Angelo was the best tour guide I've ever had! Quite funny and entertaining, he walked through the darker history of Florence from the Medici to WW II. Thank you Angelo for making our trip, one we will remember always.
Doing what: Medieval Florence Evening Walking Tour
This was a great tour through one of the best Renaissance art galleries I've seen. The gallery can get quite crowded, but the tour guide managed to show us all the major works like the Birth of Venus. The highlight of the tour is the Vasari Corridor, which is not available to the rest of the public in the gallery. We were told to get back together at the corridor's entrance at a precise time, when the doors were opened just for our group. They let in very few people at a time, you need to keep your backpacks facing forward and stay away from the walls. But the corridor is breathtaking, with many beautiful art works that keep getting rotated from the extensive collection. The corridor passes through apartments and even a church, where the Medici family had their own private access and balcony to attend mass !! The second part of the corridor is entirely for artist self-potraits, which can get a bit tedious after a while. But the corridor itself is spectacular, giving you a brief glimpse into the power and wealth of the Medici family.
This is a dream tour for an art or history buff. I was lucky to have an almost private tour of the Palazzo Vecchio, there was only another couple on the tour that morning. Our guide Roberta was really knowledgeable and a lot of fun to listen to. She made the Palazzo Vecchio come alive with tales of the Medici family and artistic rivalries between Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. I have visited the Palazzo before but really felt this tour gave it another dimension. Funnily enough however my personal highlight was after the end of the visit to the Palazzo when we had a quick coffee break. Roberta directed us towards one of the fancier cafes in Piazza de la Signoria and explained how we can get an excellent cappuccino for a bargain price by drinking it standing at the bar, rubbing shoulders with locals. A great introduction to what real Florentines do on their morning break!
After the quick refreshment Roberta took us to the Uffizzi where we joined a much larger group for the second part of the tour to the Vasari Corridor. This required a lo of organisation and squeezing past bewildered tourists in the gallery. Once we entered the corridor it felt really special and exclusive to get a glimpse of the huge collection of artists' self-portraits. Maurizio, our guide for this section, was also very knowledgeable however he did not have Roberta's lightness of touch and tended to overload us with information.
Overall this was a fantastic morning and quite intense, lasting from 9am to almost 1pm. It is a bit pricey but this is due to the Vasari Corridor fee and I did think the whole experience was worth it.
We met our guide, Chiara, for a private walking tour around Florence. Chiara studied art history and has been giving tours of Florence for 19 years. Another amazing tour guide, who speaks Italian, English, French, Spanish, and German though she doesn't give tours in German, she admitted and is learning Portuguese. The knowledge she shared about the history of the city, the powerful Medici family, and the breathtaking artwork in Florence really provided great perspective and background.
We visited the Piazza del Duomo - when approaching it is quite a shock, come from in between two buildings toward the square, step out into the open and boom! there is 3rd largest church in the world, which was 5 times bigger than any other church in the world when it was built starting in 1296.
We next walked to the Galleria dell'Accademia, which contains work by Ghiotto, some by Botticelli, 4 incomplete works by Michelangelo, and the prize of the Accademia, Michelangelo's David. We were lucky again to be here in the off season, as the crowds were not bad, and we were able to leisurely enjoy the room containing Michelangelo's works and discuss the David with our great tour guide.
Also located in the Academia, in a wing nearly empty most people go to the small museum just to see David, is a musical instrument museum. It was a small exhibit, but included several instruments made by well known luthiers such as Amati, Guarneri, and, of course, Stradivari. Of several of Stradivari's instruments on display, the most interesting is a one-of-a-kind tenor viola, made for you guessed it the wealthy Medici family.
Overall it was a fantastic tour with a fantastic guide. Chiara was very friendly and had a great knowledge of the artwork and history of the area. My Dad and I both commented that while we could have seen all of these things on our own, we would not have gotten much out of them without an expert guide. It makes all the difference. Thanks for a great tour!
This tour was amazing. The fact that we could gain access to the Vasari Corridor was a high point during our stay in Florence. The guide was a lovely lady who was knowledgeable, friendly and funny. What more can you ask. I studied up on the Medici’s and art of Florence before arriving but she really impressed me with her depth of knowledge. I would recommend this tour for anyone and that is from someone who hates group tours. See the Vasari Corridor and hopefully you will get our excellent guide!
