HIGHLIGHTS OF FLORENCE (3 hours)
Stroll the streets of Florence and explore the highlights of this artistic city. The center of Florence will be the spectacular frame of a tour dedicated to the city’s glorious past and also to its stimulating present life. Cross the famed Ponte Vecchio, lined with its many jewelry stores and admire the view from both sides of the bridge. Visit the statures lining the Piazza della Signoria and stroll the charming narrow medieval streets perhaps browsing in many of the fashionable boutiques. Cathedral Square with Brunelleschi’s amazing Duomo takes you on to the Accademia where you can visit Michelangelo’s most famous work, the David.
MASTERPIECES OF THE UFFIZI (3 hours)
Visit one of the world’s greatest art museums, the Uffizi Gallery and view works by Michelangelo, Raffaello, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Rembrandt and others. Outside in the Piazza della Signoria, Renaissance statues line the square.
RENAISSANCE FLORENCE (3 hours)
Begin with a visit to art historian Herbert Percy Horne’s former residence, now a museum housing a collection of medieval and Renaissance paintings, coins, medals and ceramics. View some of Michelangelo’s earlier works at Casa Buonarroti and Santa Croce Church, famous for its monuments and tombs of famous Florentines, including Michelangelo.
THE OLTRARNO – (4 hours)
Piazza Michelangelo offers one of the most astounding views of Florence and its surrounding hills. One of the city’s oldest churches, San Miniato, houses very interesting thirteenth-century mosaics. We will then proceed to the Pitti Palace which houses several museums featuring treasures of the Medici family, including the famous Galleria Palatina featuring many floor to ceiling paintings by Titian, Raphael, Caravaggio, Rubens and Van Dyck.
MEDIEVAL FLORENCE (4 hours)
Stroll the famed Ponte Vecchio lined with goldsmiths and find yourself in the city’s most beautiful square, Piazza della Signoria where the Palazzo Vecchio (City Hall) sits. Glimpse into the life of Dante with a visit to his birthplace and church.
THE MEDICI CHAPEL TOUR (3 hours)
Learn all about the powerful Medici Family beginning at the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, one of the first residence which includes the Cappella dei Magi featuring frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli. Explore the church of San Lorenzo and Brunelleschi’s dome and its intriguing interior. The tour ends at the Medici Chapels and mausoleum, designed by Michelangelo, featuring his magnificent marble designs.
JEWISH CULTURE IN FLORENCE (3 hours)
Florence’s Synagogue houses many of the artifacts which once belonged to wealthy Jewish families, including silver, needlework and paintings and photos of daily life in the ghetto prior to the nineteenth century. We will take a walking tour of that area and will show you, with the help of photos, the former location of the most important buildings.
THE HORNE MUSEUM (3 hours)
Visit this fifteenth-century Palace (with artworks by Giotto and furniture from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance), restored and furnished in the beginning of the twentieth century by the English architect, scholar and collector Henry Percy Horne, friend and colleague of Bernard Berenson, the famous art historian.
LIFE IN THE MEDICI VILLAS (3 hours, car required)
Visits two Medici villas—Villa La Petraia and Villa di Castello. Both are fine examples of sixteenth-century Florentine architecture and “Italian Style Gardens” which include both statues and fountains.