- 8 hours
- A scholarly day in Florence, highlighted by unforgettable views from its hillsides and gardens; visits to the city’s most ancient monuments and churches; a glimpse into Florentine artisan traditions; and a tour of the Duomo Museum.
- Led by Kate, cultural historian and Florence private guide
- Baptistry of St. John, Piazza della Signoria, Museo dell'Opera Del Duomo, Church of San Miniato al Monte, Piazzale Michelangelo , Florentine artisans, and Florence Duomo
Inspired Itinerary: Experiencing the Art and Artisans of Florence
The tour continues as Kate leads us north, via the city’s medieval streets and past its most ancient tower, to the Piazza of the Duomo. Here, we visit the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, where many of the original works associated with Florence’s Duomo, Bell Tower, and Baptistry are on display. Here we will examine the original "Gates of Paradise" by Ghiberti; a late Pietà by Michelangelo, and the building machines and wooden model that Brunelleschi produced when constructing the cathedral’s dome. To close the circle of the tour, we go inside the Baptistry which was built almost contemporaneously with San Miniato al Monte, from which it borrowed many of the same materials, techniques, and symbols. The impressive Byzantine-influenced mosaics of its dome inspired scenes in Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Please Note: As of recently the dome of the Baptistery is under restoration so the mosaics can't be seen. The rest of the structure is visitable, though there is a large scaffolding in the centre of the baptistery. Unfortunately, this restoration is said to take several years.
We will end the day with a visit to a local goldsmith and jeweler. As we pause at his studio we will discover this ancient craftsmanship, and learn about some of the great Florentines who trained as goldsmith-sculptors: Ghiberti, Cellini, and Brunelleschi. (The workshop is closed on Sundays and Mondays, when the tour will conclude, instead, with another Florentine specialty that dates back to the Renaissance: gelato!)
Florence Private Guide itineraries include the cost of your time with your private guide and usually include museum or monument entrance tickets. Lunch and refreshments are at your expense. Accommodation is not included.
What if I want a different itinerary with this expert?
Does Context offer Pre-Travel seminars about Florence?
Where do we meet? Where does it end?
Kate's full-day itinerary in Florence will meet at the San Miniato al Monte Church–we recommend taking a taxi to the top of the hill. Our day together concludes near the Florence Duomo. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map.
What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your expert will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to be prepared; we encourage keeping an eye on the weather and bringing along an umbrella, sunscreen, water, or a hat as needed.
Do you reserve headsets for this tour?
Kate (M.Phil.) lectures in Music & Cultural History at various prestigious institutions in Florence, including the British Institute, New York University and the Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici. She is also a licenced Italian tour guide. Before moving to Italy in 2007, she was Senior Producer for BBC Arts and Music and, for 10 years, she was Artistic Director of the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music in London. Her post-graduate thesis (1992) led her into the fascinating world of late medieval Florence, via the shadowy, poet-composer Don Paolo da Firenze, since when she has published extensively as an academic, a critic and a journalist.
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