Maybe not everyone knows that it is possible to visit the Uffizi by following a special itinerary for visually impaired and blind people. Since 2013 the “Uffizi by touch” itinerary – that can be followed autonomously – has been enlarged. Some sculptures of the Gallery are part of it: they are set in different sides of the Uffizi palace, so visitors can explore all of it, by following information on in relief maps.
The artworks “by touch” are about 30. They represent the Greek and Roman sculptures collection (reliefs, altars, sarcophaguses, portraits, epigraphs, life size sculptures), that – for a very long time – were the most interesting element of the Uffizi: one of the first passions of the Medici family was ancient sculpture.
The most famous artworks are: the Sleeping Hermaphrodite, the black marble Sleeping Cupid, the portrait of Cicero, the Altar of the Vicomagistri. In front of every work you can find a braille text (in Italian and English), written for visually impaired and blind people in cooperation with the most important professional institutes of this field.
In addition to the sculptures, a 3d model of the Birth of Venus by Botticelli is part of the itinerary.
At the entrance, blind visitors receive a pair of gloves – like those used by the restorers – that let them to perceive forms and characteristics of the artworks surfaces. The Gallery staff has been specifically trained to receive disabled visitors: the aim is to offer a quality tour to everybody.
Since 2013 “Uffizi by touch” has had a lot of visitors, constantly raising. This fact demonstrates that it is possible to open museums to people with vision disabilities and impairments, that can experience a very significant visit to the Uffizi.