The Corridoio Vasariano is an additional and elevated passage that is over a kilometer long, which connects Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti, passing through the Uffizi Gallery. The Corridor was built by Vasari in 1565 for Cosimo I de'Medici, on the occasion of the marriage of his son Francesco I with Giovanna d' Austria. The corridor, which began in March 1565 was completed in just 5 months, in time for the wedding that was celebrated on December 16th of the same year.
The design of the Corridor included some small windows and views of the streets below the passage and of the Arno river. In this regard, the butchers' shops, emanating unpleasant odors for the Grand Dukes and their guests, were removed from Ponte Vecchio. In their place goldsmiths' workshops were placed, which still characterize the most famous bridge in Florence.
To realize the corridor, some of the towers that were along the way were literally crossed. All the owners gave their consent to the crossing, except for the Marinelli family, who strongly opposed. Vasari had then to "get around" the obstacle, making a detour around the tower.
This extraordinary elevated way was designed to enable the Grand Dukes to move safely from their private residence of the government building. It also gave prestige to the Medici.
For the first 200 years, the Corridor was exclusively used as a passage between the two residences. Although it was only a kilometer long, it was crossed with a small litter, used for the carriage of 2 people. Perhaps along the passage there were seats to rest. Over the centuries some areas of the Corridor had unfortunately been lost. In particular, during the Second World War, because of the bombing, the passage was extensively damaged, including the destruction of the final part that connects it to the left bank of the Arno river.
As a result of the will of the Palatine Electress Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, who bequeathed his property to the City of Florence, the Uffizi became a public place and also the Corridor lost its function as a private passage, while keeping intact its suggestions.
The Corridor was restored and reopened to the public in 1973; visits are available by appointment only and for a limited number of people. The tour starts from the Uffizi museum and ends in the Boboli Gardens at Grotta Buontalenti.