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7 hours plus a break
Florence: A day of history and art in the Renaissance city
Our full day tour will offer you an unforgettable journey into the world of Renaissance Florence. You will explore the churches, galleries and palaces of Florence while learning all about Renaissance art and history and its main protagonists. Explore the opulent palaces of the Medici, admire the masterpieces of the Uffizi, and gaze at the Arno from the beautiful Ponte Vecchio. With a top-rated local guide you will experience the wonders of the Renaissance from every angle.
Explore the world's greatest collection of Renaissance art on our Uffizi tour
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the many must-see sights in Florence, and our day tour in Florence will help you to appreciate a special selection of works, revealing the powerful innovation of their artists.The masterpieces of Giotto, Botticelli, Da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo and Caravaggio are some of the most amazing achievements of the Renaissance and the Baroque. These artists showed the human form and the relationship between man and God in a new light. As you gaze at iconic paintings such as Botticelli’s Birth of Venus on your private visit to the Uffizi you will discover the lives of the artists and the fascinating times in which they lived, and learn how they transformed the world.
Your personal guide will provide enlightening explanations about the symbolism of Botticelli’s Primavera and Birth of Venus, as well as highlighting fascinating details that are easily overlooked, and highlighting the genius of his composition. Leonardo da Vinci’s spellbinding Annunciation is another highlight, widely judged to be one of the greatest ever portrayals of this popular scene - the moment when the Angel Gabriel tells the Virgin Mary that she will give birth to the Son of God. Da Vinci was only in his early twenties when he painted this masterpiece, at the start of a career that would change the world of art forever.
Come face to face with Michelangelo's David on our Accademia tour
The Accademia is another unmissable gallery, with a collection of some of the finest works by Michelangelo. On your private visit to the Accademia you will come face-to-face with David, perhaps the most famous statue in the world, and understand why Michelangelo’s contemporaries were in awe, believing that he was guided by the hand of God. You will also admire his series of unfinished Slaves, a moving collection of figures who struggle to free themselves from their marble prisons.
Admire the genius of Brunelleschi and Ghiberti at the Duomo
The magnificent Duomo by Brunelleschi dominates the skyline of Florence. It is an amazing feat of engineering, and as you learn about its construction and the fiery personality of its architect, you will gain an even deeper appreciation for this wonder of the Renaissance. Your guide will also show you the beautiful Baptistery, with its famous bronze doors designed by Ghiberti. The extraordinary detail of the Biblical scenes on the doors even impressed Michelangelo, who thought they were so beautiful “they would grace the entrance to Paradise”, will be well discussed by our guide during your Florence Tour.
Explore the world of merchants and markets
Another fascinating chapter of Florence’s history is its mercantile past, the story of the city’s guilds and merchants. You will explore the beautiful Orsanmichele, the granary transformed into a market, and finally a church. The statues on its ornate facade, including Donatello’s splendid St George, symbolise the powerful guilds of Florence, whose influence extended far beyond the city. After learning about the lives of the merchants and the world of Renaissance trade, you will pass by Palazzo Davanzati. This exquisitely decorated palace, bright and spacious compared to the medieval buildings across the street, gives a valuable insight into the private lives of the city’s powerful merchant dynasties.
Learn about Renaissance ideals
The external architecture of the Ospedale degli Innocenti is an hidden gem that surrounds the square where you will be standing, admiring a new conception of space. Designed by Florence’s greatest architect, Brunelleschi, is perhaps the finest symbol of Renaissance ideals. The elegance of its geometrical, proportional design would be imitated by architects for centuries to come, inspired by the perfection of Brunelleschi’s vision. You will learn the touching story of this Hospitale, which actually was the world’s first orphanage. The Ospedale was founded in an attempt to prevent infanticide, providing mothers with a place to anonymously leave their children. Exploring the Ospedale, you will not only gain insight into the lives of Florence’s women and children, but you will also begin to understand the true meaning of Renaissance humanism.
Discover a story of power and corruption at Palazzo Vecchio
Piazza della Signoria was the political heart of the Renaissance Florence. Your personal guide will take you into the chambers and corridors of the imposing Palazzo Vecchio, where you will learn of the power and corruption of Florence. The story of Palazzo Vecchio is also the story of the irrepressible Medici dynasty, the banking family that ruled the city and provided invaluable patronage for Florence’s greatest scientists and artists, from Galileo to Da Vinci. In the piazza you will see the sculptures of the Loggia dei Lanzi and discover the darker side of the square’s history. A plaque marks the spot where the extremist preacher Savonarola, famous for his apocalyptic sermons, was hanged and burned at the stake in 1498.
Pay tribute at the tombs of Dante and Michelangelo at Santa Croce
In the breathtaking medieval basilica of Santa Croce you will admire the frescoes of Giotto, a wooden crucifix by Donatello, and Brunelleschi’s extraordinary Pazzi Chapel, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. Many of the most illustrious men in Italy are buried in Santa Croce, and you will take a moment to pay homage at the tombs of Dante, Machiavelli, Galileo, and Michelangelo. Although the sculptor died in Rome, his last wish was to be buried in Florence. The spectacular funeral and the vast funerary monument which followed are a testament to the extraordinary impact Michelangelo had on his beloved city.
Gaze into the waters of the Arno from Ponte Vecchio
Your private tour ends on the picturesque Ponte Vecchio, the bridge of Florence that has crossed the Arno since the fourteenth century. Butchers and fishmongers sold their goods here for centuries, until they were replaced by goldsmiths and jewellers at the orders of the Medici, who didn’t want to be disturbed by the smell of the meat market as they paced up and down the Vasari Corridor above the bridge. Ponte Vecchio is where the histories of Florence collide. Goldsmiths continue the work of their sixteenth century predecessors on the bridge, while beautiful portraits adorn the walls of the aristocratic passageway above. Gazing into the tranquil waters of the Arno at the end of your day, you will have truly experienced Florence at its magnificent best.
In Piazza della Signoria. You will receive further details, including a map and photo, on booking.
This is a walking tour through historical city centre and museums with steps and uneven surfaces. Comfortable shoes and a bottle of water are recommended
Our guides are fluent in English and have a contagious passion for Rome's inspiring cultural heritage. Experts in their fields, they will immerse you in the hidden histories and intriguing lives of history's great protagonists. So much to see, so easy to miss out: with the help of our guides, visit the most absorbing sites and uncover the stories that have changed the world. Don't miss this fascinating journey!