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Uffizi Gallery – Florence

Florence - Uffizi Gallery - South View
Florence - Uffizi Gallery - hallwayFlorence - Uffizi Gallery - detailFlorence - Uffizi Gallery - night view

The stunning Renaissance Galleria degli Uffizi (Uffizi Gallery) is one of the most famous and old museums in the world.

When the building was designed it was meant to house the Florentine magistrates’ offices, from here the world Uffizi that in Old Italian mean offices. To realize his project in 1560 Cosimo I de’ Medici hired Giorgio Vasari, one of the most celebrated artists and architects of the time. It took more than twenty years to complete the building, other two architects were involved: Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti.

The idea of Cosimo I was to use the building partly for the administrative offices of the city and partly to display a selection of the family art collections. When Francis I became Grand Duke of Tuscany he asked Buontalenti to build the stunning Tribuna degli Uffizi in order to showcase an even bigger amount of art pieces. The unique collection displayed in the Tribuna became one of the principal attractions of the Grand Tour, a very popular trip of Europe among the European Upper-class.

The Medici Family art collections never stop growing; the building was remodeled many times in order to accommodate the new pieces of art. Vasari wrote that artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo where spending time in the Uffizi for inspiration.

When, after centuries of dominion, the Medici Family extinguished their stunning collections were donated to the city of Florence; the Uffizi was probably one of the first modern museums created.

Since the 16th century it was possible to visit the Uffizi Gallery by request, by the end of the 18th century the museum was opened to the general public. The collection is so vast that it is not possible to display every single piece of art; in the recent past some of the art works were moved in other Florence’s museum in order to be more appropriately showcase.

Things to see

The incredible number of art pieces are displayed chronologically; visitor can get lost admiring unique masterpieces like Giotto and Cimabue paintings, Masaccio and Piero della Francesca works or the famous and breathtaking Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli!

It is also possible to book a visit to the Vasari Corridor that connected The Uffizi Gallery with Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti. Long over a kilometer the Corridor is embellished by 17th and 18th century paintings. The views of Florence from its windows are simply spectacular!

Today the Uffizi Gallery is among the most famous attractions of Florence with almost two millions visitors every year.

Private Uffizi Gallery Tour

Florence - Uffizi Gallery - View
Florence - Uffizi Gallery - South ViewFlorence - Uffizi Gallery - HallwayFlorence - Uffizi Gallery - Ceiling

From: $59.56

 

TOUR DURATION

3 Hours

START TIME

09:00 AM –

02:00 pm

TUe,Wed, Thu, fri, sat, Sun

MEETING POINT

Pick-up at your hotel, if central located, or in front of the Uffizi gallery’s entrance, more details at booking

Tour
Itinerary
Tour
Inclusions
Tour
Information

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Your private guide will meet you in front of the Uffizi Gallery’s entrance or at your hotel, if central located, for a three hours tour of the unique Galleria degli Uffizi, one of the most famous museums in the world!

Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance and the Uffizi Gallery is a gorgeous example of the period. Your guide will unveil in front of your eyes the treasures house in this incredible museum; the Uffizi can count on a vast and stunning collection of art. The Medici Family spent centuries in order to be able to create such an exceptional collection; you will be able to travel back in time and enjoy many masterpieces dated between the 13th and the 18th centuries. You will retrace the steps of artists like Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci: it is known in fact that they used to spend time here in order to relax or look for inspiration.

Some highlights from the Uffizi collection include artworks of celebrated gothic painters like Giotto and Cimabue, early renaissance masterpieces by Masaccio, unique works from Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. The largest hall of the museum is probably the most famous one: the Birth of Venus and the Allegory of Spring by Sandro Botticelli are displayed here.

At the end of your guided tour continue to enjoy on your own this stunning and unique city!

 

TOUR INCLUSIONS

– Expert local guide at disposal

– Tour of Uffizi Gallery with local guide (3 hours)

– Uffizi Gallery entrance fees and reservation (skip the line)

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

– Visit of Uffizi Gallery

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
– Confirmation will be received at time of booking

– Voucher and detailed operator information, including local emergency numbers will be received three weeks before the date of your tour.

– Adult pricing applies to all travelers

Departure point:

Pick-up at your accommodation if central located or in front of Uffizi Gallery’s entrance, more detail at booking

Duration:
3 hours

Return details:
Uffizi Gallery exit

St. Clare’s Basilica – Assisi

Assisi - St Clair Facade
Assisi - St Clair - side viewAssisi - St Clair - RosoneAssisi - St Clair  - interior

One of the most famous followers of St. Francis was St. Clare. This young and beautiful girl from a noble family was so inspired by Francis that she ran away from her home and family and dedicated her life to God. She became the founder of the monastic Order of Saint Clare that still counts thousands of members.  A beautiful basilica in Assisi is dedicated to her.

