I have only been to Florence once, and am looking forward to returning, as a day and a half is simply not enough time. However when limited by a travel agenda, such as a cruise schedule, I had to prioritize, and of course had to include a stop at the famous 16th century Uffizi Gallery, one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world.
When I visit Florence for the second time, I want to spend more of it wandering the streets,breathing in the wonderful scents of fine leather, gazing out over the Ponte Vecchio for hours, and tasting new flavors of gelato.
I have just discovered, however, a very cool website, which allows you to take a virtual tour of the Uffizi Gallery, without ever leaving home. Google has teamed up with 17 art museums to date, in what they are calling the Google Art Project.
Much like Google Earth, with street views and interactive maps, this site allows you to click on a gallery such as the Uffizi Gallery, and view specific art works from the gallery. These high resolution images depict the brush strokes as well as the cracks in the canvas with amazing detail, in zoom mode. You can search for a specific piece of art, like Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation of the Magi. and also learn about the artist with one click. By moving the mouse around the page, like you would do in Google Earth’s Street View, you can virtually navigate the museum. How amazing!
The following video explains more about this project.