A well-informed and interesting tour of some selected art in the Uffizi Gallery from a good guide. Making the effort to book access to the Vasari Corridor puts a new perspective on Florence and the power of the Medici Family - this really made a good tour exceptional. The Vasari Corridor is a pretty special place...
This was a wonderful tour! Truly "skip the line" by entering thru a side museum door. After viewing many of the highlights of the Uffizi (packed with visitors) our small group was escorted, with a museum guard, through a hidden door to explore the 1KM long Vasari Corridor. This was a unique tour to better understand the life of the Medici's. Our guide Vanessa was energetic and knowledgeable about all and drew us into the period. Well worth it!
The guide is very knowledgeable. The highlight of the tour is walking through the Varsari Corridor. It gives you an idea the power and influence of Medici family in the Renaissance period. Recommend that add a word Continental before Breakfast to avoid misunderstanding. It is great to have a short break with coffee and croissant on the terrace.
This was a very special event for us. I recommend this tour. Skip the que was a real plus. Thoroughly enjoyed the Vasari corridor knowing we were walking in the footsteps of the Medici's. The guide really gave a thorough recount of the history.
The Medieval times were dark and mysterious, but our tour guide helped us unravel some of the family fights and history in Florence before the Medici. My favorite part was trying the original flavors of Gelato at the Santa Trinita Gelateria.
Doing what: Medieval Florence Evening Walking Tour
This is fantastic tour. Our guide, Anika, was extremely knowledgeable with a great sense of humor. The Uffizi is crowded with group tours even before it opens, but the crowds are nothing compared to later in the day. After a stop on the terrace for breakfast, we entered the Vasari Corridor, which our small group had to ourselves. Walking above the Ponte Vecchio is a unique experience. The self-portraits of artists commissioned by the Medicis that line its walls are fascinating. Definitely worth the price.
This was a great tour to go on. The crowds in the Uffizi (August 2014) were suffocating. So the first part of the tour was in the Uffizi but we still had to fight the crowds to see some of the main works of art. The second half was the Vasari Corridor. It was a relief to get out of the crowds. The Corridor itself is lined with paintings sent in by the 'who's who" in the days of the Medici's. Very interesting to hear the various history of some of the paintings as well as the purpose of the Vasari Corridor. Our guide was very knowledgeable and informative. I have found that we learned so much more by using a guide versus just walking through ourselves.
A very interesting look at a tourist site that is different..
Being a small tour group makes this event..like a trip back in time.
For a while you may even allow yourself to be a Medici!
Elaine and Harris
Our guide Eleanora took us through the Piazza Vecchio to the Uffizi where she led us through a very crowded gallery to works of art. My favorites were the Botticelli paintings and the room dedicated to Micelangelo's work. The Medici sculpture room, which we could only look at from the entrance, was another favorite. Our guide was very knowledgable in the arts and you could see and hear her passion for the artists. Next she brought us to a locked door which was the entrance to the Vasari Corridor, a corridor built in the 1500s running from the Palazzo Vecchio, through the Uffizi Gallery, above the Ponte Vecchio across the Arno and ending at the Palazzo Pitti. The door was unlocked and guards (one in front and one in back of our tiny group) escorted us through the corridor filled with self-portraits of artists. Not many get to go through this corridor and we loved that we had the chance to do this. Dan Brown's book Inferno came to life with the Vasari Corridor, the little grey door and the secret side door of the Palazzo Vechhio. Unfortunately, no photos could be taken...even without flash. I would recommend this tour just for the chance to walk the steps of the Medici family through the Vasari Corridor!
Excellent. Mario was both knowledgable and enthusiastic, giving a good overview of themes and trends found throughout the collection. The corridor itself is really cool, and even casual art lovers will recognize and appreciate the self-portraits. The point of view you get from the corridor is neat, too, and gives a good glimpse into the life of the Medici.
This is a wonderful tour. It was well planned and worth the time. Our guide was a highly informed and charming young lady who was a Florence native. The chance to glance into this part of the Medici family's history is truly unique.
If you really, really want to visit the Vasari Corridor - this is the tour I can highly recommend!
The tour included a bit of sightseeing and explanations around the Piazza Signoria - so we were able to understand Florence (and Italy) in historic times.
As well, a brief tour of some of the highlights at the Uffizi (no waiting in line - we entered through a side entrance into the building) was included.
The Vasari Corridor, basically, is another section of an art gallery with very nice paintings of all ages.
