Florence | The City & its Artists
A title as illustrious as the ‘Cradle of the Renaissance’ is not given lightly, and the city of Florence is more than deserving of such acclaim. During our tour of the city, we examine the lives of the many artists that have left a lasting impression on the cultural landscape, viewing the exquisite works of Botticelli, Michelangelo, and more across the city’s main fine museums. An obvious highlight of our tour is a private audience with a true icon of the Renaissance, Michelangelo’s David. He couldn’t have imagined the wonder future generations would feel, gazing upon his marble creation, when he said:
“The best artist has that thought alone which is contained within the marble shell; the sculptor’s hand can only break the spell to free the figures slumbering in the stone.”
Join us to feast on world-class art and unmatched scenery.
- Exclusive out of hours access to the Accademia Museum to view Michelangelo’s David privately
- Exclusive access to the mosaic workshops
- Private drawing workshop at an art studio in central Florence
- Private visit to the Palazzo Corsini (if lucky, as we were in 2017, the Countess, owner of the palace, will show us around herself)
- Cultural Excursion
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
We arrive in Pisa this afternoon, and waste no time in driving east to Florence, where we check in to our central hotel. Our tour begins with an introduction from our charismatic Guide Lecturer, followed by a short guided walk around the city – an excellent opportunity to orientate ourselves before dinner.
Our second day begins with a stroll through Florence’s historic centre. En route we stop at the Santa Trinitá Church, an 11th-century gem glowing with rich Medieval frescos. We continue on to the iconic Cathedral Baptistery, with its gleaming doors and decorated cupola.
Our morning is crowned with a visit to the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, home to a fine collection of Renaissance art and architecture, including Lippi’s famous depiction of The Madonna and Child.
This afternoon, we enjoy an exciting opportunity to learn about drawing techniques with a private workshop in a local art studio. Our day ends with a very special visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia, where we attend a private viewing of Michelangelo’s priceless statue, David.
After breakfast we cross the River Arno to the Brancacci Chapel, otherwise known as “the Sistine Chapel of the early Renaissance”. The fresco cycle within Brancacci depicts the story of St Peter, and is among the most famous and influential of the Renaissance period – a masterpiece by Masaccio which heralded a move to a new style of painting.
Our next stop is the Church of San Lorenzo, one of the city’s largest churches, parts of which were designed by Michelangelo himself – including certain tombs within the majestic Medici Chapel.
Following lunch at a local restaurant we enjoy a personal out-of-hours tour in the workshops of the Museo dell’Opificio, an extraordinary place housing a wealth of semi-precious stone inlays. Here we also learn the secrets of mosaic restoration.
Our day draws to a close in the most civilised manner — with a private concert held by the fabulous Firenze Classica musicians, and, of course, a delicious evening meal.
No trip to Florence would be complete without a trip to the Uffizi Gallery – so this is where our fourth morning begins. Thanks to the sheer number of peerless artworks it conserves, and its heritage as a public institution since 1765, the Uffizi is among the most prestigious galleries in the world. Here we revel in sights such as Botticelli’s Venus, Da Vinci’s Adoration of the Magi, and Caravaggio’s Medusa. We even find Rembrandt’s self-portrait staring pensively from the walls.
The afternoon is free for us to explore the city further at our leisure, perhaps marvelling at the Duomo, picking up some elegant souvenirs, or tasting our way through some of Florence’s more famous delicatessens.
This evening we come together for dinner and drinks at a rooftop restaurant in the city – a magical way to mark the final evening of our trip.
We begin our last day with a private tour of the splendid frescos and art collection of the Palazzo Corsini, a glorious riverside building erected in the 17th century. Don’t miss the romantic Hall of the Nymphs, or the decadent fairytale grotto.
On this charming note we bid farewell to Florence, and return to Pisa for an afternoon flight home.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
• Florence is renowned for its extreme weather with hot summers and cold winters. In December temperatures should still be relatively mild with averages around 10 – 15°C during the day, dropping a little in the evening. The very low temperatures rarely set in before January but cold winter conditions have been known to occur in December so you may wish to pack something warm just in case.
• There will be a fair amount of walking around the city on most days of the tour. Comfortable walking shoes are essential.
• We will be attending a brief workshop during out tour. All materials will be provided.
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