Florence Tours and Itineraries Guide
Authorized Touristic Guide in Florence and Its district
Routes proposed: I propose a series of tourist routes dedicated to all who want to be guided discovering the eternal Florence, city loved and glorified by the greatest poets of the world and from time immemorial enchanting destination for intellectuals, artists, travellers and adventurers. Pleasant tours through the streets, the squares, the churches, the museums, discovering the historical memoirs, legends and atmospheres which in a month of Sundays enchant the visitors of this wonderful bright land layed down on the Arno.
Classic city tour, tour in the center of Florence
Classic city tour: this route is a classic walking tour across the city, perfect for all who visit Florence for the first time and want to have an introduction of the city, knowing the basic aspects of its historical and urban evolution through the discovery of its main monuments, of its history and wonders. During an half day (about 3 hours) classic city tour, it will be possibile to visit Piazza del Duomo, with the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery of St. John and the Giotto’s Bell Tower; the wonderful Orsanmichele; the nineteenth century Piazza della Repubblica; the Market-Loggia of “Porcellino”; Ponte Vecchio; Piazza della Signoria and the Basilica of Santa Croce (admission with fee). For a complete tour, I propose also the visit of a museum of your own choice among the Academy Gallery, the Uffizi Gallery and the Palatine Gallery in Pitti Palace; in this case, it’ll be necessary to book the full day guided service (about 6 hours) and is advised to book in advance the admission to the museum selected. In case that you don’t want to include in your tour the visit of a museum, a full day service will be able to integrate the plan above-mentioned with the visit of the area of the Big Palaces, like Strozzi Palace, Tornabuoni Palace, up to Rucellai Palace, for arriving to the dominican Church of Santa Maria Novella (optional visit of the interior) and finally reaching, going through the quarter of St. Lorenzo, the homonym Brunelleschi’s Church (optional visit of the interior).
Theme routes: conceived for them who have been in Florence just one time, or for the city lovers who want to broaden the knowledge of some monuments and tresures, to follow the trails left by the big artists who have lived and worked in Florence, or to know the city in different respect, through routes expressly thought choosing the leitmotif of a “theme”. Among the theme routes suggested:
- Medieval Florence: a pleasant travel discovering the Medieval Florence. According to the time on your hands (half-day or full-day), it will be possible to visit the Basilica of Santa Croce; the Bargello Museum and the Florentine Badia (Abbey); the Chestnut’s Tower; the Dante Alighieri’s House-Museum and Church; the Oratory of the St. Martino’s Buonuomini (Good men); the square of St. Elisabetta with the Pagliazza’s Tower; the Baptistery of St. John; Pomte Vecchio (the Old Bridge); Davanzati Palace; the church of SS. Apostoli; the church of Santa Trinita and the ancient dominican Basilica of Santa Maria Novella.
Politics and arts in the time of Dante: dantesque route in Florence: conceived for all who apprecciate the dantesque genius, the route includes the visit of the Dante’s House-Museum and a pleasant walk through the places linked to the immortal florentine poet, like, for example, the square of St. Martino, with the Chestnut’s Tower and the Oratory of the St. Martino’s Buonuomini (Good men), the Florentine Badia (Abbey) and the church of S. Margherita de’ Cerchi, which houses the grave of Beatrice Portinari (the woman loved and praised by Dante) and where perhaps Dante married Gemma Donati.
- Tour in Orsamichele and route through the places of the ancient florentine Guilds: the half-day tour starts with the visit of the Orsanmichele Museum and of the homonym church. Then we’ll keep on with a interesting walk in the heart of the old town, on the trail of the ancient seats of the medieval urban Guilds.
- Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance: interesting walking tour through the many testimonies of the florentine Renaissance. According to the time on your hands and to your interests, it will be possible to visit the Brancacci Chapel into the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine; the Brunelleschi’s Church of Santo Spirito; the Uffizi Gallery; Piazza (square) della Signoria with its open-air museum; the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with its famous dome; Medici-Riccardi Palace, Michelozzo’s masterpiece; the Brunelleschi’s Basilica of S. Lorenzo; the Academy Gallery, with Michelangelo’s masterpieces.
- • From the late-Gothic to the Renaissance: on the trail of Donatello: expressly conceived for the connoisseurs and the keens about italian sculpture, who want to discover or broaden the knowledge of the Donatello’s masterpieces in Florence. According to the time on your hands, it will be possibile to visit the Basilica of S. Lorenzo with the Old Sacristy; the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, which contains numerous fine works of sculpture by Donatello from the Baptistery, Cathedral and Giotto’s Bell Tower; the Bargello Museum; Orsanmichele; Piazza (square) della Signoria; the Basilica of Santa Croce and the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Croce.
Genius and wantonnes: Michelangelo in Florence: conceived for all the fans of the great Michelangelo, the route could include, according to the time on your hands (half day or full day), the following stops: the Academy Gallery (David, Prisoners, St Matthew); the Medici Chapels with the New Sacristy; the Laurentin Library; the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore (Bandini Pietà); the Bargello Museum (Pitti Tondo, Brutus , Bacchus Drunk); the Casa Buonarroti (Madonna of the Steps ad The battle between Greeks and centaurs); the Basilica of Santa Croce (Tomb of Michelangelo).
Between Vinci and Florence: on the trail of Leonardo: the route dedicated to this great protagonist of the Renaissance starts from Vinci, Leonardo’s home town, visiting the old town of this small village in the heart of the Valdarno area and the Museum of Leonardo, set up in the modern Uzielli Villa and in the rooms of the Castle of Guidi Counts. The tour continues in the near Anchiano, visiting Leonardo’s native house, recently restored and open to the public. After lunch, the tour will continue in the old town of Florence, visiting the Museum of Leonardo’s machines and the Museum of Leonardo. The tour will finish with a pleasant walk in the heart of the florentine old town, up to via (street) de’ Gondi, place where Leonardo lived in the years of his stay in Florence.
The architect of the florentine Renaissance: Filippo Brunelleschi: a route discovering the numerous Brunelleschi’s fine works in Florence could include, according to the time on your hands, the following stops: the Pazzi Chapel in the Basilica of Santa Croce; the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with its dome; the Rotonda of Santa Maria degli Angeli; the Spedale degli Innocenti in piazza (square) Santissima Annunziata; the Basilica of S. Lorenzo and the Old Sacristy; the Gondi Chapel in the church of Santa Maria Novella; the Church of Santo Spirito in the Oltrarno (beyond the Arno river).
- The sixteenth century in Florence: the tour, thought for the italian art lovers, includes the visit of the most important and famous florentine woks of art of the sixteenth century. According to the time on your hands, it will be possible to visit: the Scalzo Cloister, with the Andrea del Sarto’s masterpieces; piazza (square) S. Marco with the homonym church; piazza (square) Santissima Annunziata with the Voti Cloister, which houses an interesting series of Mannerist frescoes; the Academy Gallery; the Medici Chapels with the New Sacristy; the Uffizi Gallery.
A dynasty in power: Medicean tour in Florence: a tour among the numerous medicean testimonies in Florence could include, according to the time on your hands and to your interests, the following stops: Medici-Riccardi Palace, the first Medici’s dwelling; the Basilica of S. Lorenzo (Old Sacristy) and the contiguous Medici Chapels (the Principi Chapel, medicean grand dukes’ mausoleum, and the New Sacristy, with the tombs of Lorenzo il Magnifico and other members of the Medici family); piazza (square) della Signoria with Palazzo Vecchio (the Old Palace), Cosimo I’s dwelling; the medicean Church of Santa Felicita; Pitti Palace, family’s last dwelling.
