Starting from your hotel, this exciting day tour initiates with a stroll along the romantic Viale dei Colli, an avenue lined with trees that leads to the splendid Piazzale Michelangelo. Named for the famous artist who sculpted David, a replica of this famous statue takes pride of place in the Piazzale, gazing out over the most spectacular views of the Florence cityscape.
Next stop in the travel is the Cathedral, where you will see the Campanile, Gotti’s Bell Tower, which perfectly exemplifies the Gothic style of Florence. You will then enter the Baptistery of St John, noting the enormous bronze doors. Try to imagine the time it must have taken to adhere each of the thousands of pieces that went into the magnificent mosaics within the octagonal interior.
Heading back into the city center, you will visit the Academy Museum which was initiated in the 16th century as a drawing school, before being extended to a general art school now known as Accademia di Belle Arti – The Academy of Beautiful Arts. This is the home of many famous sculptures, but the real crowd pleaser is the original David by Michelangelo, created by a 26 year old Michelangelo in 1501.
From the Accademia, it is just a short stroll to Florence’s City Hall, Palazzo Vecchio. Housing wondrous treasures and breathtaking frescoed ceilings, the building features a fortress and palace design. Palazzo Vecchio is located in Piazza Signoria, where you will see the third version of Michelangelo’s David standing stoic amongst the gods, nearby The Fountain of Neptune and many other historic statues.
Just around the corner, you will then be guided through the Uffizi Gallery, the building of which was initiated in 1560 by Cosimo I of the famed Medici family, the last Florentine royals. Take note of the architectural innovations by Giorgio Vasari, as you enter into the one of the world’s oldest and most famous museums.
From artworks to jewels, the next adventure is a walk across the Ponte Vecchio arching across the River Arno – this is the most famous bridge in Florence and one of the most recognized.
Crossing the bridge, we arrive at Pitti Palace, where the last of the Medici family resided. Originally constructed by Lucca Pitti before being purchased by the Medici family, this site is now the largest museum in Florence, and the home of the Palatine Gallery that features artworks by Botticelli, Corregio, Ruben and Titian.
Another of Florence’s world-famous churches is that of Santa Croce. Passing the statue of Dante, and learning why he is such a figurehead in the Florentine, and indeed, Italian history, you will enter the church to see the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli – just some of the most famous Florentines in history.
Rossini is next on the list, before heading out of the Florence historical city centre and going to Fiesole. This is an Etruscan town still in the Florence province where you will find many current traces of the Etruscan period. Ancient Etruscan walls and arches, Roman baths and theaters, palaces and villas, as well as the Churches the region is famous for.
At this point, your guide will lead you back to your hotel, where your trip will end. Of course, if this has only wet your appetite for exploring Tuscany, we are more than happy to arrange additional days of touring and exploring with us throughout Tuscany!