Florence and the art of the Italian Renaissance
Experience the art of the Renaissance with our audio tours
Florence is surely the artistic capital of Italy. It was a thriving medieval city but its moment of glory came with the Renaissance. Under the beneficent rule of the Medici Family, artists and architects such as Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Giotto, Ghirlandaio, Michelangelo and Vasari beautified the city and created a unique city of art - a true cultural highlight of Europe.
So it's not surprising that tourists head to Florence from all over the world - whether for a quick weekend break, or for a longer stay. Florence can get incredibly busy, but we've found some out of the way sights for you as well as the 'must sees'.
We have three Podtours™ available for you covering the central area of the city. The Florence East tour shows you the highlights - as well as a few oddities - while each of the other tours lies a little way out of the centre and introduces the cityscape as well as the works of art.
In our Florence West podtour™ we visit the west of the city, from Piazza Santa Trinità to gothic church of Santa Maria Novella, and finally to Michelangelo's Medici mausoleum - visiting Renaissance palaces on the way. We spend quite a lot of time looking at frescoes by Ghirlandaio - perhaps not the greatest, but certainly the most approachable of the Renaissance artists - and we also see much of the work of Leon Battista Alberti, one of the earliest architects to use the new Renaissance style and vocabulary. There's a map at Google Maps.
In our Florence East podtour™ we visit the two centres of the Renaissance city - the sacred centre with the baptistery and cathedral, and the centre of government, Piazza della Signoria. We see Ghiberti's fine bronze gates on the baptistery and Giotto's campanile, two fine paintings of Renaissance mercenaries, and the public statue gallery in the Loggia dei Lanzi. Map at Google Maps
On the way we duck and dive through narrow medieval streets, find a bronze pig that can fly (at least according to Hans Christian Andersen) and hear how Giuliano de'Medici died.
Florence - the Bargello to Santa Croce
From the old prisons of the Medici in the Bargello we make our way to the Franciscan church of Santa Croce, and Brunelleschi's marvellous Pazzi Chapel, which embodies the values of the early Renaissance - calm, simplicity and reason. And let's not forget the “ghost of the Roman amphitheatre... Again, all shown on a Google Map for easy navigation.
Of course our Podtours™ don't show you everything in the city of Florence. There's lots more to discover on your own. So here are a few of our favourite things, off the beaten track.
And if you are heading to Pisa for a day trip, why not take our Pisa Podtour? You'll see rather more than just the Leaning Tower if you do.