- Among marble, porphyry and plasma: the Medici’s passion for the precious stones: the half-day tour includes the visit of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (Museum which houses wonderful furniture and objects made with gems and semiprecious stones) and of the Principi Chapel in San Lorenzo.
- Baroque Florence: a pleasant tour discovering the florentine Baroque could include, according to the time on your hands, the following stops: piazza (square) Santissima Annunziata with the Pietro Tacca’s fountains; the Gallery frescoed by Luca Giordano into the Medici-Riccardi Palace; the Principi Chapel in San Lorenzo; the Church of Ognissanti; the Church of S. Michele and S. Gaetano; Corsini Palace; the high altar in the Church of Santo Spirito; the rooms frescoed by Giovanni da San Giovanni and Pietro da Cortona inside the Pitti Palace; the Corsini Chapel inside the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine; the Casa Buonarroti, with its four monumental rooms decorated in baroque style; the Antella Palace’s façade in piazza (square) Santa Croce.
- The nineteenth century: Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism: a nineteenth century route in Florence could include, according to the time on your hands and to your interests, the following stops: Lorenzo Bartolini’s sculpture collection into the Academy Gallery; the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Basilica of Santa Croce with their nineteenth century façades in neo-gothic style; the Basilica of Santa Croce with its grave pantheon; the rooms decorated by Pietro Benvenuti and Luigi Sabatelli into the Palatine Gallery and the Modern Art Gallery in Pitti Palace.
- Painting exhibition from age to age: a day into the Uffizi Gallery: visit of the most important and famous italian art Gallery (half-day or full-day).
- The secret path of the Prince: from piazza della Signoria to Pitti Palace, passing through the Vasari’s Corridor: special visit of the medicean corridor built by Giorgio Vasari hooking-up Palazzo Vecchio and Pitti Palace, passing through the Ponte Vecchio. It will be possibile to include also the visit of the Uffizi Gallery.
A day inside Pitti Palace: for all who want to discover and admire the treasures of the wonderful Grand-Dukes’ Residence where lived the Medici family, the Lorraine grand-dukes and the House of Savoy, I propose the visit of the Palatine Gallery, with the contiguous Royal Apartments, and of the Modern Art Gallery. For all who want to dedicate to Pitti Palace a full-day, it will possibile to integrate the previous plan visiting the enchanting spaces of the Museo degli Argenti, Boboli Gardens and Bardini Garden.
- From the mundane fame to the heavenly glory: painted a fresco powerful families’ chapels through silent tiny streets: pleasant walking tour discovering the finest florentine frescoed chapels, walking through ancient tiny streets in the heart of the old town. According to the time on your hands and to your preferences, it will be possibile to visit the Basilica of Santa Croce, with its wonderful chapels painted a fresco by Giotto and his followers and the Brunelleschi’s Pazzi Chapel decorated by Luca della Robbia; the Church of Santa Trinita with Lorenzo Monaco and Ghirlandaio’s frescoes; Borgo Santi Apostoli with the homonym church; the Church of Santa Felicita with the mannerist Pontormo’s masterpieces; the Church of Santo Spirito; the Brancacci Chapel with its famous frescoes of the Life of St Peter made by Masolino, Masaccio and Filippino Lippi; the Church of Santa Maria Novella with its frescoed chapels; the Magi Chapel, frescoed by Benozzo Gozzoli with the Procession of the Magi to Bethlehem, inside the Medici-Riccardi Palace.
- Dominican memoirs in Florence: the route suggested includes the visit of the ancient dominican Church of Santa Maria Novella, with the annexed romanesque Chiostro Verde (Green Cloister) and the monumental Cappellone degli Spagnoli (Spanish Chapel), and the visit of the Convent-Museum of San Marco, linked to the famous figures of Girolamo Savonarola, St Antoninus, Fra’ Angelico and Fra’ Bartolomeo and so place of the dominican memoirs in Florence.
