The structure is currently the home of Florence's iconic Uffizi Gallery, which houses many of the major Renaissance-era artifacts gathered by the Medicis since Cosimo the Elder's reign. The museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM (except on holidays). Visitors are allowed inside the gallery but not into the rooms themselves.
A tour of the palace will reveal several halls and rooms that date back as far as 1492 but the most interesting part is the attic where you can see some of the finest paintings in the Uffizi Gallery collection. The Medici family donated many of these works to the city upon death; others were seized during wars or taken after their downfall. Even though they no longer own the palace, the Medicis remain associated with greatness and beauty because of all those who have come before and after them.
You can learn more about the Medici family at the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi on display across the river in San Marco. Open daily 8:30 AM - 4:50 PM, it was originally built in 1355 but has been renovated many times since then. There are also a number of other museums in Florence dedicated to various aspects of Florentine life from art to science to medicine.
The Medici dynasty was instrumental in the establishment of the Uffizi Gallery, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Florence Cathedral. The Uffizi were initially intended to be an administrative edifice for Cosimo I de' Medici, First Duke of Tuscany (1519–1554). The term "Uffizi" really meant "offices." It was not until later that it came to mean "Gallery." The original building was constructed between 1576 and 1591 by Giorgio Vasari, an Italian artist who had been commissioned to paint a history of Florence for the duke. It was here that Vasari displayed some of his works, including paintings by Raphael.
After the death of its last ruler in 1737, the family name was adopted by the city government as a label for various offices, most notably that of guardian of the Great Palace of Florence. This post was usually given to members of the royal house of France or Spain, but it can also be held by others with authority over their country's affairs. Today, the office is called "director" and is held by a non-Medician.
In addition to these buildings, the Medicis built many churches and other structures across Italy and elsewhere in Europe. Some of these structures are still standing today, such as the monastery that Vasari used as an office building. Others have been destroyed, such as the original Uffizi gallery which was burned down in 1763.
It now houses various museums displaying the Medici's belongings, including their clothes, as well as a large Palatine Gallery filled with artworks. The ideal location for learning about the history of this famous family.
The first museum opened in 1844 and was originally called "La Galleria Medicea". It was renamed to its current name in 1865 by Pope Pius IX who wanted to honor the family for their support of the Catholic Church.
The original building that hosts today's museum was built between 1580 and 1625 by the order of Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici. He gave his country house and its surrounding land as a gift to the city of Florence. The building was designed by Baccio Bandinelli and it shows the influence of Michelangelo with its use of marble.
In 1797, after the execution of King Charles III of Spain (who was also king of Naples) in Madrid, many of his possessions were sent to France where they remained until 1815 when they were returned for restoration back to their original owners. This is why you will see some items that are not in Italy such as the Spanish throne used by Charles III during his stay in Italy.
The museum is divided into different sections for each member of the family.