The Florence Day Tours proposed by our company are private chauffeur-driven car daily tours. Our driver will be at your complete disposal for the whole day. He’ll be waiting for you at Rome-Fiumicino “Leonardo da Vinci” Airport, will welcome you in the sedan that you’ll have booked and will take you on a tour of one of the most important cities of art in the world: Florence.
During your journey to the Tuscan chief town, which takes about four hours, there will be two stops for a coffee break at the service stations along the highway A1 Rome-Florence.
Why choose our Florence Day Tour
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Home of famous people such as Dante, Boccaccio and Machiavelli, which contributed to the birth and development of Italian language and culture, Florence is rich in places, churches and museums to visit. You’ll discover that this city is like a diamond in the precious necklace of Tuscan tourist destinations.
Works of great and renowned artists such as Brunelleschi, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello, make Florence one of the world’s capitals of culture. Despite the flood that hit in 1966, the city preserves a priceless heritage, accumulated in great part between the 14th and the 16th century, its period of maximum development.
The first place where you’ll be accompanied to will be Piazza del Duomo, in the city center. Here there are some of the most important Florentine religious buildings: the Baptistery, the Duomo or Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower and Giotto’s Campanile, great masterpieces of Italian architecture.
Here you’ll begin your proper tour of Florence.
The Duomo is a work of important artists: Arnolfo di Cambio, who started the construction in 1296; Giotto, who supervised the work in the 14th century; Filippo Brunelleschi, author of the famous 90 meters high dome; Lapo Ghini, Francesco Talenti, Emilio De Fabris and many others. The external coating is made of white Carrara marbles, red Siena marbles and green Prato marbles; the lantern on the top of the dome was installed in 1461, while the façade was only completed in 1886. The beautiful glass windows and the mechanical clock still in working condition are also worthy of admiration.
The inside of the church is a show you can’t miss with its marvelous frescoes, sculptures and an admirable marble paving. The artists that have helped making the Duomo of Florence precious are numerous, among the many we can mention: Paolo Uccello with the equestrian fresco dedicated to Giovanni Acuto, also known as the “Equestrian Monument to Sir John Hawkwood”; Giorgio Vasari, author of the “Last Judgment” (fresco on the dome), done together with Federico Zuccari, and of a well-known fresco inspired by Dante and the Divine Comedy; Andrea del Castagno, Luca della Robbia and Benedetto da Maiano, author of the Crucifix on the main altar (1497).
Continuing the tour, just a few steps from the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower, you’ll find Giotto’s Campanile, bell tower of the Cathedral. The Campanile is five stories, 82 m. high and 15 m. wide and has been decorated with the same polychrome marbles that make the Duomo precious. It was started by Giotto in 1334, invited by the Signoria and, after the death of the artist, the project was continued by Andrea Pisano till 1348 and finished in 1359 by Francesco Talenti that built a large terrace, from which one can admire an enchanting landscape.
The Baptistery, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, patron saint of the city, is located in front of the Duomo and is one of the most ancient buildings in Florence. Till 1128 it was the cathedral of Florence. With an octagonal design, the Baptistery is coated with slabs of white and green Prato marbles. The dome is divided into eight segments. The three gilded bronze doors are a work of Andrea Pisano, author of the most ancient door, southward, and of Lorenzo Ghiberti, author of the north and east doors. The latter was defined by Michelangelo as the “door to Paradise” because of its exceptional beauty. The Baptistery of Saint John was conceived to accommodate the Duomo’s font; internally it’s characterized by the splendor of the mosaics that cover the whole cupola and the tribune’s vault. Most of the furniture of the Baptistery, such as the “Magdalene” by Donatello, together with the most precious works of the other sacred buildings of Piazza del Duomo, is today preserved in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo also known as Opera di S. Maria del Fiore and located behind the Cathedral.
