A customized trip with Beatrice
My wife and I engaged Beatrice to design an all day tour highlighting Florence’s art, architecture and history. Her experience in history and archaeology in addition to the art was a major advantage. She was incredibly knowledgeable about Florence and was able to customize a tour around our desires that could reveal a lot in a relatively short time. Beatrice arranged the schedule and destinations so that we could quickly move from one location to another.
Beatrice covered a huge amount, starting at the Baptistery, then moving to the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, where we could see in a virtual copy of the Duomo facade, revealing how some of the sculptures and ornament would have looked at eye level. There was a lot of extant art in this thoroughly enjoyable new museum. Next, we headed towards Piazza della Signoria and stopped at the Chiesa e Museo di Orsanmichele (which was a combination of a church, granary and office building for the Medici.) This is a one of a kind structure that really must be seen to be believed; the pillars are actually silos to collect and distribute grain through trap doors. Next we explored the Palazzo Vecchio, including the Studiolo, Cinquecento Hall and the Madonna del UFO. Before leaving, we went underground into the Roman theater beneath the building. Still doing more, we walked along what was left of the Roman perimeter walls under a store and on the street before walking to the remnants of the Roman amphitheater outside the ancient walls close to piazza Santa Croce. The arena’s foundation was used for the medieval structures, which were built curved in the same shape as the former Roman building. Lastly, we walked across the Ponte Vecchio to the Pitti Palace, where Beatrice led us on a tour of the late Medici palace which is positively dripping with art, including some either from and/or depicting the many royal families that they married into. All in all, it was a thorough, enjoyable historical, artistic and learning experience. Also, since we could not fit everything into a single tour (although we tried) Beatrice gave us some hints to see the blooming wisteria at the Bardini gardens and the zodiac in the church San Miniato al Monte.
Overall, we highly recommend Beatrice as a guide so that you can get the most out of your time in Florence. She could really bring the immensity of the history, art, culture and personalities into an easily-understood agenda and give us more ideas to explore on our own.