The construction of the Basilica of Saint Clare started in 1257 right after St. Clare canonization. The church is a perfect example of simple Gothic interior with frescoes and painting. Unfortunately many frescoes were lost during the 17th century, but it is still possible to admire some beautiful examples of 13th century frescoes by Giotto’s students.

Things to see

The Façade was built with the typical white and pink stone of Assisi. Its Campanile (bell tower) is the tallest in the city.

St. Clare’s body is on display in the Neo-Gothic crypt underneath the church. Right in front of the Basilica the terrace Piazza Santa Chiara offers a stunning view over the Umbra Valley.

 

St. Francis Basilica – Assisi

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Immediately after the canonization of St. Francis in 1228 the construction of the Basilica was begun. The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2000.

The Basilica is still one of the main places of pilgrimage in Italy.

Maestro Jacopo Tedesco, one of the most important architects of the time, designed the church. The style chosen is a perfect blend between Romanesque and Gothic styles.

Brother Elias of Cortona, one of the first followers of St. Francis, personally followed the construction.

The Basilica is composed of two Churches, The Upper and Lower ones, and a Crypt where the vestiges of the Saint are still preserved.

Things to see

The Churches are decorated with frescoes painted by some of the most famous artist of the period: Cimabue, Giotto, Piero Lorenzetti and in all probability Pietro Cavallini.

Right next to the Basilica there is the Franciscan monastery called the Sacro Convento. The friary is now house to a museum and a library. The museum offers collections of art’s works entirely donated by pilgrims while the library has a vast assortment of medieval codices.

Baptistery of St John

Florence - Baptistery - day view
Florence - St John Baptistery - ceilingFlorence - St John Baptistery  -  interiorFlorence - St John Baptistery

Built between Piazza del Duomo and Piazza di San Giovanni, the Baptistery of St John stands across from the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence’s famed cathedral. Considered as one of the oldest buildings in the city, the Baptistery is best known for its three decorated bronze doors, one of which is the famously dubbed Gates of Paradise.

Construction began in 1059 and was completed in 1128, the design conforming to the Florentine Romanesque style of the epoch. Some changes and improvements were made over the years, such as the striped pilasters, decorated with green marble in 1293, or the addition of more statues and ornaments. Its famous doors were not added until later, between the 14th and 16th centuries.

Things to see

The South doors, which originally faced the Duomo to the east, were designed by the sculptor Andrea Pisano and cast in bronze by the Venetian metalworker Leonardo d’Avanzano. These doors were completed in 1336 and depict the life of Saint John the Baptist, as well as the seven heavenly virtues of the Christian faith.

The North doors are a result of a design competition that Lorenzo Ghiberti ultimately won; other competing artists were Jacopo della Quercia, Filippo Brunelleschi and Donato di Niccolò (better known as Donatello). Completed between 1403 and 1424, these doors depict the life of Christ as well as the Four Evangelists and the Church Fathers Saint Ambrose, Saint Jerome, Saint Gregory, and Saint Augustine. This work of art propelled Ghiberti into stardom and he was eventually commissioned to make the third set of doors.

The East doors are the most famous, referred to as the Gates of Paradise following a praising comment made by Michelangelo. Ghiberti and his workshop worked on these doors between 1425 and 1452, creating a masterpiece still celebrated today. The East doors are composed of ten gilded panels depicting various scenes from the Old Testament, from Adam and Eve to Noah to Moses.

Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore

Florence - Duomo - top view
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At the end of the 13th century, the city council decided to replace the old Cathedral Santa Reparata by a new one, the actual cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore. The project was first given to the architect Arnolfo di Cambio the construction had only started when he died in 1302. Then the architect Giotto pursued it along with several other architects after him.

A great problem appeared when it came to build a dome and it was finally the architect Filippo Brunelleschi who solved it and created a beautiful dome. The dome is octagonal and measures 112 meters and it took no less than 140 years to finish the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore.  As the dome is octagonal, Brunelleschi dedicated one team per side, so 8 different teams worked on this dome, they used approximately 4 millions of bricks. Bricks were put in “spina di pesce”, it means as a shape of fish bones, so not straight and it made the dome very strong. Brunelleschi thought his cupola for the dome very carefully. During the construction, no outside scaffoldings were used to build the dome but internal structures were built month after month while it was growing up. The construction was finished in 1436 but the lantern on the top of the cupola was only set in 1461.

Things to see

Giorgio Vasari was chosen to decorate the dome inside. He decide to paint the Last Judgement, however he died three years after he started the project. After his death, the work was given to Federigo Zuccaro. The Last Judgment was finished in 1579.

The dome can be climbed and visitors can appreciate a wonderful view over the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore and Florence roofs.

The façade which can be admired today is more recent and was realized during the 19th century.

More than a church, the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore became a sign of the rich and prosperous city of Florence. Since the Renaissance, the dome and the cathedral were the symbol of the city of Florence.