Uncover the artistic riches of Florence
with experts Siân Walters or Gayna
Pelham. In the 15th century, Florence
was an immensely wealthy and powerful
city state, where the principal Florentine
families were able to commission great
architects and artists to adorn their city
with buildings, statues and paintings. As
a result, modern-day Florence is packed
with artistic riches. It is not uncommon
for many masterpieces, monuments and
private palaces to be missed on a first
visit to the city, simply because they are
located away from the main sights and
museums. This tour includes visits to a
number of hidden gems and palaces not
easily accessible to the public.
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Fly from London to Pisa with British Airways
and transfer to the hotel. Start the afternoon’s
walking tour with a private visit of Palazzo
Corsini. Continue to the church of Santo Spirito,
where Michelangelo’s recently restored statue
of Christ’s crucifixion is now on display, and
the Church of Santa Trinita, with its array
of extremely rich artworks. After an evening
introductory lecture and welcome dinner, stay at
the Hotel Pendini for 5 nights. (D)
Begin the morning’s walking tour by visiting
the Convent of San Marco to see Fra Angelico’s
simple and poignant frescoes. Stroll through
Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, one of the
most beautiful squares in Florence, to see the
celebrated Ospedale degli Innocenti, designed
by Brunelleschi. Continue to the Accademia
Gallery to see the most celebrated sculpture
in Florence, Michelangelo’s David. In the
afternoon, visit the cathedral of Santa Maria del
Fiore with Brunelleschi’s world-famous dome, as
well as the baptistry and Giotto’s bell tower. (B)
Morning visit to Palazzo Medici Riccardi, the
first Renaissance palace erected in Florence
and home to the Medici family for 50 years,
to see the renowned frescoes in the chapel.
See the impressive church of San Lorenzo
with its unparalleled collection of sculptures
by Donatello, as well as the New Sacristy
by Michelangelo, his masterpiece unifying sculpture with sophisticated architecture, full of
symbolism and built to immortalise the Medici.
Next, visit Michelangelo’s celebrated Laurentian
Library and the Medici chapels. In the afternoon
there is a visit to the vast Pitti Palace, which now
houses a large collection of some of the most
important paintings and sculptural works in
Italy, as well as porcelain and a costume gallery,
and the nearby Boboli Gardens. (B)
Begin today’s walking tour with a visit to the
Uffizi Gallery, containing the world’s richest
collection of Renaissance paintings and
sculpture, including masterpieces by Leonardo,
Michelangelo, Botticelli, Titian, Caravaggio
and countless others. Finish with a private walk
through the celebrated Corridoio Vasariano,
which features many of the Medicis’ private
collection of self-portraits. Afternoon at leisure
for independent exploration. (B)
Morning visit to the Palazzo del Bargello, a
former prison that is now an art museum
housing a superb collection of sculptures by the
likes of Michelangelo, Donatello, Giambologna
and Cellini. Continue to the tiny church of
Santa Margherita dei Cerchi, known as ‘Dante’s
Church’, which was the place of worship for
several prominent Florentine families, including
the Portinari family of Dante’s beloved muse
Beatrice. The final visit of the morning is to the
basilica of Santa Croce, the burial place of some
of the most illustrious Italians. In the afternoon, continue to the basilica of Santa Maria Novella,
followed by Santa Maria del Carmine church
to see frescoes by Masaccio and Masolino in
the Brancacci Chapel. This evening there is a
farewell dinner. (B, D)
Transfer to Pisa airport for a return flight to
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast,
L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
This tour is fully escorted
throughout by the lecturer, as well as an
experienced local guide
Typically based in 3- and 4-star
Siân Walters studied
history of art at Selwyn
College, Cambridge and
has worked in France and
Italy. She lectures for the
National Gallery, Nadfas
and Surrey University, and leads art history
tours abroad. Her areas of interest are Italian
Renaissance painting and the art of Spain. In 2016 Siân was shortlisted for the Wanderlust World Guide Awards.
Helen Oakden studied
art history at Manchester
University and the
Courtauld, where she
achieved a Masters in
Previous positions include teaching at the
Whitworth Museum, Somerset House, and
across Italy with Art History Abroad. She was an editor of the Burlington
Magazine and now teaches art history
A-Level at St Mary's School, Ascot.
The family-run Hotel Pendini overlooks Piazza della Repubblica in the centre of Florence and is well-located for visiting the city's historic sights. The hotel dates back to 1879 and features frescoes and antique furnishings.
Features: 40 rooms, bar.
Room amenities: air conditioning, satellite TV, free...
Regional air connections are available from within the UK. Please contact your travel consultant for current prices from your nearest city.
We can also arrange flights from overseas, simply give us a call to find out more.
If you choose to take the tour without flights arranged through Cox & Kings, please contact one of our travel consultants prior to booking the flights to ensure that you are aware of the tour timings and all the implications of not booking through us. We strongly advise you not to book flights independently of Cox & Kings if significant charges would apply in case of cancellation.
Flight details may be subject to change prior to departure.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
IFC2016: 5 Nights
Florence is rightly viewed as one of Italy's most atmospheric and beautiful cities. It...