- The places of the spirit, between art and devotion: this route aims at joining, according to an ideal leitmotif, two importants religious and historical-artistic medieval centres: the monumental complex of the Opera del Duomo – with the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery of St John, the Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo – for rediscovering the old medieval religious centre, and the Church of Santa Maria Novella, centre of religious preaching by the Dominican Order, which installed itself in Florence in the first half of the thirteenth century.
- Santa Maria Novella, via Tornabuoni and Santa Trinita: the route, of the duration of about 3 hours, starts with the visit of the Church of Santa Maria Novella, with also the homonym square. Then we’ll keep on walking along via Tornabuoni, admiring its numerous historical palaces: Antinori Palace, Tornabuoni Palace, Strozzi Palace, Spini-Feroni Palace, Bartolini-Salimbeni Palace. The route includes also the visit of the Church of Santa Trinita and of the Davanzati Palace, which has housed the Museum of the Ancient Florentine House since 1956.
- The quarter of San Lorenzo and the life in the suburbs: itinerary dedicated to the life in the florentine suburbs, conceived for them who want to discover the florentine city lifestyle, that is the most authentic and common aspects of the florentine urban life. An half-day route begins from the quarter of San Lorenzo, one of the most ancient district of the city, visiting the homonym Basilica and the Central Market, whose stalls espose very good local products, the majority of them coming from the hills near Florence. The tour finishes with a walk along via (street) Sant’Antonino and via dell’Ariento, the most vivacious and picturesque streets of the quarter, full of shops and stands with the typical products of the local handicraft. A full-day route (about 6 hours) could integrate the previous itinerary with the visit of Borgo Pinti, with its open market, the Church of Sant’Ambrogio with the “Miracle” Chapel and the Perugino’s frescoes inside the Chapter House of the Church of Santa Maria de’ Pazzi, for then keeping on towards Borgo SS. Apostoli, with a medieval urban order perfectly preserved, and the Church of Santa Trinita. Walking along the Lungarno Corsini, we’ll finally reach Borgo Ognissanti, where it will be possibile to admire the wonderful palaces and to visit the Church of Ognissanti.
- The Oltrarno: Florence’s treasures beyond the Arno: according to the time on your hands, it will be possibile to visit Ponte Vecchio, the Church of Santa Felicita, Pitti Palace, the Church of San Felice in Piazza, the Palace of Bianca Cappello (grand duke Francesco I’s mistress and then legitimate wife), the Church of Santo Spirito, the Brancacci Chapel and the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine, the baroque Church of San Frediano in Cestello.
- Historical-artistic itinerary between Ponte Vecchio and Porta San Niccolò: the route is conceived like a pleasant half-day walking tour discovering a “different” Oltrarno: starting by Ponte Vecchio, the walk keeps on through the old stretch of via (street) de’ Bardi, on the trail of Beatrice Portinari, the women loved and celebrated by the great poet Dante Alighieri, who married the florentine nobleman Simone de’ Bardi. Along the way, it will be possible to admire: the Capponi delle Rovinate Palace, whose courtyard is considered one of the first example of Renaissance architecture; the fifteenth-century Larioni de’ Bardi Palace, according to tradition built by the architect Michelozzo; the neoclassic Canigiani Palace, next to whom there is the Church of Santa Lucia dei Magnoli, where it will be possible to admire some fine works by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Jacopo del Sellaio. The tour keeps on going up along Costa Scarpuccia, up to the Church of San Giorgio or “dello Spirito Santo”, rebuilt in the XVIII century by Giovan Battista Foggini and nowadays Rumanian Orthodox Church. Then we’ll go on along the other stretch of via (street) de’ Bardi, reaching the sixteenth-century Torrigiani Palace and the Bardini Museum, where it will possibile to admire art works by Tino di Camaino, Donatello, Antonio del Pollaiolo, Tintoretto and Tiepolo. Keeping on along via (street) San Niccolò, we’ll reach the Church of San Niccolò Oltr’Arno, with its original gothic internal structure and then, reaching the Lungarno Serristori, we’ll arrive to the Rodolfo Siviero’s House-Museum, collector of the Twentieth century. If you had a full-day on your hands, the tour could continue after lunch starting by piazza (square) Giuseppe Poggi, dominated by the massive fourteenth-century Porta (Gate) di San Niccolò. Going on along the flights of San Niccolò, designed by Giovanni Poggi, it will be possibile to reach Piazzale (large square) Michelangiolo; from here, hiking over the Viale (Avenue) di Monte alle Croci, it will be possibile to reach the Franciscan Church of San Salvatore al Monte and then the Romanesque Basilica of San Miniato al Monte.
