Your evocative Best of Florence Walking Tour experience begins when you meet your guide halfway across the Ponte Vecchio bridge, just next to the bust of Benvenuto Cellini, the famous sculptor and artist.
On this 3-hour walking tour of historic Florence, you’ll see the main sights of this beautiful city. As an added bonus, you’ll enjoy the convenience of Skip-the-Line visits to the famous Duomo and the Accademia Gallery (home to Michelangelo’s ‘David’). Headsets are provided so that you can be sure of hearing what your guide is saying.
You’ll first see the Ponte Vecchio bridge, which has existed in various forms since 996. The bridge has survived floods and the devastations of World War II. Shops of various types, from butchers to jewelers, have always been on the bridge.
You’ll pass the Uffizi Gallery one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world. There is not enough time to visit this treasure trove during your tour but you can come back another day.
Continuing your walk, you’ll see the Church of Orsanmichele, where you can admire splendid statues by artists such as Donatello, Ghiberti and Verrocchio.
You’ll see two legendary piazzas – Piazza degli Uffizi and Piazza della Signoria. The latter played a key role in the formation and history of the Florentine Republic and is still regarded as the political hub of the city.
You’ll also see the Palazzo Vecchio, the fortress-like building that is one of the city's most famous landmarks. It was built for the city council; construction began in 1299 and was completed in 1322.
At the Mercato Nuevo, the covered market, you’ll find Il Porcellino (The Piglet), a 17th century bronze statue of a wild boar. According to legend, anyone who rubs the shining snout of the boar will return to Florence.
At Piazza della Repubblica, once the Ancient Forum, you’ll discover a popular meeting place for famous writers, artists and locals. It was created at the end of the 19th century as part of an ambitious project to redevelop the historic center of Florence. Its most impressive sight is the Arcone, a triumphal arch.
At the Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistry of St. John), you’ll find the exquisite Baptistry Doors by Ghiberti, which Michelangelo called the “Gates of Paradise”. These bronze doors with relief sculptures, dating from the 15th century, consist of 28 panels depicting the life of Christ, the four evangelists and Saints Ambrose, Jerome, Gregory and Augustine.
You’ll enter the awe-inspiring Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, crowned by Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome. Built on a massive scale between 1296 and 1436, the mighty Duomo symbolized Florence's growing importance and is still one of the world’s largest cathedrals.
Then continue to the Accademia Gallery (entrance included) where you can marvel at the original marble statue of David by Michelangelo. One of the masterpieces of Renaissance sculpture, the figure was created in 1504 for the city of Florence and placed in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. In 1873, this statue was replaced by a replica and the original was placed in the Accademia Gallery to keep it safe from weather and acts of vandalism.
The tour concludes at the Accademia Gallery. From here, you are free to make your way back to your accommodation or onward to your next destination.