Florence walking tour at a glance
(plus a 1-hour break for lunch)
Piazza della Signoria
Florence walking tour is a comprehensive tour that will show you all the main architectural attractions of the city plus the original Michelangelo’s David, giving you all the needed info about the history of Florence and the Renaissance.
The tour starts in Piazza Santa Croce, hosting the second most important church in Florence: the Basilica di Santa Croce. You will see the church from outside, hearing stories about this ancient Franciscan convent, but also about the many important people whose graves are inside the church. The square is frequently used for events, including the famous Calcio Storico (Historical Football).
From Piazza Santa Croce, you will walk through Borgo Dei Greci, a Medieval alley built on the place where, 19 centuries ago, Roman gladiators fought for their lives and early Christians were tortured. The layout of the buildings in this area still resembles the shape of the ancient Roman amphitheater. Reaching Piazza San Firenze, you will see examples of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque architecture and also the place where Leonardo Da Vinci executed a portrait to the wife of a rich merchant that later would become the most famous painting ever: the Monna Lisa.
Few steps away is Piazza Della Signoria: an open-air museum of Renaissance sculpture, but also the place from where the city hall towers on Florence since 1299. Your expert local guide will show you the magnificent statues in the square and the decoration of the main courtyard of Palazzo Vecchio, explaining the different functions of this palace in history, but also telling you about the people who were imprisoned in the tower, as a consequence of the political intrigues of the Renaissance, when the powerful House of Medici ruled the town.
You will see the Uffizi Gallery from outside, learning how it was built as a block of offices, and how it is connected to both Palazzo Vecchio and the Pitti Palace by the Vasari Corridor, a passageway reserved to the Medici family.
Next is Ponte Vecchio, the old bridge on the river Arno that survived to World War II (unlike any other bridge in Florence). Then you’ll head north, walking through a district which has been rebuilt after the devastation of the war, and another one that has been “renovated” in the 1860s when Florence, for a short while, became the capital of Italy. Along the way, you will stop to see the Loggia Del Porcellino, where tourists use to toss coins in the mouth of a wild boar statue, the Orsanmichele church, which once was a granary, and Piazza Della Repubblica.
You will finally reach the most amazing place in Florence: Piazza Del Duomo, where stands the ancient Baptistery of San Giovanni with the amazing Gates of Paradise, but also one of the largest Cathedrals in the world, highlighted by the greatest achievement of Renaissance architecture: Brunelleschi’s Dome. You’ll get inside the huge church to admire the largest fresco ever made in history, you will learn how this place was built over the span of 140 years, and how a famous conspiracy against the Medici family took place right inside the Duomo.
Finally, you will take a quick look from outside to the Medici Palace, the place from where the powerful bankers became the godfathers of the Renaissance, before reaching the Accademia Gallery. The guide will collect your skip-the-line tickets, reserved in advance, and you will get inside to see the most famous statue in the world: Michelangelo’s David.
After about three hours of tour, the guide will leave you and you will have a chance to continue exploring the Accademia Gallery on your own or follow the guide outside. If you’re tired, the guide will call a taxi for you to reach your hotel (at your expense).
Florence walking tour itinerary
This tour has a duration of three hours. Here is an approximate timetable of the tour:
- START – Piazza Santa Croce
- 00H:30M – Piazza Della Signoria
- 01H:00M – Ponte Vecchio
- 01H:15M – Orsanmichele
- 01H:30M – Piazza Del Duomo
- 02H:10M – Accademia Gallery
- 03H:00M – End of tour
Pick-up and Drop-off
Meeting point: Piazza Santa Croce 9, in front of J&S Leather Factory
Hotel pick-up: available for selected hotels, you must contact the guide after booking the tour
Drop-off: Accademia Gallery
Things to bring (and not to)
You will have to pay the price of museum tickets. Your guide will assist you and you will pay at the museum ticket office directly, by cash or credit card. After booking, you can directly contact your guide for more information.
Having a camera with you is your choice. Someone prefers to immerse in beauty not being distracted by taking pictures/making videos, someone else prefers to build printable memories of his trip. It’s really up to you. Inside the museums included in this tour, pictures and videos are allowed, but the use of a flash or selfie-sticks is prohibited.
Your jackets and bags will be scanned by a metal detector at the Accademia Gallery. Knifes, cutters, multipurpose tools and any sharp object that might represent a danger for the works of art will be seized at the sole discretion of the museum personnel.
Large backpacks and long umbrellas will have to be left at the entrance and be collected at the exit (this service is free of charge).
Entrance to the Duomo and any other religious place is subject to restrictions: your clothing must be appropriate and cover your shoulders and knees.
What’s included in the price (and what is not)
- 3-hour private tour with an expert licensed tour guide of Florence
- hotel pick-up (on request and free of charge: available only for hotels in central Florence)
- skip-the-line tickets for Accademia Gallery. Tickets will be added to the cart automatically.
- any other personal expense
Here are some important things to know in order to ensure you have the best possible experience with your Florence walking tour:
- the itinerary is indicative and can be changed in case some monument is inaccessible for restoration; furthermore, the itinerary can be changed if hotel pick-up is requested, based on the location of your hotel; in particular, the Basilica di Santa Croce can be replaced with the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, and the order of the attractions can be changed to better suit the different starting point;
- on Sunday morning and during any religious event the Duomo is closed. The church reserves the right to change the opening schedule at any time. If the Duomo is closed, the guide will provide a detailed description from outside;
- lines at the Duomo (Cathedral) are usually fast, but cannot be skipped because it’s a free entrance;
- even with skip-the-line tickets, expect to wait some minutes to enter the Accademia Gallery, especially during high season, because of the metal detector checks that slow down the flow of visitors. In particular, entrance at the Accademia during peak time can be delayed by up to 30 minutes.