‘The Day of Love’ at the Uffizi Offers Half Price Entrance for Couples


The paintings of Agnolo Doni and his wife Maddalena Strozzi at the Uffizi

Raphael’s famous portraits of Angolo Doni and his wife Maddalena Strozzi are part of the Uffizi collection, and on Tuesday, February 2, two days after what would have been their 517th wedding anniversary, January 31, the gallery is offering two tickets for the price of one to couples who wish to tour the museum that day. The name of this special initiative, “Festa dei Doni” (Festival of the Gifts), is also a play on last name of the historic pair depicted in the portraits.

To admire the masterpieces of the Uffizi will cost €6 for a couple per person instead of usual €12 at the ticket office all day.  The museum will open at 8:30 am and remain accessible until 6:30 pm.  The Uffizi Facebook page will host a video of a love sonnet written by Raphael, who painted the couple between 1502 and 1504.  From February 2 to Valentine’s Day, February 14, the Uffizi’s social media will also feature readings on the infinite variations of love by writers down the centuries: Saffo, Ovidio, Tasso, Shakespeare, D’Annunzio, Emily Dickinson, Hermann Hesse, Walt Whitman, Alda Merini, Sylvia Plath and Baudelaire.

Back to the Uffizi, Agnolo Doni, a merchant who specialized in exporting textiles throughout Europe allied himself with the powerful Medici family by marrying Maddalena Strozzi, and their 1504 wedding and reception was a costly and sumptuous affair.  Husband and wife also commissioned the Doni Tondo, a painting of the Holy Family — Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus — to Michelangelo in the early 1500s.  This round panel is also displayed at the Uffizi.  (rosanna cirigliano/additional reporting by kaitlyn bross)