First Tour - First Day: Best of Renaissance and Medieval Florence Walking Tour, at 09.00 (09.15 - 11.45)
This stimulating, thoroughly comprehensive, guided walking tour starts from the famous San Lorenzo Central market area, teeming with workshops and brightly decorative stalls, which surround the Medici Chapels and the Basilica of San Lorenzo - the church of the Medici family where we visit the elegant cloister, designed by Brunelleschi, the architect of the famous Dome: a green oasis of peace in the heart of the Medici district.
Shortly afterwards we turn into Piazza del Duomo, where the triumphant bulk of the Cathedral greets our eyes with its Dome by Brunelleschi, the Bell Tower by Giotto and the Baptistery of St. John with its Gates of Paradise.
We thread through the medieval quarters where Dante Alighieri and Beatrice Portinari lived, until we come to the road covering the old Roman eastern wall and look up at the Bargello Palace.
Turning westwards, we enter Piazza della Signoria, a great open-air museum, dominated by the imposing Palazzo Vecchio.
Next to it is the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most important museums in the world.
We then proceed to the picturesque Straw Market to see the famous Porcellino (Little Wild Boar) Fountain.
We then walk down the street that leads to the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), where to be dazzled by the gold and jewels sold in its little medieval shops and where we can admire the Vasari Corridor from outside and enjoy a comprehensive explanation of its history.
After be delighted by the lovely views up and down river, on the south bank, we walk along Via Guicciardini until we emerge into the sloping square that leads up to the enormous Pitti Palace with its six museums, where our tour ends.
Second Tour - First Day: Excursion to Pisa through the Tuscan Countryside, at 13.15 (13.30 - 19.15)
A splendid excursion through the fertile and picturesque Tuscan countryside to the historic university city of Pisa, famous for its architectural beauty. Upon arrival in Pisa, your informative guide will take you on a thorough outdoor guided walking tour of Piazza dei Miracoli and its monuments (exterior). You will be dazzled by this marvelous square which is dominated by the Cathedral (interior), a model of the distinctive Pisan Romanesque architecture , the celebrated Leaning Tower and the round-shaped Baptistery surrounded by its suggestive columned arcades.
The commentary of our guide will be particularly focused on the Leaning Towerone of the wonders of the world. You will be enthralled by the history and the leaning structure of the Tower which stirs the imagination of all visitors. After the guided visit you will have some free timefor memorable pictures or to discover on your own the historical quarter where you can admire the Church of San Sisto, one of the oldest churches in Pisa and Piazza dei Cavalieri, which was the political centre in the middle age and where the Scuola Normale is located, one of the most famous universities in the world. In case of long queue, if you cannot visit the interior of the Cathedral, you will be offered a guided visit of Piazza dei Cavalieri.
Third Tour- Second Day: Siena, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni with Wine Tasting in a typical Winery, at 08.00 (08.30 - 19.30)
Along the way that will lead us to Siena, we will stop at San Gimignano, a small and world famous walled town located on a hilltop, which remained intact through the centuries, renowned for its tall towers,
wonderful frescoes and many other valuable works of art: here we will be led until the heart of the historical center, where to have free time at disposal for its fascinating discovery.
Upon arrival in Siena, after free time for lunch (not included), we meet the local guide, who takes us on a comprehensive guided tour of the historic center, starting from its most beautiful square, Piazza del Campo, of which the Palazzo Pubblico (Town Hall) is the focal point and a pleasant walk through the Museum and Oratory of a Palio’s Contrada (exclusive opening), where we can experience the
atmosphere of the authentic and most intimate soul of the town. The “Contrade” (districts into which the city is divided) are the real core of local social life, where inhabitants of each district compete with each other, as they devote themselves to the preparation of the famous Palio horse-race. The Museum of a ”Contrada”, as well as its Oratory, is therefore the heart of the district. It is an intimate and secret place containing historical documents and wonderful relics of the famous Palio, as well as magnificent works of art, which are normally not disclosed to the public.
We proceed then to the spectacular Cathedral of the 12 th century, of which we can admire the magnificent architecture and the splendor of the polychrome marbles.
In the afternoon, we will stop at the charming historical hamlet of Monteriggioni, an amazing small medieval village enclosed by its famous walls, which remained standing to this day, free time for inside
visit. Then crossing the gently Chianti rolling hills, we will arrive to a cozy Winery, where taste four fantastic wines and sampling balsamic vinegar and “zero food miles” products , to end this memorable experience in the heart of Tuscany with delicious Tuscan flavors.
Please note that the order of the visits may change. When the Museum and the Oratory of the Contrada are not accessible, will be replaced with another site of particular historic and cultural interest