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- Travel by luxury minibus with English speaking driver, visit Florence with licensed professional private guide
- Visit the Ponte Vecchia and Piazza della Signoria (Palazzo Vecchio, Loggia de Lanzi, Palazzo degli Uguccione and Tribunale della Mercanzia
- Visit the Cathedral Complex (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s Bell Tower and St. John’s Baptistry)
- Lunch in the neighborhood of Santa Croce
- Afternoon at leisure to shop or visit either the Basilica di Santa Croce or the Casa Buonarroti
From Livorno, you will travel in a luxury minibus, with an English speaking driver, through the magnificent landscape of Tuscany to Florence. Very near Ponte Vecchio, at the Gallery Hotel Art, you will meet your licensed professional guide and start to travel through time from the Middle Ages thru the Renaissance. After a very brief walk, you will enter the Piazza della Signoria, the center of Florentine civic life. Without question, this is one of the most elegant and culturally rich places in all of Italy, if not the world.
Some of history’s most famous buildings form the borders of this remarkable outdoor museum; Palazzo Vecchio, (originally Palazzo della Signoria (designed in 1298-99)) the seat of the Republican government; the Loggia de Lanzi, which gives shelter to Cellini’s bronze masterpiece, Perseus with the Head of Medusa, and 14 other important works; Palazzo degli Uguccione; and the Tribunale della Mercanzia, the court where merchants of Florence settled trade disputes. The Piazza della Signoria is also home to the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous art galleries in the world and the most prominent copy of the David by Michelangelo, which occupies the same space as the original (now in the Accedemia).
The tour continues with a short walk to the cathedral complex, the most prominent attraction in Florence. Visit the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo) to understand the fascinating 170 year saga of the construction of this cathedral. Structurally completed in 1436 by Fillipo Brunelleschi with the addition of the dome, the Duomo reflects three centuries of history, politics and architectural discoveries in Florence. The complex also includes Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Baptistery of St. John, one of the oldest buildings in Florence. These monuments, completed over a span of 500 years and influenced by the greatest artists and architects in history, are all listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Next will be lunch, after a short drive, in one of Florence’s typical neighborhoods, the Santa Croce. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure with options to shop for Florentine crafts and clothing or visit either the Basilica di Santa Croce or the Casa Buonarroti. Departure for Livorno at 4:30 will allow plenty of time to return to your ship.
Note: On Sundays, the Santa Maria del Fiore visit will be replaced with a visit of The Baptistery or the Museo dell’Opera
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