- Bus-Tour: coach route along the Viale dei Colli: I propose you an half-day itinerary passing by bus through the famous tree-lined avenue 8 km long – which from Ponte (Bridge) San Niccolò leads to Porta (Gate) Romana – planned by the architect Giuseppe Poggi when Florence became the capital of Italy in the nineteenth century. The first stop of our route will be piazzale Michelangiolo, from that, on foot, we’ll be able to reach and visit the Churches of San Salvatore and San Miniato al Monte, with the contiguous monumeltal Cemetery called “the Porte Sante”. The tour will continue by bus along the viale (avenue) Galileo Galilei, with an optional diversion in via (street) San Leonardo for visiting (by booking) the medicean Villa of Poggio Imperiale. If the visit of this Villa doesn’t hold your interest, we’ll be able to keep on by bus along the viale (avenue) Galilei, up to the square of Porta (Gate) Romana. After a short-lasting visit of the square, it will be possibile to reach on foot Piazza (square) della Calza, for admiring the precious Last Supper painted by Franciabigio inside the Convento (Convent) della Calza.
- From the city to the country, on the trail of Galileo Galilei: the route starts by piazza (square) de’ Giudici, visiting the Museo di Storia della Scienza (Museum of the history of science). Then we’ll keep on crossing Ponte Vecchio, up to piazza (square) Santa Felicita with the visit of the homonym church. Then we’ll go up along Costa San Giorgio, going in front of the house where lived Galileo Galilei, and, crossing the ancient Porta (Gate) San Giorgio, we’ll go up admiring Florence from the bleaches of the Forte Belvedere. The tour keeps on towards the country, passing through the little and suggestive via (street) San Leonardo for a delightful stroll among the “walled-in” city and the pleasant surrounding hills. On the way, it will be possibile to admire the florentine seat of the John Hopkins University, the little country church of San Leonardo in Arcetri, the studio of the famous painter Ottone Rosai and the florentine dwelling where Cajkovskij composed some of his mesterpieces. Going straight on via (street) San Leonardo, we’ll go up among old walls and valuable blocks up to Arcetri, place where died Galileo Galilei, who was in political exile in this area. According to your interests, it would be possible to continue the tour along via (street) San Leonardo up to the seventeenth-century Villa of Poggio Imperiale, whose ground floor can be visited by booking.
- Unknown Florence: an half-day itinerary starts visiting the Scalzo Cloister, with the wonderful Andrea del Sarto’s frescoes of the Life of St John the Baptist. Then we’ll cross piazza (square) San Marco up to piazza SS. Annunziata, for admiring the wonderful Voti Cloister, with its series of Mannerist frescoes by Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino. The tour finishes visiting the Museo (Museum) dell’Ospedale degli Innocenti. In a full-day itinerary, it would be possibile to integrate the half-day plan visiting the Florentine Badia (Abbey) and, passing through the Loggia del Grano, the Giorgio Vasari’s House and the Horne Museum.
