’t door no. 2 for the long queues of people waiting in lines? Also, what does “4 people every 15 minutes” translate to?
    Thanks a ton in advance!
    Shilpi

  16. Shilpi, I think the family membership to the Amici degli Uffizi Pass is the one you want. A family membership for the two of you (or the two of you and the toddler) is 100 euro which is less than the Firenze Card for 72 per person. Door # 2 is where the Amici deli Uffizi office is located and is also where you go to enter the Uffizi. You go to the front of the long line and show your passes to the attendant. He will let you enter in front of the line to go to the ticket office where you will show the Pass and a photo i.d. You will immediately enter the museum from there. Yes, there is language that says “4 people every 15 minutes” but I have never seen that put into action in the 5 years that I have used the pass. Ann

  17. Ann, thanks – your blog was so educational… else I would’ve never thought about this card!!

    I also got an email from the office of this membership answering my question – how nice of them to actually reply!

    They however state that the line skipping holds true only for the Uffizi – does that mean we still have to wait in long lines at the Accademia? We really want to see David, it would be a shame to spend extra Euros for reserving that separately (can’t imagine waiting in line with toddler running about).

    did you hear anything about this in the recent past? Could this be a recent change?

    Thanks again….

  18. Shilpi, You get into the short line at the Accademia for Reserved Tickets. It is the same line as those who have already bought tickets or have the Firenze Card or have the Amici degli Uffizi Pass. The line, if it exists at all, usually takes 20 minutes or less to enter. Then with the Amici Pass you go to the ticket booth, show the Pass and photo i.d. and are given a ticket to enter, At all other museums there are rarely lines and you use the pass at the regular ticket office. Ann

  19. I am looking for a small village , town that I can spend my 60 birthday with my husband. I’m looking for suggestion , we love to eat , drink wine , do some site seeing but not overly motivated , be able to walk enjoy life for 10 days in Tuscany . We would take a bus or train to see other surrounding areas but probably stay at one place , maybe 2. We don’t want to spend out time running all over , mostly relaxing and enjoying life on a different scale. Appreciate any suggestion!

  20. Just thought I’d add this, since there have been questions about delivery and this site has been so useful for me (I hadn’t known about the Friends of the Uffizi pass before). I ordered the family passes (for me and my same-sex partner) online 8 days ago, paying via paypal. Today the passes arrived in San Francisco. Easy, one less thing to deal with when I arrive in Florence, and the staff at the Uffizi has been incredibly responsive to emails.

    Yes, it’s best to leave several weeks for the whole process, but this has been a breeze. And since they hiked the price of the Firenze pass way up, a no-brainer.

  21. Staggeringly useful details – going to Florence for a week on Saturday and just researching the best options as we are on a course which includes a tour of the Accademia and SMN – Uffizzi pass for two for €100 looks good deal but need to work out logistics of picking it up from the Welcome Desk which closes at 5pm on the Saturday. Logistics, logistics …

  22. We are a US family of three, parents and son age 20. My son is in school In Siena through a study abroad program. We visit Florence for 3 days in October; my son will stay in Italy (Siena) through the end of the calendar year. I was going to buy the Friends of Uffizzi pass but see in your post the child must be <18. What do you recommend for us? Thank you for your very helpful blog.

  23. To make use of the value of the family Amici degli Uffizi pass, the children must be under 18, but now that the Firenze pass is 72 euro for only 72 hours, the A. d. U. pass is looking a lot better. You and your husband will save 20 euro with a family pass for two (60 euro per person vs. 60 euro per person). Your son will have his own pass that lasts until next January and unlimited visits during his semester.

  24. Thank you for this very helpful information. We are a family of five (two adults and three children ages 13, 8 and 6). Will the family pass include all three of our children or will we have to purchase an additional pass or pay another entrance fee at the door? Are children below a certain age free and able to be admitted (as the third child) along with the rest of us with the family pass?

  25. It always requires pages of writing for all of the details, but it appears that all children under 18 get in free to the Uffizi, Accademia and all of the state museums. But if you want a reserved time then children between 6 and 18 need a reservation, so there will be a charge. I would advise getting a family membership with the Amici degli Uffizi for four members of the family (since the cost for four is the same as for two) and bring the youngest along as a free entrance with no reservation. With the card you do not need to make reservations. See this link on free entrance for under 18s: http://www.uffizi.org/1183-finally-kids-are-the-same-for-italian-state-museums/

  26. We are visiting at the end of this month and trying to decide on which pass is very confusing!! The amici Degli pass sounds like our best deal but I have a question…are you limited to only visiting 4 of the museums, sites…or can you visit as many as you want? During our time in Florence we hope to see as much as we possibly can of your city…What do you recommend??

  27. The best part about the Amici deli Uffizi card is that you can make multiple visits to any museum on their list. And it is cheaper for families (and individuals). But it covers fewer museums than the Firenze Card. Check the web sites for both cards.

  28. Reading all the questions and Anne’s replies, I have found this blog extraordinarily clear and helpful : by for the best thing I’ve seen for the Uffizi.

  29. Does free entry to a museum with the Amici dei Uffizi membership include special exhibits which may be showing there, or do you have to purchase a separate ticket for special exhibitions despite free admission to the museum itself?

  30. I purchased the Amici degli Uffizi family pass online and the Uffizi sent an email saying I would only be able to skip the line at the Uffizi although the pass would give us entrance to the other museums. I very much want to skip the lines everywhere and the Firenze pass offers that but is more expensive. Do you know if you can go to the same line as the Firenze card with the Uffizi card or do you have to wait in the longer general admission lines for the other museums?

  31. Hello,
    I would like to announce the release of the “amici degli uffizi” Android app. It’s just a early and simple app . Try it if you come to Florence.

    V.

  32. I would like to purchase a Ufizzi pass for my wife and I and one for my daughters family which is two adults and two children. How can I do that over the internet and where can I pick up the passes/

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