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Power and Politics: Introduction to Florence Audio Guide

Stroll through centuries of history in the capital of the Renaissance
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Audio Guide Details
Duration
1 hour 15 minutes
Product Type
Audio Guide
Venues
  • Uffizi Gallery
  • Palazzo Medici-Riccardi
  • Orsanmichele Church
  • San Lorenzo
  • Baptistery of St. John
  • Florence Duomo
  • Palazzo Strozzi
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • Piazza della Signoria
  • Piazza della Repubblica
  • Palazzo Davanzati
Photos & Highlights
Audio Guide Description
  • Put your map away and take your time to understand the history and politics of Florence as a local guides you through the city
  • Hit play together and stroll the city or wander solo, but always with an expert in your ear as your personal guide

Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, the city of Florence is home of incredibly talented artists such as Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo and Michelangelo. But it's also the home of ambitious and powerful families that patronized these artists and, ultimately, made the Renaissance possible. On this walking tour with Context Travel expert, Siro Chini, you'll hear how families like the Medicis used their economic and political power to rule Florence and Tuscany for centuries.

The tour starts and ends at a square in the center of Florence, Piazza della Republica, where the Romans decided to build their settlement 2,000 years ago. From there, you'll stroll down the labyrinth of narrow, medieval streets and take in the elegant buildings that make up Florence's historical heart. As you walk, Siro will fill you in on the city's history and the traditions that have turned Florence into one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and the cradle of the Italian Renaissance. He'll also tell you about the city's centuries-long transformation, until it became Italy's capital at the end of the 1800s, after the Unification of the Country. You'll see splendid churches like the church and museum of Orsanmichele and Basilica di San Lorenzo, built to impress pilgrims and travelers with their size and beauty. The busy streets will offer you a glimpse of life during the city's golden age, when skilled merchants sold their expensive but unique cloth made of wool, silk and red velvet to the wealthy. Last but not least, you'll see the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, one of the largest Catholic churches in the world where the dome reaches a height of almost 330 feet, making it one of the tallest structures in Florence.

On this 75-minute walking tour of Florence's historical center, you’ll:

• Stroll through the San Lorenzo neighborhood, one of the medieval city's first expansions outside the Roman walls, and hear about Cosimo de’ Medici, the banker, humanist and  avid collector of antiquities who is considered the patron of Renaissance artists like Donatello, Lippi and Fra Angelico
• Gaze upon Giotto's Bell Tower, an example of Tuscan Gothic architecture with elegant mullioned windows to amplify the sound of its bronze bells
• See the Baptistery of St. John, a religious building where you’ll learn about the main features of Tuscan Romanesque architecture, with its contrasting white and green marble inlay
• Become familiar with the Corridoio Vasariano (Vasari Corridor), built in 1565 by Giorgio Vasari to allow the Medici Dukes and family members safe passage and privacy from one building to another
• Visit Piazza della Signoria (Signoria Square), Florence's political center, to take in the imposing stone palace equipped with battlements and a 300-foot high tower called Palazzo Vecchio, built in the 1300s as the seat of the city government or Signoria 
• Learn about architect Brunelleschi, who conceived of a self-supporting double-shelled dome, and then oversaw its construction
• Take in the replica of the statue of David, one of the iconic symbols of the Italian Renaissance, commissioned by 26-year-old Michelangelo
• Pass by the Medici Palace, once the family's residence for almost 200 years
• Find out how, in 1944, retreating German troops blew up all the buildings along Por Santa Maria (opposite Ponte Vecchio, or Vecchio Bridge) but preserved the old bridge 
• Admire the harmony and simplicity of Palazzo Strozzi's proportions, and see Davanzati Palace, a 13th-century home where you can trace the architectural transitions from medieval to Renaissance
• Pop into the Porcellino Market, built in the 1500s so that traders of precious silk and wool fabrics had a covered place to sell their products 
• Discover how the Medici gradually transformed offices into one of the most famous art houses, the Uffizi Gallery

From its medieval cobblestone streets to its many monumental palaces and churches built hundreds of years ago, there's no doubt Florence has much to offer. Join Siro to discover the city that inspired so many artists.
Meet Your Expert
Siro

Siro was born in Florence and has always lived in the city of Dante and Michelangelo. As a kid he had a keen interest in art, drawings and paintings, mostly thanks to the fact that his dad loved to paint (as well as his grandfather and great grandfather). Several family members have been excellent decorators and designers in the 19th and 20th century, the most successful one is the Art Nouveau painter and ceramist Galileo Chini. Willing to follow the path of the family, in the year 2000 he got a professional diploma as a ceramist decorator. In 2008 he graduated at the University of Florence with a BA in History of Art studying applied arts and porcelain with a focus on the historical Tuscan porcelain factory named Richard-Ginori. In order to share his passion and love for Florence, the history, culture and traditions, the art and the great museums, he has professionally trained and licensed as a guide since 2011. Working as a guide with Context Travel has given him the opportunity not only to grow professionally, but to open his eyes and heart to his city, sharing his love for art and history with every single traveler he accompanies on his tours.

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  3. Select Tour Codes from the menu, then select Enter Codes
  4. Enter your Voucher Code
  5. Select Download Now
Is closed captioning (i.e. subtitles) available?
Yes! All of our audio guides have the option to turn on closed captioning should you have difficulty hearing the expert.

How long does each event last?
Our recorded audio guides typically run for 75 minutes.

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You are welcome to listen together with friends or family, but each person listening to the guide on their own device will need to purchase the audio guide individually.

How long does my access to the audio guide last?
Once you purchase an audio guide, you are welcome to listen to it as many times as you would like. Your access to a purchased audio guide does not expire.

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Sales for recorded audio guides are final upon purchase. Please contact us at digital@contexttravel.com if you have any questions or concerns about your purchase.

Can I purchase a gift card for a friend who is traveling?
Absolutely! Gift cards can be purchased here. Gift cards are good for 365 days from the date of purchase.