Florence: the Renaissance city
A visit to Florence is a journey back in time. This remarkable city has Roman roots, having been founded in 59 BC by soldiers from Julius Caesar’s army, but it was the Renaissance that transformed and defined the city. During the Renaissance Florence was home not only to the powerful Medici dynasty, but also some of the greatest geniuses of all time – Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo, and many more. It was a time of revolutionary scientific discovery and artistic innovation, and the city of Florence was right at the heart of it all.
Florence has preserved its Renaissance atmosphere, and the city center has remained virtually unchanged for centuries. Those who make an artistic pilgrimage to the city today, joining Florence tours or Uffizi tours, are enchanted by this unique atmosphere. Everywhere you go, beauty and history surrounds you.
The entire historic city center of Florence is a UNESCO world heritage site. Here you’ll find the extraordinary art collection of the Uffizi Gallery, which includes masterpieces by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael and Titian, as well the Accademia, location of the most famous statue in the world — Michelangelo’s David.
Piazza della Signoria resembles an outdoor art gallery, as it’s lined with beautiful old buildings and filled with Renaissance sculptures such as Cellini’s Perseus. This piazza also played an important role in the political history of Florence, as the location of the early 14th century Palazzo Vecchio – perhaps the most beautifully decorated town hall in the world.
The magnificent Duomo is another highlight of any Florence tour. The vast dome of the cathedral was designed by the maverick architect Brunelleschi – an extraordinary achievement for the time, and one that continues to impress today. Nearby is the beautiful Baptistery, an unusual octagonal building renowned for the gilded “gates of paradise”, the bronze doors created by Lorenzo Ghiberti. From here, it’s just a short walk to Ponte Vecchio, a splendid medieval bridge lined by jewelry shops, which offers some of the best views of Florence. If you visit Italy for the first time — or even the second and third one for that matter — a Florence tour is a must-do that requires only the best tour guides in town.
the Uffizi gallery tour
Our Uffizi tours are the ideal introduction to the collection of this enormous gallery. Accompanied by one of our expert guides, with solid background in art history, you’ll learn all about the history of the Uffizi – how the building was transformed from a 16th century office block into the private art collection of the Medici family. Today, the Uffizi Gallery has an unrivaled collection of Renaissance art, with masterpieces such as Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Raphael’s Madonna of the Goldfinch on display. Although the sheer size of the collection can make a visit to the Uffizi seem daunting, your private guide will help you to make the most of your visit on a private Uffizi tour. As well as seeing unmissable paintings like Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo, you’ll also get to discover the hidden gems of the Uffizi, appreciating lesser-known masterpieces that most visitors miss without the right tour guide. Join us in Florence for the ultimate Uffizi experience.
Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia
You may feel as though you’ve already seen Michelangelo’s David – one of the most famous artworks of all time. But nothing compares to seeing the original David up close, examining Michelangelo’s masterpiece from every angle, and learning about the creation of this remarkable sculpture.
Our private tours of Florence include a visit to the Accademia, the gallery best-known as the home of David. While most tour companies pay a perfunctory visit to David before moving swiftly on, you’ll have the time to gaze at the statue at length, your appreciation enriched by the explanations of your private guide. You’ll also see the other masterpieces of the Accademia, which tend to get overlooked by other visitors, including Michelangelo’s striking Prisoners – enormous figures that seem to struggle to escape from the marble. Other highlights of an Accademia tour include works by Botticelli and Giambologna, as well as an impressive collection of musical instruments featuring priceless works by Stradivari.
Go off the beaten path in Florence
If it’s not your first time in Florence, or if you’re a traveler interested in discovering the hidden sights of the city, we recommend our off the beaten path Florence tour. One of our expert guides will show you the secret side of the city, taking you to the beautiful Palazzo Davanzati – a rare survivor from the Middle Ages – which is filled with stunning frescoes. A highlight is the enchanting Room of the Parrots, a frescoed room where the walls are covered with small parrots.
You’ll also visit the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, an elegant Renaissance building once home to the Medici family, and the museum of Palazzo Vecchio. This imposing medieval palace in Piazza della Signoria was briefly the seat of the government, and was the location of many of the most important political events in Florence’s history. Inside, you’ll explore sumptuous rooms and learn the fascinating story of the lost frescoes of Michelangelo and Da Vinci. For an alternative tour of Florence, join us in the back streets, and let us show you some of the most beautiful secret spots in the city.
Discover Pisa: the Leaning Tower and the Piazza dei Miracoli
There’s more to Tuscany than Florence, and for anyone interested in art, architecture and culture, a visit to Pisa is a must.
We offer half day private tours of Pisa and shore excursions for visitors arriving by cruise ship. You may have seen it in countless photos, but it’s not until you’re standing in front of the Leaning Tower that you can truly appreciate its unique, slightly surreal beauty. Our Pisa private tours allow you to skip the line and climb the tower, admiring panoramic views of the city as you learn all about the history of the tower, from the story of its construction to its role in Galileo’s scientific experiments.
We’ll also explore the rest of the Piazza dei Miracoli (“Square of Miracles”) in-depth, visiting the cathedral, baptistery and monumental cemetery to learn all about the fascinating history of the city – a history spanning from the Etruscan era to the present day.
Wine tasting in Tuscany
Enrich your Tuscan experience by combining a visit to Florence with a Tuscany wine tour. We offer an exclusive shore excursion for visitors arriving at Livorno; a private driver will pick you up at the port and take you to the center of Florence, where you’ll meet your private guide for a three hour Florence tour. After lunch, you’ll enjoy a visit to a vineyard in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, sampling a variety of excellent local wines accompanied by appetizers. This day trip is the ideal way to experience Tuscany, combining Renaissance art and culture with some of the finest Italian wines on one of our exclusive Florence private tours.