Italy has a new way to combat overtourism

In prepandemic times, Florence struggled with overtourism. And the Uffizi Gallery — was at the center of it all.

It had 12,000 daily visitors, rushing past the renaissance works of art to snap selfies with the big hitters: Botticelli’s Venus and Michelangelo’s Holy Family.

So many tourists were behaving badly, the Florentine authorities had to institute a good behavior campaign, Enjoy Respect Florence, with fines of up to 500 euros for those caught picnicking outside or sitting on, or graffiti-ing monuments.

But before travel opens up again, the director of the Uffizi wants to make sure things will not return to the way they were before. One way to make sure of that? Diverting visitors away from Florence itself.

Enter the Uffizi Diffusi project. Meaning “scattered Uffizi,” artworks stored in the museum’s deposit will be put on show throughout the surrounding area of Tuscany, turning Italy’s most famous region into one big “scattered” museum.

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