Best of Florence Private Tour with Uffizi Gallery

Discover a fascinating world of great artists and powerful princes in the cradle of the Renaissance

Best of Florence Private Tour with Uffizi Gallery

duration 5 hours plus break

Tour Overview

Get to grips with the exciting world of the Renaissance on this exclusive Florence private tour. In the company of an expert local guide meet the ruthless princes, powerful merchants and gifted artists who drove a cultural revolution. This is a story brilliantly preserved in Florence’s two most famous galleries, the Accademia and the Uffizi. Immerse yourself in the Renaissance's unique pictorial language in the masterpieces that adorn their walls: encounter Michelangelo’s iconic David on our Accademia tour, glorious symbol of the Florentine Republic, and admire the artist’s incredibly moving unfinished Slaves. In the Uffizi we’ll come face-to-face with ground-breaking works by Leonardo, Botticelli, Raphael, Titian and many more. Our private Uffizi and Accademia tour is a unique opportunity to get inside the minds of the great artists who gave powerful shape to the world of the Renaissance - book your experience today!

Tour includes:

  • Tickets and skip the lines access to the Uffizi
  • Walking tour of the most beautiful streets and squares of Florence
  • Expert, fluent English-speaking local guide

Highlights:

  • The Uffizi Gallery
  • The Duomo
  • The Baptistry
  • Piazza della Signoria
  • Ponte Vecchio

Tour Description

Florence: a city of inspiring beauty

Our Florence Tour is full of moments of breathtaking beauty - standing in front of the Birth of Venus in the Uffizi, gazing up at the Duomo, or walking across the iconic Ponte Vecchio. Our tour of Florence will show you the best of the city of the Medici, bringing its exciting past to life.

Florence was at the centre of artistic, political and scientific developments during the Renaissance, and was home to towering historical figures such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo. The masterpieces that fill the galleries of the Uffizi and the Accademia were created by some of the greatest artistic geniuses of the age, employed by the mighty Medici dynasty. On your engaging Florence private itinerary, your personal guide will discuss the connections between art and political power, and explain why Florence played such an important role in European history. Visits the elegant Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio - the seat of political power in Florence - and learn their fascinating stories in the company of our expert guide.

This comprehensive tour includes must-see sights such as the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio, as well as some fascinating parts of Florence that are overlooked by other tour companies. The relatively compact size of the city centre makes Florence ideal for walking, and on your tour you’ll see some of the most famous piazzas and fountains, as well as exploring the atmospheric back streets.

The splendour of the Duomo and Baptistery

Your journey begins at the Duomo - the religious heart of Florence. The fascinating, multilayered history of the building will be revealed as you explore the remains of Santa Reparata, the 4th century cathedral buried beneath the 15th cathedral, and discover how the Duomo and its predecessor have always played an integral role in the city’s history. Our private tour of the Duomo will introduce you to the art of Brunelleschi, the headstrong architect who achieved his vision, against the odds. It was Brunelleschi who designed the cathedral’s extraordinary dome, an astonishing feat of engineering that dominates the city skyline.

The distinctive octagonal building nearby is the Baptistery; here a competition to deisgn a new set of doors attracted the most talented artists in Florence, including a young Brunelleschi. The winning entry was however Lorenzo Ghiberti, whose astonishingly exquisite bronze doors took 21 years to complete - so beautiful were they that Michelangelo himself dubbed them the “Gates of Paradise”.

The merchants of Florence at Orsanmichele and Palazzo Davanzati

The city's powerful mercantile past is today a distant memory, but the history of Florence's guilds is an essential part of the city's rich tapestry of palaces, churches and piazzas, which you’ll explore on your exclusive Florence tour. The guilds were keen to promote their self-image in Florence and beyond by commissioning lavish artistic projects such as the statues that ornament the façade of Orsanmichele, including Donatello's remarkable St. George. This burgeoning merchant class also built grand new residences to show off their wealth, as you’ll see when you visit Palazzo Davanzati. In contrast to the heavily fortified medieval buildings that surround it the palazzo is light and spacious, reflecting the new priorities of the powerful family that lived there. As you walk through the streets and admire these beautiful buildings, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss Florentine society with your personal guide, and learn why Florence was once one of the most important cities in Europe.

Power and punishment in Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio

No family, of course, could match the Medicis for power or wealth, and we return to their story with a tour of Piazza della Signoria. It oversaw some of Florence's greatest controversies, such as the execution of the apocalyptic preacher Savonarola in 1498, and is dominated by the imposing 13th century Palazzo Vecchio, which you’ll visit with your personal guide. Traditionally the seat of the city's magistrates, the Medicis took up residence here in the middle of the 16th century, a forceful statement of their total dominion over the city.

A visit to Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio is an opportunity to learn about political intrigue and networks of power while admiring some of the most beautiful parts of the city. Piazza della Signoria resembles an open-air art gallery, with a replica of Michelangelo’s David and Benvenuto Cellini’s Perseus with the Head of Medusa, as well as countless other statues. The interior of Palazzo Vecchio is one of the surprises of our Florence private tour, with many sumptuously decorated rooms containing masterpieces by Vasari, Michelangelo, Ghirlandaio and Bronzino, among others. Palazzo Vecchio also offers impressive panoramic views of the city centre, including the Duomo and the surrounding rooftops.

Admire the masterpieces of Renaissance art at the Uffizi Gallery

It is also to the Medicis that we owe the Uffizi Gallery, the world's greatest museum of Renaissance art. Originally built to house the magistrates after their eviction from Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi soon became a showcase for the family's fantastic art collection. On your Uffizi tour the fascinating story of Renaissance art will be revealed through its finest masterpieces, from the pioneering works of Giotto and Masaccio to the superlative mythological canvasses of Sandro Botticelli. You will learn of the humanist philosophies that dominated the intellectual climate of the Medici court, and discover the lives and works of the three greatest geniuses of the High Renaissance - Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo. Raphael and Michelangelo would leave for Rome at the height of their powers, drawn by the patronage of a series of fabulously wealthy popes intent on glorifying the Eternal City. The political pre-eminence of Florence on the Italian stage was at an end.

Gaze into the waters of the Arno from the Ponte Vecchio

At the end of your Florence private tour you will stroll across the picturesque Ponte Vecchio, which offers stunning views of the Arno. This medieval stone bridge is where Florence's mercantile and aristocratic pasts collide. For hundreds of years fish-sellers, butchers, and leather artisans plied their trade along its length. But the Medicis made their mark here, too. Upset by the smell and noise created by these plebeian trades, a 16th century Medici duke had them replaced by the more dignified goldsmith shops and jewellers that we still see today. This is a city that has been shaped by great personalities, from princes to merchants to artists. For an unforgettable experience, explore the Florence of the Renaissance with us.

meeting point

In Piazza della Signoria. You will receive further details, including a map and photo, on booking.

Tour Reviews

5.0 (4 reviews)

Vice President

We had a great tour with Omar. He was very knowledgeable.

tad - Oct 31, 2019

Mr

Costanza was our guide for our first day in Florence. She was terrific. Pointed out some fascinating things and made the start of our trip extremely memorable.

Daniel - Oct 27, 2019

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