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
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