The Tour in Florence will lead you to the most beautiful Renaissance city in the world and let you breath medieval Art through the alleys, in craftsman shops and Renaissance palaces. This amusing city brings to our memory illustrious artists such as De ‘Medici family, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Botticelli. On the way to Florence we plan an additional stop to Orvieto, a beautiful medieval town.
The origins of Orvieto dates back to Etruscan civilization. It can be considered an open-air museum, thanks to its monuments and alleys. The most important one is the Duomo, an outstanding building of Italian Gothic Art. Over 20 artists have been working here for several centuries. In spite of time and number of artists, the Duomo offers an harmonious appearance. Its construction began in 1290 to host the “Miracle of Bolsena Corporal” and continued until the second half of the 1500s. Other places to visit are the Saint Patrick’s Well, an ancient hydraulic engineering work and, the underground city, a parallel city excavated in caves and labyrinths.
Florence with its museums, palaces and churches, has some of the most important artistic treasures in the world. Here is a list of the most famous art places:
CATHEDRAL OF SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE (Duomo di Firenze):
As the Dominican Friars were not pleased to cope with the ravishing beauty of churches such as Santo Spirito ( Holy Spirit – built by Agostinian Friars ) and Santa Croce ( Holy Cross – built by Franciscan Friars), they erected the church of Santa Maria Novella. Now known as Duomo di Firenze, this amusing site is a true example of Roman-Tuscan architecture where the use of black, green and white marble is grandly displayed.
Inside the Duomo, unique art works as the Crucifixes by Giotto and Brunelleschi , several frescoes by Filippino Lippi and Tornabuoni in the churches’ chapels. The Holy Trinity, with the Virgin and Saint John by Masaccio the masterpiece of the Cathedral, and a lot more …
Nearby the Duomo, one of the oldest buildings in Florence. Fourth-century construction with its images tells the Bible.
CUPOLA by BRUNELLESCHI
The tallest building in Florence which still holds the record. Its Bell Tower was designed by Giotto.
BELL TOWER by GIOTTO
Giotto’s Bell Tower is one of the four main features of Piazza del Duomo. It is about 85 meters high and 15 meters wide. It is is one of the greatest evidence of 13th Century Gothic-Florentine architecture. Started by Giotto in 1334 and continued by Andrea Pisano after his death, was then embellished with external decorations thanks to the contribution of Alberto Arnoldi.
OLD BRIDGE (Ponte Vecchio)
Handicraft shops, jewelry shops, mosaic works, recalling the ancient medieval shops, Old Bridge is one of the most beautiful and fancy bridges in Italy. These shops were once grocery and butchers small shops. During the Second World War Ponte Vecchio was intentionally spared from destruction by Hitler somehow spiritually enlightened by its beauty…..
OLD PALACE ( Palazzo Vecchio)
The town hall of Florence, striking for its majesty. It overlooks the Piazza della Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo’s David statue as well as the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi. Palazzo Vecchio is hard to capture in a photograph, but also hard to resist….This beautiful palace considered “damned” for the harsh clashes that took place between Guelphs and Ghibellines. Today, Piazza della Signoria is the center of Florence’s life.
PIAZZA DELLA SIGNORIA
Is an L-shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. Piazza della Signoria is considered to be a very significant site as several historical events occurred within its borders. Girolamo Savonarola’s death in 1498; he was an Italian Dominican friar and preacher active in Renaissance Florence. He disobeyed and defied the pope by preaching against the Church, highlighting his campaign for reform with processions, bonfires of the vanities in 1497. Savonarola burned thousands of objects he considered sinful, including books and paintings. Only a year later he was accused of heresy and was burned in Piazza della Signoria, as it is recalled by a marble plate placed in front of the Neptune fountain.
Another masterpiece of historical Art is the Brancacci Chapel in Florence. Located in the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine, painters Masolino and Masaccio frescoed this chapel by the will of Felice Brancacci who obliged them to work on the same walls, so that the differences in style were not too evident. This stylistic fusion created an extraordinary pictorial journey disclosing the history of sin, episodes of the Bible and the Gospel, leaving viewers stunned.
BASILICA DI SANTA CROCE (Basilica of the Holy Cross)
The Basilica di Santa Croce is the principal Franciscan church in Florence and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. It is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, the poet Foscolo, the philosopher Gentile and the composer Rossini, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories.
The tomb of Michelangelo is protected by three sculptures representing Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Adjacent to Michelangelo’s tomb is Dante’s cenotaph but not his remains, which are in Ravenna where he died in exile. Following the tombs of Vittorio Alfieri, Antonio Canova, Niccolò Machiavelli, Gioacchino Rossini and Ugo Foscolo, who in life called Santa Croce the“Urns of the Strong” Santa Croce isn’t just a collection of tombs of the Italians who have made history. In the basilica there are the chapels frescoed by Giotto telling the life of St. Francis. In the Cappella dei Pazzi Giuliano de Medici was killed and Lorenzo il Magnifico was wounded during the famous conspiracy. The Crucifix of Cimabue (1272) is here preserved.
GALLERY OF THE ACCADEMY
The Gallery of the Academy was created by the will of Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo. It was built to introduce Florentine art to the students of the Academy of Fine Arts.
It is also called Michelangelo Museum, for the great amount of works of the Florentine genius. The Gallery also includes sculptures and paintings by several other artists. The most important work of the Gallery is Michelangelo’s David, which was initially exhibited in Piazza della Signoria, now replaced by a copy. Michelangelo worked on the David from 1502 to 1504 using a marble block that had previously been used by Agostino di Duccio and Antonio Rossellino. Both artists gave up working on the sculpture because they considered the marble too fragile to hoist the weight of a sculpture 15 feet high. Michelangelo skillfully changed this fragility with special operations creating the David, a symbol of formal perfection and eternal beauty emerging from the coldness of marble.
PALAZZO PITTI ( Pitti Palace)
Palazzo Pitti was the residence of the Grand Dukedom of Tuscany, inhabited by the Medici, the Habsburg-Lorraine and after the Unity of Italy by the Savoia Royal Family. It’s located in Piazza dei Pitti in the Oltrarno area. The palazzo is now the largest museum complex in Florence 32,000 square metres. It is divided into several principal galleries or museums. Boboli’s monumental gardens are also hosted in the complex. Palazzo Pitti is one of the best examples of Italian garden art design and culture.
Monuments Tickets: We can book tickets for all non free entrance monuments to avoid queues and save time. This service is has to be requested upon booking the tour.