- The Last Suppers: monastic culture, Holy Communion’s iconography and florentine tradition: interesting itinerary aiming to create a direct conversation with the art of the great masters who in the course of time have expressed the fascinating spirituality of the religious theme of the Last Supper, inside the refectories of the florentine convents. According to the time on your hands and to your interests, it will be possibile to admire: the fourteenth-century Last Supper painted by Taddeo Gaddi inside the ex-refectory of the franciscan convent of Santa Croce; the fragment of the Andrea dell’Orcagna’s Last Supper into the Church of Santo Spirito; the Last Supper, masterpiece of Andrea del Castagno, into the ex-convent of Santa Apollonia; the Last Suppers frescoed by Domenico del Ghirlandaio inside the convent of Ognissanti and inside the small refectory of the convent of San Marco; Perugino’s Last Supper inside the refectory of the ex-convent of Fuligno; the Cenacolo della Calza painted by Franciabigio; the Last Supper frescoed by Andrea del Sarto inside the big refectory of the monastery of San Michele in San Salvi.
- The Collecting in Florence: route dedicated to the phenomenon of collecting, which since the second half of the nineteenth century has made Florence the protagonist of the european antiquarian panorama. According to the time on your hands and to your preferences, it will be possibile to visit: the eclectic Stibbert Museum; the Casa Buonarroti (a delightful little museum dedicated to Michelangelo); the Horne Museum; the Bardini Museum; Siviero’s House-Museum; the Fondazione Romano’s Museum, with its collection of sculpture left to the city by the Neapolitan antiquarian Salvatore Romano in 1946, inside the convent of Santo Spirito; the Museo delle Porcellane inside Pitti Palace.
Tours in Province
series of routes thought for all who want to discover the numerous beauties and the inestimable treasures of the territory near Florence: from the immediate environs of Florence to the Empolese-Valdelsa; from the florentine Chianti to the Valdarno area; from the florentine Mountain to the Mugello district. Among the tours proposed:
Medici’s amusements into the Villas: gardens full of delights, hunts and loves in the neighbourhood of Florence: according to the time on your hands and to your preferences, it will be possibile to visit the following medicean villas: the Villa of Pratolino, the Villa of Careggi, the Villa of Petraia, the Villa of Castello, the Villa of Artimino (called “la Fernanda”), the Villa of Poggio a Caiano.
The ancient rival of Florence on the hill: Fiesole among art, archaeological memoirs and exclusive gardens: according to the time on your hands, it will be possibile to visit the Civic Museum and the Archaeological Area (Roman Theatre, Temples’ ruins, ancient Thermal Baths), on the trail of the Etruscan and Roman remains in Fiesole; the Bandini Museum; the Cathedral of San Romolo; the Monastery of San Francesco, the Badia (Abbey) and the estate of San Domenico; the Medici Villa of Belcanto (its garden can be visited by booking); the wonderful Garden of Villa Peyron.
From Settignano to the Hill of Bellosguardo:: the pleasant itinerary in the neighbourhood of Florence starts visiting the Castle of Vincigliata, fascinating fourteenth-century building rebuilt in the nineteenth century in neo-gothic style, for then continuing towards Villa Gamberaia, with its elegant Italian formal garden (the visit of the Villa’s interior is allowed only to the groups composed of at least 15 persons). The tour will continue visiting the Carthusian monastery of Galluzzo (also called Carthusian monastery of Florence or of Val d’Ema): the picture Gallery with the masterpieces of Pontormo, the Acciaiuoli Palace, the Church of San Lorenzo and the Big Cloister with the earthenware busts made by the workshop of the Della Robbia family. Then we’ll reach the Villa of Poggio Imperiale, built in the seventeenth century by the architect Giulio Parigi and later recasted, whose low ground can be visited only by booking. From Poggio Imperiale, we’ll keep on towards the Colle (Hill) of Bellosguardo, with its fourteenth-century Tower restructured as a villa and today designed for an hotel, and its Villa of Ombrellino, where stayed Galileo Galilei. The tour’ll finish just over this wonderful Hill, place all along favourite by italian and foreign intellectuals, from whom it’s possibile to admire a wonderful landscape of Florence.
