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
This was one of our Italy highlights. This tour is very rarely seen in tour books and must be booked early. Well worth the effort and expense. Fascinating history of the Medici. Our tour guide Sylvia was wonderful.
The tour was fantastic. It felt very special to be walking above all the other tourists on the Ponte Vecchio, secretly taking in the views of Florence from the vantage point created by the Medicis. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and very good humored. The length of the tour - 3 hours - is plenty of time to see a selection of the works in the Uffizi (Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci) and make your way over the river to the Pitti Palace. Although it would have helped if we (I was there with my mum) had known we would end up on the other side of the river - where we had gone earlier that day! Exhausted by the end but we felt a few glasses of Prosecco were well-deserved!
The tour was wonderful - a quick survey of the treasures of the Uffizi without having to wait in the long line outside and then entry to the secret passageway used by the Medici family - amazing.
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