City & Culture Tours of Florence, Italy

City & Culture Tours of Florencedante_vintage_marcobadiani

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Medieval Florence: Dante Alighieri 

Get to know Dante and the Divine Comedy with a fascinating look at his 13th-century Florentine world.  [su_accordion][su_spoiler title=”Read more”]

Tower houses, warring factions, plagues, floods, intrigue, power, money and poetry: this is Dante’s Florence. Our walk takes us into this world and into some of the Sommo Poeta’s haunts, including Santa Croce, the Badia Fiorentina, Dante’s “house” and church, Torre della Castagna, Palazzo Portinari, Torre dei Donati and the Baptistery. Along the way, we will read passages from the Divine Comedy and try to immerse ourselves in Dante’s world and poetry. The suggested itinerary is three hours and the tour price excludes entrance fees to the various museums.

Charitable Florence 

A survey of some of Florence’s most unique artistic and socio-cultural spaces from the medieval and Renaissance periods including Brunelleschi’s Ospedale degli Innocenti. [su_accordion][su_spoiler title=”Read more”]

Florence has a centuries-long tradition of Christian confraternities providing social services to the city’s disenfranchised. For wealthy citizens concerned about the future of their souls, confraternities provided an excellent opportunity to expiate or do penance for their sins. This visit begins at the Museum of the Misericordia—the city’s oldest continuous charitable organization—before moving to the Bigallo Museum, which houses an ancient depiction of the city dating to the 14th century. We then visit Oratory of San Martino where Domenico Ghirlandaio’s assistants frescoed scenes of the Seven Works of Mercy for the charitable confraternity of the Buonomini. These frescoes depict evocative images of the everyday life of Florence’s “shame-faced poor” within the context of the confraternity’s dedication to Christian charity. We will then progress to Piazza Santissima Annunziata, home to an important 15th century “buca”—a confraternity dedicated to prayer, social work, and even entertainment. The visit will end at the most imposing and famous example of Florentine charity, the Ospedale degli Innocenti, an orphanage financed by the Silk Guild and designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in the early 1400s.

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The Oltrarno: History + Artisans 

Get up close and personal with Florence’s artisan culture—from the 15th century right up to the present. [su_accordion][su_spoiler title=”Read more”]

The “other side” of the Arno has a rich tradition of art and artisan craftsmanship. This walk combines visits to workshops including restoration studios, calligraphers, jewelry designers, shoe makers and much more. Along the way we will visit churches like Santa Felicita, Santo Spirito, San Felice and Santa Maria del Carmine to discuss revolutionary masterpieces by Giotto, Michelangelo, Pontormo and Masaccio. This walk very much depends on personal interests and is a made to measure itinerary that suits each individual group.


Renaissance Homes: Palazzo Davanzati, Museo Horne + Medici Palace

Explore the spaces once inhabited by some of Florence’s most illustrious families to see how they lived and celebrated life.  [su_accordion][su_spoiler title=”Read more”]

Visiting the domestic spaces of Medieval and Renaissance Florence is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the daily life and rituals during these periods. Palazzo Davanzati, Museo Horne and the Medici Palace offer platforms for discussing the role of each family member in the domestic, civic and political sphere and how each contributed to the functioning of a stable society. As in contemporary times, the life cycle was punctuated by occasions to celebrate: marriages, births and baptisms played a particularly central role in the perpetuation of a civic society. During a visit to one of these museums will discuss the role that art, architecture, politics, literature, gender and values played in the creation and maintenance of society primarily through consideration of various objects such as birth salvers, wedding chests and devotional and highly symbolic narrative images.