Piazza della Signoria
Florence’s Essentials in 1 day…
Morning – Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and Orsanmichele Church:
Our tour will begin with a visit to the Uffizi Gallery: The Uffizi houses the world’s most important collection of Medieval and Renaissance Italian paintings and includes works by Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo and Michelangelo. This lecture will examine these works in depth and will trace the development of Italian painting from c.1300 to c.1500.
We will then continue our tour with the Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, which were the great political nerve centers of the Medieval Republic. The architecture of the palace and the sculptures within the piazza reflect the political history of Florence. We will examine the major aspects of the art, architecture and history within this great urban space.
Afterwards we will visit the grain-market-turned-church of Orsanmichele. Here we will view the unique Gothic architecture, as well as some of the most important sculptures of the Early Renaissance. These sculptures were commissioned by the omnipotent guilds of Florence to artists such as Donatello and Ghiberti to express the individual guild’s status and wealth in the city. We will also discuss the devastating effects of the Black Death.
Lunch Break – Lunch will be arranged at a local, traditional restaurant in Florence.
Afternoon – Cathedral, Accademia Gallery
After lunch, we will explore the Cathedral of Florence, named Santa Maria del Fiore, which is the religious center of the great medieval city. For two centuries, it was the largest church in Christendom and is crowned by Brunelleschi’s dome.
This tour will conclude at the Accademia Gallery, the 19th-century museum built to house Michelangelo’s David. The statue of David, known in Florence as “Il Gigante” has been described as the greatest sculpture of all time. While standing in his great shadow, we shall explore all aspects of the David’s style and history. This tour will also examine Michelangelo’s unfinished Slaves, which reveal much about the artist’s method of carving.