However, for me it was just magical to walk in the footsteps of the Medici along the Vasari Corridor while the "common folk" was strolling underneath us in the streets.
We had a knowledgeable guide, and had additional guides in the Vasari Corridor - they were to make sure that no one took pictures in the corridor, but just through the windows to the outside...that was a little strange at first, but understandable.
Sure, everyone expects different things from a vaccation:
The Vasari Corridor was a true highlight for me on our visit to Florence!
I even would do it again!
Michele (how he told us it was spelled, though he pronounced it Me-kel) was excellent. One of the "ideas" of the tour is to emulate the famous "Jack the Ripper" evening walking tours in London, and Michele did his best to do that. Of course, the Medicis killed lots more people than Jack ever did, but they did it in pre-sensationalist-newspaper days and so there were no gory stories and hype written anywhere that could be preserved (though I'm sure the rumor-mill of the day did much the same). Fortunately, after mentioning the deaths (and their usual politically complicated contexts), Michele moved right on to explain the city and its sights, and the little peculiarities -- 15-story towers in pre-elevator days, little "wine windows" -- that make it so interesting. And the 2.5-hour tour ended with a stop for excellent gelato (included in the price!) where we got to sit and speak with Michele for a while and learn what it is like to live in Florence (a difficult place economically).
Doing what: Medieval Florence Evening Walking Tour
It was even better than I'd hoped, because Mario was such an engaging and committed guide to the art within the Uffizi. I'm a lifelong art student, and he brought ideas to me that were new. The Vasari Corridor was very interesting, full of great artists' self-portraits, many of them just superb. As it happened that day, the tour did not end at the Pitti, but returned us to the Uffuzi, where I personally spent another 2 to 3 hours. It was a thrill to enter this very private territory and think about Medicis passing through it every day.
After reading Inferno, by Dan Brown and spending much time in Florence, we decided to do Florencetown’s Vasari Tour. Although the cost was 85 Euros it was well worth it for the incredible three hour tour that began in Palazzo Vecchio and ended in the Boboli Gardens. The main factor that made the tour so good was our amazing tour guide, Mario Gesu. Mario’s passion for the arts was contagious as he led us through the Palazzo Vecchio explaining how to identify when the various paintings were created, by which artist and who influenced whom. The entire tour was a class in Medieval, Renaissance, Post Renaissance and Reformation paintings. It was magical and we did not want the tour to end.
Walking through the Vasari Corridor (above the Ponte Vecchio) as the Medici did hundreds of years ago was an exhilarating step back in time. Mario’s descriptions of the self-portraits of famous artists were again splendid. He explained ‘color’ versus ‘drawing’ in such a way that everyone in the group understood and could identify which characteristic was being utilized.
This tour was wonderful! Our guide, Eleanora, was amazing - informative, enthususiatic, insightful and charming, too! We saw so many amazing and memorable sights and hear such details about the art, the Medicis, and the mysterious Ito us) Corridor. I would highly recommend this tour!
My mother recommended this tour to me, and I'm glad we did it. Having seen the Uffizi a couple of times before, without a guide, seeing just the highlights in a guided format was just perfect. My partner isn't a huge art buff, so it was perfect for him too. For us, the Vasari Corridor was the main attraction and the reason we booked. It was a fascinating insight into the Medicis way of doing things; we really felt we were walking in their shoes, being a part of that history. The only negative was the "sound machines" (as our guide called the personal audio devices) were truly awful and very difficult to hear; fortunately once we entered the corridor we were a small group and we were able to ditch them. Nevertheless, a great tour and highly recommended.
This tour was in incredible experience. Unless you are an art historian, a guide is a must to appreciate the collection. The Vasari tour was unbelieveable; we feel priviledged to be some of the few who have walked through the corridor and followed the path of the Medicis.
As an "art tragic" this was a highlight of my holiday. The enthusiam and knowledge of the guide made the tour especially enjoyable and the small group added a personal feel of the day. To walk through the corridor in the footsteps of the Medicis was a truely magical experience. Not cheap, but for me worth every cent - and I'd gladly pay to do it again. One of 6 tours I booked through Viator before leaving home and everyone of them lived up to their promises. Completely hassle free and I highly reommend Viator.
I really enjoyed this. The guide was excellent. It was a good thing to do on our first day in Florence because it gave us an overview of the city. Read your Medici history before you go and you will get a lot out of this walking tour!
Doing what: Florence Walking Tour
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