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Artistic Florence through the Ages

Full Day Tour – 7 hours

This tour combines art history and traditional craftsmanship together to provide you with a fascinating and memorable day where you will meander through many of Florence's back alleys and 'out of way' places to discover some of the many hidden treasures. You will enjoy learning about many of the ongoing traditions and the 'artisans' who continue to provide an integral part of this wonderful city.

After meeting your guide at your hotel or designated meeting point, you will walk through the piazza of Santa Maria Novella where you will see one of Florence's oldest church. From the piazza you will continue onto one of the oldest pharmacies in Italy where you will have a chance to sample and purchase hand made beauty products made by the Nuns. They utilise many different herbs, spices and various plants to create magnificent creams, perfumes and soaps which have been world renowned and are exported to many international destinations. The building itself is an experience with its high ceilings, frescoes, and many glass cabinets that proudly display these luxurious products. From here we will continue to a very characteristic book binding shop and then for a stroll along the river Arno where you can experience one of the best views of the city towards the famous 'Ponte Vecchio' or 'Old Bridge'. Along the 'Lugarno' you will see many showrooms displaying their marble sculptures, mosaic table tops, hand crafted leather goods and textiles. Shopping lovers will be in heaven wandering up Florence's most exclusive street which is lined with many of the world's top fashion houses. The history of textiles and fashion design is ongoing and it makes Florence one of the worlds top destination for designers and buyers alike. The next stop on our journey is the historical Palazzo Strozzi and then a little further on you will walk through the archways into the Piazza della Republica which for centuries has been the central meeting point in Florence situated on the apex of many of the main streets. Here you really experience true italian 'cafe culture' and if you have time ( or you can come back!) you can sit and 'people watch' like many visitors love to do. The 'Duomo', or 'Florence Cathedral' appears magestically before you as we continue through the epicentre of the city and here you will learn more about the Baptistery, why it has golden doors, the origin ofthe beautifully coloured marble and the fight between some of Italians most well known architects in design the huge 'Dome'.

From here it is time to enjoy some lunch either in the place of your choice or if you like we can also book a traditional trattoria for you. You will have about an hour or a little longer to enjoy some of the gastronomical delights of Tuscany!

Heading back down towards the river you will walk into one of the worlds most spectacular piazza's, the 'Piazza della Signoria' where you will see copies of many of the most famous sculptures including Michelangelo's 'David'. The imposing tower of the 'Palazzo Vecchio' guards over this magical square with Neptunes fountain in the centre. Through the cafe lined piazza you will continue on alongside the Uffizzi, one of the most well known art museums in the world and down towards the 'Ponte Vecchio' now with its reputaion for the gold merchants though previously the site for many of the cities butcher shops!! Over the bridge you will carry onto a little family run olive oil shop and then into the depths of the 'Oltrarno'. There are many artisans in this area of Florence and you will have the opportunity to browse through handmade paper shops, the masks for 'Carnevale', iron merchants, mosaics and many more. The tour leaves you at the 'Pitti Palace', one of the many homes of the Medici family which is now a wondeful museum which boasts extraordinary collection of hand made jewellery, gold, ceramics and many other types of artwork and handicrafts. It is worth entering just to see the palace itsef, with it's never ending frescoes and invcredible architecture. You can continue through here into the 'Boboli Gardens' though we recommend you come back another day or join us on our 'Villas and Gardens' tour to really appreciate these splendid grounds.

** Please note that all prices below are quoted considering a pick up and drop off in Florence. We can organise for the driver to come to your villa or accommodation in other areas of Tuscany and prices will be quoted seperately upon request **