The Medici Family: Renaissance Intrigue and Influence

By Viator, March 2015

4.5 44 Reviews | Add your review

The days of Florence being a mighty republic ruled by one family for generations may be long over, but the influence of the Medici is felt in every corner of the city. It’s for this reason that although the Medici family no longer governs Florence, they remain a major attraction for visitors to the city.

The Medici were bankers who amassed great wealth and power, and they were not shy about spending their money. In pouring huge amounts of cash into building palaces throughout the republic - not to mention outfitting them with countless pieces of artwork - they ended up leaving an architectural and artistic legacy that has lasted centuries longer than their time in power.

In Florence alone, the family lived in both the Palazzo Vecchio and the Palazzo Pitti, and they had their offices in what is now the Uffizi Gallery. They were patrons of some of the most notable artists of the Renaissance, including Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Fra Angelico, and Botticelli - whose great works are on display in Florence’s top museums. Even in death, the Medici are a top tourist draw - the Medici chapel contains family tombs with beautiful sculptures by Michelangelo.

In addition to the artistic legacy the Medici left in Florence, there are also interesting historic tales associated with the family. The Medici produced four popes, giving the family increased power in both Rome and Florence. Certain political ties were established or strengthened by strategic marriages, such as that of Catherine de’Medici to the future King of France. A plot to murder Lorenzo The Magnificent in the Duomo in 1478 may have failed, but the assailants were successful in killing Lorenzo’s brother, Giuliano, who was stabbed 19 times during Easter Mass and died on the cathedral floor.

The family’s power waxed and waned over nearly 300 years - including seeing them banned from Florentine politics for a period of 20 years - but there’s no denying the lasting influence they had over the city and the country that Italy would one day become. It’s impossible to spend time in Florence today without seeing something that the Medici family left behind.

Tours & Tickets

See all

Skip the Line: Uffizi Gallery and Vasari Corridor Walking Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 466 Reviews

With limited time in Florence, avoid the crowds and take a walking tour through the Uffizi Gallery before gaining exclusive private access to a collection of ...  Read more

Location: Florence, Italy
Duration: Standard Tour: 3 hours
Upgrade Tour: 4 hours

From USD $95.02

VIP Experience: Uffizi Gallery and Vasari Corridor Walking Tour Including Terrace Breakfast

4.5 star rating: Recommended 85 Reviews

Avoid the tourist crowds of Florence with skip-the-line entry to the Uffizi Gallery, and enjoy complimentary breakfast on the terrace! Your 4-hour VIP ...  Read more

Location: Florence, Italy
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $139.74

Skip the Line: Small-Group Florence Renaissance Walking Tour with Accademia Gallery

4.5 star rating: Recommended 178 Reviews

Combine a walking tour of Renaissance-era Florence with a skip-the-line tour of the Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell’ Accademia)! With a local guide, stroll ...  Read more

Location: Florence, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $61.49

Renaissance Court Banquet in Florence

4 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

Make like Renaissance nobility, and spend an evening in a Florentine ‘palazzo’ with a lavish 4-course banquet accompanied by Chianti wine, music and dancing.  ...  Read more

Location: Florence, Italy
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $65.96

Florence Medici Tour: Palazzo Vecchio and Vasari Corridor Walking Tour with Optional Pitti Palace Palatine Gallery Visit

4.5 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

Experience the power, palaces and arts patronage of Florence’s medieval Medici rulers on this half-day Palazzo Vecchio and Vasari Corridor walking tour. With ...  Read more

Location: Florence, Italy
Duration: 3.5 or 5.5 hours depending on option selected

From USD $95.02

Florence Combo: Skip-the-Line Uffizi Gallery, Vasari Corridor and Pitti Palace Palatine Gallery Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Breeze into three of Florence’s greatest art museums on this full-day combo tour. Ideal if you’re short on time but still want to do justice to Florentine art, ...  Read more

Location: Florence, Italy
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $144.21

Medieval Florence Evening Walking Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 51 Reviews

Discover the sights and stories of medieval Florence – a time of scandal and intrigue – and see the city’s showstopping attractions alongside lesser-known ...  Read more

Location: Florence, Italy
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $38.01

Florence Walking Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 88 Reviews

Get to know Florence’s history and sights on a 2.5-hour morning walking tour of the city! With an expert local guide, discover the neighborhood of San Lorenzo ...  Read more

Location: Florence, Italy
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $27.95

Florence Photography Walking Tour: Palaces, Palazzos and Bridges

4 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

Turn your vacation snaps into masterpieces on this 3-hour private photography walking tour of Florence. With a professional photographer guide, explore the ...  Read more

Location: Florence, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $83.84

See all

Viator uses cookies to improve your experience on our website. Learn more about how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings | Close message