From Signa to the North Florence: treasures hidden among abbeys, museums and country churches: the tour will start visiting the Badia (Abbey) of San Salvatore a Settimo, in the vicinity of Lastra a Signa: the church of SS. Salvatore and Lorenzo, the prison, the Cloister of Melarancio, the refectory, the sacristy (where are held 3 art works of Domenico del Ghirlandaio), the chapel of San Jacopo with its wonderful frescoes. Then we’ll keep on towards San Donnino (near Campi Bisenzio), for visiting the Church of S. Andrea a Brozzi and the Museum of Sacred Art, which houses some valuable fourteenth and fiveteenth-centuries art woks and some ancient liturgical furnitures. The tour will finish in Sesto Fiorentino, where it will be possibile to visit the Romanesque Pieve (country church) of San Martino and the Museum of porcelain made by the famous Doccia factory.
A full day in the neighbourhood of Empoli: according to your preferences and interests, it will be possibile to visit: the Pieve (country church) of San Giovanni Evangelista, with an interesting table painted by Botticelli’s workshop, the Archaeological and Ceramics Museum, the exterior of the medicean Villa called “l’Ambrogiana” (nowadays psychiatric hospital) in Montelupo Fiorentino; Empoli, with the Collegiate Church of Sant’Andrea, the Museum of the Collegiate (one of the most ancient church museum, that houses arts works of Lorenzo Monaco, Masolino da Panicale and Filippo Lippi) and Santo Stefano, frascoed by Masolino da Panicale and his pupils; Vinci, with its pleasant old town, the Castle of Guidi Counts which houses the Museum of Leonardo da Vinci and Leonardo’s native House in Anchiano; the medicean Villa of Cerreto Guidi, which nowadays houses the Museum of Hunt and Territory.
Artistic itinerary through the suggestive landscapes of the Valdelsa area: according to the time on your hands and to your interests, it will be possibile to visit: the Romanesque Pieve (country church) of S. Piero in Mercato, with the attached Museum of Sacred Art, in Montespertoli; the Castles of Montefugoni, Poppiano and Lucardo in the area surrounding Montespertoli; Castelfiorentino, with the baroque Sanctuary of Santa Verdiana and the attached Museum of Sacred Art, which houses art works dedicated to the Virgin by Benozzo Gozzoli; Certaldo, with its Council Palace, the ex-church of SS. Tommaso and Prospero with frescoes made by Benozzo Gozzoli, the House of the italian poet Boccaccio, who died here in 1375, the Museum of Sacred Art prepared inside the ex-convent of the Augustinians; the Romanesque Pieve (country church) of S. Maria in Gambassi Terme; the Convent of San Vivaldo, near Montaione, suggestive franciscan estate in the middle of a wood, with its 17 chapels decorated with polychrome clay sculptures which reproduce the placing of the holy places in Jerusalem.
The florentine Chianti: hill landscapes among olive groves and vineyards, country churches and castles, art and devotion: the pleasant tour through the hills of the florentine Chianti includes the following stops: San Casciano Val di Pesa, with its fourteenth-century walls, the Museum of Sacred Art prepared into the ex-church of S.Maria del Gesù, the art works held into the chuch of Misericordia, as a wonderful Crucifix made by Simone Martini; Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, with its Romanesque Pieve (country church) of S. Pietro in Bossolo, where is placed the Museum of Sacred Art with art works by Neri and Lorenzo di Bicci and by Jacopo Chimenti (called ‘the Empoli’); Barberino Val d’Elsa, with its Council Palace and the near Romanesque pieve (country church) of S. Appiano; the fortified village of Panzano, with the Romanesque Pieve (country church) of S. Leolino; Greve in Chianti, with the parish church of S. Croce, the Museum of S. Francesco and the Castles of Verrazzano, Vignamaggio and Vicchiomaggio; the fascinating hill environs of Impruneta (Mezzomonte, S. Gersolè, the Villa of Montauto, the seventeenth-century Villa of the Ugolino).
