The Vasari Corridor is one of the most mysterious and interesting places in Florence.
The “secret passageway” was built in 1565 by Giorgio Vasari, architect at the court of the Medici family.
At that time, the Medici family enjoyed the title of Dukes of Florence and had just bought a new, large villa on the southern bank of the Arno river: the Pitti Palace. In 1569 they became Grand Dukes of Tuscany.
The Pitti Palace was their residence, and the Palazzo Vecchio was the center of grand ducal power: we can define it as their “office.”
They wanted to move between their office and their “little house” without danger, free to peek on their subjects without being seen.
The Medici family at that time had regained its power, putting an end to the Florentine Republic.
The construction of the Vasari Corridor began March 12, 1565.
The enclosed passageway was ready in just five months, just in time for the wedding of Francesco, the son of Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici and Joanna of Austria.
The Vasari route passes through the halls of the Uffizi Gallery, cuts the Arno River passing over the goldsmith’s shop on the Ponte Vecchio, overlooks the small Santa Felicita Church, crosses the gardens of Palazzo Guicciardini, and then comes out in the Boboli Gardens, right next to Buontalenti Grotto.
In Dan Brown’s Inferno, art history professor Robert Langdon together with Dr. Sienna Brooks escape from soldiers who follow them through the Vasari Corridor.