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Length of Tour: 6 hours plus time for lunch.

This walking tour will take us to the very heart of religious and political power in Florence.

Let’s begin with religious power and Piazza del Duomo with its concentration of buildings and works of art. There is the octagonal Baptistery of San Giovanni with its famous door, dubbed Gates of Paradise, opposite to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with the remarkable Brunelleschi dome, symbol of Florence, then the elegant Giotto Bell Tower next to the cathedral, and the Loggia del Bigallo, an old charitable institution.

Walking down Via Roma with its neoclassical façades, we reach the “modern” Piazza della Repubblica, which we cross to get to Palazzo Strozzi, one of the most beautiful Renaissance palazzos in Florence.

We will pass in front of Palazzo Davanzati, a typical 15th-century residence, and also see the 14th-century towers in the old medieval quarter.

Passing by a quaint covered market, we come to Ponte Vecchio (literally “Old Bridge”), the oldest bridge in Florence with its renowned jewelry and goldsmith shops. The view from the bridge is simply breathtaking and not to be missed.
On the other side of the bridge, following the Vasari Corridor, we reach Piazza de’ Pitti and the impressive Palazzo Pitti.

Turning back across Ponte Vecchio, we head in the direction of the Uffizi Gallery. There is a point where we can stop to admire a spectacular view of the Arno River flanked by centuries-old palazzos with Ponte Vecchio on the one side and the imposing columns of the Uffizi on the other.

We cross Piazzale degli Uffizi and reach the center of civic and political power of Florence: Piazza della Signoria and the 14th-century Palazzo Vecchio (City Hall). The palazzo is “guarded” by immense statues and in the nearby Loggia dei Lanzi, other noteworthy statues can be admired.

Moving beyond Piazza della Signoria, we head toward the Bargello. The Bargello was built in the 13th century and houses sculptures and collections of the decorative arts. Just a few steps away is Piazza Santa Croce. The square is flanked by the Basilica of Santa Croce where many illustrious Italians were buried and Palazzo dell’Antella with its frescoed façade. Every year in June, a tournament of Florentine Calcio (“historic football”) is held right in the square. In this area, there are also numerous leather shops.

For your free time or lunch time, the Mercato di San Lorenzo is the place to go. It is actually two separate markets. The Mercato Centrale is an indoor market, where all kinds of food are sold on the ground floor and on the top floor, there is a type of food court with a variety of food stands and a large seating area. Then, in the streets around the Mercato Centrale, there is a very large open-air market that sells leather goods, ceramics, and souvenirs.

Entering the monuments and museums is certainly worthwhile, but, please consider that all have an entrance fee except for the Cathedral. Naturally we are more than happy to help you decide!

Please note: Entrance fees and the cost of lunch are extra.

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