Through villages and country churches: the Higher Valdarno: departing from Florence, we’ll go along the «via (street) Aretina», meeting first the town of Rovezzano, with the church of S. Michele and the Villa Favard built by the architect Baccio d’Agnolo, and then the town of Sieci, with the thirteenth-century Castle of Trebbio, restored in the fiveteenth century for want of the Medcici family. We’ll keep on going along the medieval «via (street) Setteponti», among terraces cultivated with olive trees and grapevines and ancient country churches, up to Figline Valdarno, where we’ll visit the Collegiate church of S. Maria, with the attached Museum of Sacred Art, the fourteenth-century Council Palace and the church of S. Francesco. Catching the trunk road n. 69, we’ll meet Incisa Val d’Arno, with the franciscan convent of SS. Cosma and Damiano al Vivaio, S. Clemente, Rosano (small village placed around the Benedictine Abbey of S.Maria), the Pieve (country church) of S.Pietro a Ripoli and, finally, the Badia (abbey) of Ripoli, the most ancient monastery of the florentine area (VII-VIII centuries).
The florentine Mountain: a pleasant tour discovering the towns of the mountain Community “Florentine Mountain”, through the ancient country churches and the interesting museums of San Godenzo, Castagno d’Andrea (fiveteenth-century painter Andrea del Castagno’s hometown), Dicomano, Londa, Rufina (at the optinon of visiting the Museum of the Grapevine and Wine, houses into the sixteenth-century Villa of Poggio Reale), Pontassieve, Pelago, Reggello and the next Cascia, whose Romanesque country church houses the fist art work made by the florentine Renaissance painter Masaccio (The Triptych of S. Giovenale). For all who are interested, it will be possible to visit the Abbey of Vallombrosa, mother house of the Vallombrosan congregation established by S.Giovanni Gualberto in the eleventh century.
Mugello district: Medici’s land and art’s birthplace: according to your preferences and interests, it will be possibile to visit: Vaglia, with a pleasant walk inside the Demidoff Park in Pratolino, admiring the gigantic Fountain of the Apennine made by the mannerist sculptor Giambologna, and a mystic pilgrimage to the Convent of Montesenario; San Piero a Sieve, with the Castle of Trebbio, built by the architect Michelozzo for Cosimo il Vecchio, and the pleasant Convent of Bosco ai Frati – restored by the same Michelozzo for want of Cosimo il Vecchio – which houses a wooden crucifix ascribed to Donatello; Barberino del Mugello, with the Lake of Bilancino and the medicean Villa of Cafaggiolo, restored by Michelozzo in the fiveteenth century for want of Cosimo il Vecchio and place dearly loved by Lorenzo il Magnifico; Scarperia, with the fourteenth-century Palace of the Vicars, which nowadays houses the Museum of the cutting tools, the fourteenth-century Church of SS. Jacopo and Filippo, the Pieve (country church) of Sant’Agata, one of the most important sacred building of the Mugello area and, for all who love the sport, the famous Automobile Circuit in Ferrari’s possession; Borgo San Lorenzo – whose homonym country church houses a painting ascribed to Giotto – with the Museum of the Chini Factory inside the Villa Pecori-Giraldi; Vicchio, hometown of numerous artists, as Giotto, Beato Angelico and Benvenuto Cellini, with the Museum of Sacred Art called “Beato Angelico” and the Giotto’s native House; Marradi, town famous all over the world for the very good marrons (chestnuts) which it’s possibile to pick in this area; Firenzuola, with the Museum of Stone and Palazzolo sul Senio, with the Museum of the Life and Works of the mountain people, placed inside the fiveteenth-century Palace of the Captains.
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