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Tour Florence with Siro, Artist and Art Historian

Fully-planned day with private guide in Florence
From US$1,518 privately
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Tour Details
8 hours
Product Type
  • Florence Duomo
  • Palazzo Vecchio
  • Museo del Bargello
  • Basilica of Santa Croce - Pazzi Chapel
  • Orsanmichele Church
Photos & Highlights
  • A scholarly day in Florence, highlighted by a tour of Santa Croce Basilica and an exploration of Renaissance Florence
  • Led by Siro, Artist and Art Historian and private guide in Florence
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Tour Description
Meet Siro, your Florence private guide to the art and history of this Renaissance city.
Siro was born and raised in Florence where he graduated with a degree in decorative and applied arts.  Before university, he trained as a ceramic painter. He comes to this skill from a long line of ceramic artists: his ancestors founded the Arte della Ceramica, Fornaci San Lorenzo in the nineteenth century in a town called Borgo San Lorenzo, north of Florence. The family-run factory was known for its art deco and liberty elegance with a limited production of ornamental objects designed by the famous artist, painter, and scenographer Galileo Chini.  His training both in art history and in the craft of Majolica decoration has allowed him to understand art by making it with his own two hands. 

Siro has been working as a guide in Florence with Context since 2011, sharing his passion for the art and artists of the Florentine Renaissance: Michelangelo, Donatello, and Verrocchio, to name a few.  He is constantly learning from the great masters of Florence and he cherishes sharing his favorite places and masterpieces with visitors.  Santa Croce, his personal favorite church in Florence, is a treasure trove of art and history.  Siro's goal when talking about Santa Croce, or any historic site, is to help his clients understand the context for the masterpieces. Artworks in churches were referred to as the “Bible of the poor” and, at the same time, Siro invites visitors to reflect on great minds like Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Niccolò Macchiavelli, and others who are buried there. It’s truly the Pantheon of the most illustrious Florentines and Italians.

A tour with Siro will always include an insider’s view of the neighborhoods of the city, and the tasty delights hidden in plain sight all over town.  Our full-day itinerary will include lunch in a local spot as well as snacks and of course a stop for coffee along the way!  For Siro, food provides the rhythm and pleasure of life: life is meant to be enjoyed and savored! 

Languages: Italian, English

Itinerary Inspiration - The Renaissance in Florence in Religious and Civic Life

Join Siro on his favorite route through Florence on this full-day exploration of its history and culture, highlighted by a tour of Santa Croce Basilica and the Bargello Museum, and of course, a stop for lunch in one of his favorite local spots!

We will start our day at Santa Croce, the Franciscan Basilica in the heart of Florence.  We’ll admire the elegant facade before going inside to explore the artworks and memorial tombs within.  With masterpieces by a long list of Florentine masters, from Cimabue to Giotto to Lippi to Vasari, the interior of the church is survey of Italian art in a serene and inspiring setting.  With Siro, we will explore the chapels as well as the funerary tombs and monuments to the greats of Italian arts and culture including Michelangelo, Galileo and more.

Next, we will walk through the back streets of historic Florence to make our way to the Bargello Museum where Siro will help us to understand the sculpture collection by highlighting the works by artists who best represent the artist traditions of Renaissance Florence.  Here we will meet Michelangelo, Donatello, and Cellini and learn more about the Grand Dukes who patronized them.  

After a stop for a typical Tuscan lunch at a local spot nearby, and a walk through a local neighborhood to see beyond the tourist area of Florence, we will continue our exploration at Palazzo Vecchio.  Once the town hall of the city of Florence, this impressive structure has held the Medici as prisoners and as rulers.  Siro will guide us through the history of this fortified palace and help to place the Medici family in the larger context of the Florentine Renaissance.  We'll discuss the architects and craftsmen who worked on the Palazzo throughout history. 

From here, we will continue on foot to Orsanmichele Church, and learn about the role of the Guilds in the time of the Medici family.  The building, which started as a communal granary and was later consecrated as a church, is decorated with sculptures that help tell the story of Florence's illustrious past.  Saving best for last, we will stroll over to the majestic Duomo and walk all the way around this mighty cathedral, learning about Brunelleschi’s dome and how it was constructed against all odds hundreds of years ago.  With long lines and limited access, we will forgo a visit to the interior of the Duomo, but we will admire the architectural features of it and the neighboring baptistery for a taste of early Renaissance architecture and decoration.

Our time with Siro will help connect the pieces of Florentine history that surround us in this unique city - from art and architecture to politics and power, we will come away understanding why Florence is unique in the world and how it is so intertwined with the Renaissance period. 


What is included in the itinerary?
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?
The published itinerary represents Siro's favorite way to visit Florence.  We have many Florence offerings which may better suit your interests.

Does this tour visit the inside of the Duomo?
It does not. The lines at the Duomo are notoriously long, and Siro would like to spend this day showing as much of Florence as possible rather than standing in line. We encourage you to visit the Duomo afterwards with your new in-depth knowledge about its architecture!

Is this suitable for children and/or travelers with mobility challenges? 
Yes. We can adapt the itinerary based on the ages, needs, and interests of travelers in your party.

Do you reserve headsets for this tour? 
Depending on your group size, we may be required by the venue to order headsets in which case you’ll see a “Headset Fee” added to your order. If you would like to guarantee headsets for your tour regardless of your group size, please email us and we’ll be happy to get them reserved for you.
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7 Reviews (5.0)

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.

We wanted an in-depth understanding of Florence our visit of a couple of days. Siro unified over 300 years of art, history and politics in a day tour. He was engaging and answered all of our questions with depth and breadth. He took care to also address our tween daughter’s queries in a comprehensible manner. It was the first time to use the headsets in a tour, which allowed us to hear every explanation despite the noise level in crowded galleries and streets, or how close we remained with the guide.