Three-day itinerary: Florence and the Medici Villas
Day 1: ARRIVAL IN FLORENCE AND GUIDED WALKING TOUR OF THE HISTORIC CENTRE
Group is welcomed at point of arrival, accompanied to 4-star hotel and settled into accommodation.
Later, an official guide leads a panoramic walking tour of key historic and artistic sites and monuments. The guided tour of the Duomo complex includes the enormous dome built by Brunelleschi, the baptistry and its celebrated ‘Gates of Paradise’, and Giotto’s bell tower. The walk then proceeds through Dante’s Quarter, Piazza della Repubblica and Ponte Vecchio, passing alongside the Uffizi gallery and terminating in Piazza della Signoria, home to Palazzo Vecchio and a veritable open-air museum, where you can view a number of statues considered to be among the most priceless of Renaissance works of art.
Dinner in a restaurant in the city centre. Return to the hotel.
Day 2: MEDICI VILLAS (all recently declared Unesco World Heritage sites)
Breakfast in the hotel.
AM: transport by bus to the Medici Villa at Poggio a Caiano. Official guided tour. This villa was commissioned in the late fifteenth century by Lorenzo the Magnificent, who wanted to make it his ‘place of delights’. The architect Giuliano da Sangallo designed a building so innovative that it became the prototype for the Tuscan Renaissance villa. The tour takes visitors into the monumental halls, including the one featuring frescoes by Andrea del Sarto and Pontormo, and those refurbished in the nineteenth century when when Florence was the capital of Italy and the villa became the summer residence of Victor Emanuel of Savoy.
Lunch and wine tasting in the wine producing area of Carmignano.
PM: transport by bus to the Medici Villa at Petraia. Official guided tour. This villa is famous for its central courtyard, which was transformed into a ballroom in the nineteenth century and which retains an original sequence of seventeenth century frescoes by Baldassare Franceschini (“Il Volterrano”) depicting the glory and splendour of the House of Medici. It is also noted for the royal apartments which were refurbished during the reign of the House of Savoy and for its gardens which partially retain their original late Renaissance layout.
Return to the hotel. Dinner in a restaurant in the city centre.
Day 3: THE MAIN MUSEUMS OF FLORENCE: ACCADEMIA AND UFFIZI
Breakfast in the hotel.
AM: meeting with guide for a tour of the Accademia and the Uffizi galleries.
At the Accademia you can marvel at Michelangelo’s David, one of the most famous statues of all time, and other famous works by the grand master of the Italian Renaissance, including the great Hall of Prisoners, Saint Matthew and the Palestrina Pietà.
Short break for tasting of local artisanal ice-cream.
A tour of the Uffizi Gallery is an unforgettable experience. Through grand medieval paintings embellished with pure gold, sweet Renaissance madonnas, portraits of captains and heroes, and depictions of ancient myths artists like Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raffaello reveal the secrets of their art and lives.
Lunch in a restaurant in the city centre. Return to pick up point.
THE TOUR INCLUDES
- Visits with professional tour guide as programmed
- Presence of a holiday rep for the entire duration of the tour
- Hotel accommodation and all meals
- Transport as required
- Headsets if required
- All tickets and advance bookings for entry to all museums and villas
THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
- Optional excursions
- Any other items not expressly listed under the ‘tour includes’ heading