From Piazza del Duomo, Florence Day Tours generally continue toward Piazza della Signoria, dominated by Palazzo Vecchio. In the historical Florentine piazza you’ll find some of the most representative works of the city: the wonderful Loggia della Signoria, the great fountain by Bartolomeo Ammannati (1563-1575) with at the center the imposing figure of Neptune, known as “Il Biancone”; the equestrian monument of Cosimo I, an excellent work in bronze by Giambologna (1598); and the world-famous “David” by Michelangelo (1503) located left of Palazzo Vecchio (the original work is kept in the Galleria dell’Accademia), while on the right there’s the marble group “Hercules and Cacus” by Baccio Bandinelli (1533).
Palazzo Vecchio or Palazzo della Signoria, designed by Arnolfo di Cambio (1298-1314), is the seat of the Comune since 1872. Over the centuries it has always been the political center and therefore it has become the symbol of the city. The interior is richly decorated by the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance.
The Loggia dei Lanzi or Loggia della Signoria houses inside, like a precious showcase, some masterpieces of the statuary art: “Perseus” by Benvenuto Cellini, “The Rape of the Sabine Women” and “Hercules Fighting the Centaur Nessus” both by Giambologna, “Judith and Holofernes” and the famous “David” (the original is preserved in the Bargello National Museum) works of Donatello, the author also of “Marzocco”, the symbolic lion of the Republic of Florence.
On the right of Palazzo Vecchio opens the courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most prestigious museums in the world and a stop you can’t miss in the tour of Florence. The admirable building was built in 1560 by Giorgio Vasari, commissioned by the Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici to accommodate the administrative and judicial offices of the Florentine State. Today’s museum preserves an immense artistic heritage, which includes thousands of paintings that span from the Middle Ages to the modern era, many ancient sculptures, miniatures and tapestries. Among the masterpieces to admire: “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli, “The Holy Family” by Michelangelo and the portraits of Federico da Montefeltro and his wife, works of Piero della Francesca. Also important are the collections of German, Dutch and Flemish painters, such as Dürer, Rembrandt and Rubens.
Behind Palazzo Vecchio, at the eastern end of the city, there’s the Basilica of Santa Croce, one of the most important Franciscan churches in Italy. Besides Giotto’s wonderful frescoes, its interior preserves the tombs and monuments of illustrious Florentines and Italian artists, such as Michelangelo, Ugo Foscolo, Giaocchino Rossini. There is also the Cenotaph of Dante, who was buried in Ravenna while he was in exile.
Places to visit during your Tour of Florence
During the Florence Day Tour, depending on your interests, we suggest you visit: the Archaeological Museum; the Bargello National Museum, in which are collected the original versions of the most important sculptures; or the National Museum of History and Science (in Piazza de’ Giudici), in which are kept works, projects, inventions and ancient tools of the scientist Galileo.
Along the banks of the Arno, going back toward the Uffizi, you’ll come across Ponte Vecchio. The bridge, unhurt by the bombings of the Second World War, is the oldest in Florence. It was built in 1345 by Taddeo Gaddi , in the narrowest point of the part of the Arno that crosses the city, and is considered one of the symbols of Florence. By crossing it you’ll be able to admire the sparkling shop windows of ancient Florentine goldsmiths. At the center of the bridge there’s a small piazza, at the sides of which are two panoramic terraces: one is toward Piazzale Michelangelo, the hill of S. Miniato and the Uffizi, and is closed in the upper part by the Vasari Corridor, which connects the Uffizi with Palazzo Pitti; the other, which faces toward Ponte Santa Trinita, has at the center a bust of Benvenuto Cellini made by Raffaele Romanelli and put here in 1900.
Continuing straight, after having crossed the bridge, you’ll arrive at Palazzo Pitti, once a splendid Medici villa, today one of the world’s most important art galleries. The large park behind the building is the Boboli Gardens. This is one of the first examples of Italian garden, which inspired the ones of many European courts of the time. The original garden (from 1549), was designed by the sculptor Niccolò Pericoli called “Il Tribolo”, and later on the work was continued by Ammannati, Buontalenti and in the end Alfonso Parigi.
Finally, for your shopping in Florence, besides Ponte Vecchio and the numerous boutiques that constellate the city we recommend: the Mercato Nuovo called “del Porcellino”, from the famous sculpture by Tacca representing a boar, and the craft market in the San Lorenzo district.
The Florence Day Tours can end with the return journey to Rome or overnight stay in Florence.
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