Florence is not a destination but a journey through time
To visit this city you need to have the disposition of a treasure hunter who, map in hand, begins a journey to discover chests full of precious stones, gold and jewels
of inestimable value.
On board one of our rental cars from our agencies in Florence you can travel this fascinating route independently and at your own pace,
as befits a visitor in front of so many artistic and architectural treasures.
This will introduce you to museums, churches, mausoleums, palaces, basilicas, squares, gardens: everything in Florence speaks of splendour, civilization, nobility, great
families and the Italian artistic genius.
It is not surprising the renowned Florentine pride, almost an arrogance of soul that marks a proud awareness of one's origins in the sign of an undisputed linguistic
and cultural primacy. We can identify various souls of the city, all in close connection with each other, one as a natural continuation of the other,
albeit with distinct and defined identities, which are indissolubly intertwined showing, to tourists from all over the world, the extraordinary history of families and artists
of unparalleled fame.
We identify four central eras for our journey through time: Middle Ages, Humanism, Renaissance, Baroque. We will dedicate an in-depth itinerary to each of them.
“Godi, Fiorenza, poi che se' sì grande, che per mare e per terra batti l'ali, e per lo 'inferno tuo nome si spande!” (Rejoice, Fiorenza, because you are so great, that by sea
and land you beat your wings, and by Hell, your name spreads!) So the Supreme Poet, Dante Alighieri writes about his Florence.
We like to start with this quote for mediaeval Florence, the starting point of our journey, an era that marks the rise of the city and its political and artistic centrality.
From an architectural and urban planning point of view, it is easy to identify what is known as the tower house while visiting the city. Residential buildings characterised
by towers up to 70 metres in height identified the family's degree of importance and prestige.
It is the time for Giotto, of the pictorial invention of perspective that redefined the concept of art and architecture.
While goldsmiths, apothecaries, carpenters, doctors, sculptors and artisans work industriously in a city divided between the internal struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines,
Florence built and develops works such as the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, the Basilica of Santa Croce, the Baptistery of San Giovanni, OrsanMichele, Santa Maria del
Fiore, Palazzo del Bargello, Palazzo Davanzati, San Miniato, Ponte Vecchio.
It is the Florence of the historic centre which has its focal point in the magnificent Piazza del Duomo whose extraordinary activity is witnessed by the
neighbouring Museo dell'Opera.
We believe it is an understatement to illustrate what entire art books fail to show exhaustively and we prefer to let your imagination anticipate the splendour and emotions
of this immense artistic heritage.
The perfume-pharmaceutical workshop of Santa Maria Novella deserves a separate digression, founded in 1221 by the Dominican friars, skilled apothecaries, who
cultivating medicinal herbs in the adjacent garden, gave life to the oldest pharmacy in Europe. A magical place, wonderfully scented, where it seems to enter the fairy world
of a sumptuous fairy tale.
At the end of the 1300s, Florence opened to a wave of ideological renewal destined to upset forever the severe and rigid mediaeval thought to give way to an open and far-sighted
vision, centred on human capacity and its potential.
But this new vision of the world would not have provoked that artistic revolution of which Florence was the protagonist if it had not been for the rise of the most powerful and
richest Florentine family ever: the Medici.
Even in the early decades of the 1400s, these wealthy bankers began the rise to power of the city, unofficially becoming its absolute lords in the first half of the century.
To affirm this power, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi was built, commissioned to Michelozzo Michelozzi by Cosimo I and, at the same time, works of art and architecture
were commissioned that still indissolubly bind the name of Florence to this important family.
The route we suggest is an aegis to classical art, Donatello, Masaccio, Lippi, Brunelleschi, Della Robbia: these are the names of the artistic empyreans of the time. To find traces
of their works, just visit the most famous places in the city.
The Uffizi Museum, an extraordinary place of perfection and beauty, or the Brancacci Chapel of Santa Maria del Carmine with the frescoes by Masaccio, Piazza
della Signoria with its Loggia, the Bargello Museum to admire the glazed terracotta of the della Robbia or the immense dome of Brunelleschi's Cathedral.
This is the moment that marks the explosion of the development of Florence which, even centuries later, is recognised as the world capital for this period.
Here, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Raffaello all came together. All left an immense legacy, generously spread and traceable in the grandiose museums - from the
Uffizi to the Accademia -, in the basilicas and squares of the city: you cannot trace a single itinerary for such a vast heritage that you will discover in all places suggested.
In this period - and under the aegis of the Medici - the urban development of the city also exploded. Here, then, are the Medici Chapels and the monumental complex of
San Lorenzo, the burial place of the powerful family.
For those wishing to visit the place, now converted into a museum due to the artistic importance of the site, access is provided from the back of the Basilica of San Lorenzo
in piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini.
These are the years of construction of one of the most impressive works of the city, the mighty Fortezza da Basso, still used today as a place for important
international events such as Pitti. The building testifies to the triumph of the Medici family, which forcefully returned to the city after the siege.
Between castle and military fortification, the Fortress dominates the city and inspires awe thanks to the monumental entrance created by Antonio Sangallo.
Another admirable example of Renaissance architecture and art is the Vasari Corridor built in just 5 months by the great Giorgio Vasari, to allow Cosimo I de Medici
a privileged passage from Piazza della Signoria to Palazzo Pitti.
Also near Palazzo Pitti, we find the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo, a space dedicated to the trade of merchandise beautifully adorned by the artist Bernardo Buontalenti.
We conclude our sixteenth-century walk with one of the most famous buildings in the world: Palazzo Pitti. Purchased as the residence of the Medici family, the palace
now houses several museums that offer the visitor an unparalleled pictorial collection ranging from Raphael to Tintoretto, from Rubens to Caravaggio.
Also at Palazzo Pitti, you can admire the Treasury of the Grand Dukes, the costume and fashion gallery, as well as the royal apartments.
The Boboli Gardens open up inside the Palace: an immense green space of rare beauty, enriched by statues and gushing fountains and the famous Buontalenti Grotto,
an amazing example of mannerist art already close to Baroque art.
After the Medici era, Florence was still experiencing a period of opulence and vitality. To conclude our journey we cannot leave out Piazza San Firenze with the Church of
San Filippo Neri and its wonderful Baroque facade, as well as the church of Santi Michele and Gaetano close to via Tornabuoni, the Corsini Chapel in Santa
Maria del Carmine or the Cappella dei Principi, inside the Medici chapels, decorated with precious stones such as lapis lazuli, mother of pearl and coral.
The art of precious inlay has, in Florence, the highest school in the world: we are talking about the Opificio Pietre Dure, an artisan workshop that over the centuries
has given life to inlays of exceptional craftsmanship and beauty, bringing the art of wonder, typical of the Baroque period, at the highest levels ever represented.
To end our itinerary in time, and return to the present day, we suggest a walk in the very central via Tornabuoni: luxury and Florentine tailoring art will enchant
you through the windows of the luxury houses that continue, even today, to cultivate that taste for refinement, the elegance and beauty where Florence has been the protagonist
Florence is a city that will never cease to enchant you, rent a car with us and get the most out of your stay!