Highlights of Florence

When we head on our Tuscan Culinary Adventure this fall, most guests will be travelling through one of Italy’s most beautiful cities, Florence. This historic hub of great art, gastronomic delicacies, incredible museums, as well as a fashion mecca, was once the capital of Tuscany from 1865 to 1870. Poets, musicians, artisans and religious leaders have made Firenze a popular landmark for cultural events and specialties – which makes it the perfect metropolitan spot for our guests to explore.

Often referred to as the Renaissance city, Florence’s rich history of inspiring artistry, political progress and scientific ingenuity has greatly contributed to our ideas of what is European culture. Notable figures like Galileo, Machiavelli, Michalangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Dante Alighieri all had landmark moments here.

There’s no shortage of sights to explore from museums to architectural phenomena. Here are a few highlights you may want to check out en route to the Tuscan countryside!

Michaelangelo’s David 
At the Galleria dell’Accademia, there’s nothing quite like the famed statue of David. Michaelangelo’s original 5.17 metre marble statue is an icon of Florence itself, first thought to represent the defense of civil liberties embodied by the Republic of Florence when it was initially commission. The glaring look offered by the Biblical figure is said to be a fierce warning to Rome and other rivals that faced Florence in the 14th century. David was intended to be placed along the roofline of the Florence Cathedral, but instead went outside the Palazzo della Signoria where Florence’s government was held. In 1873 the statue moved to the Galleria and a replica was put in the original plaza, giving tourists a few viewing options to mill about.

Dante’s Inferno


If you’re a Dan Brown fan (or maybe just die-hard Tom Hanks lover), an architectural exploration of Florence guided by the story’s landmark spots will certainly impress. Start from the Palazza Vecchio (another name for Palazza della Signoria) and be like Langdon as you view the death mask of Aligheri himself, located in a under-the-radar hallway between the Apartments of Eleanor and the Halls of Priors. From there, just as Langdon escaped from the Palazzo, explore through the Stanza del Guardaroba filled with fantastic geographical artifacts and maps. Nearby, be sure to check out Dante’s house and church where the plaque featuring the ‘black death’ and intricate ‘Gates of Paradise‘ are showcased. These historic mosaics were created by Florentine goldsmiths in the early 1400s.

The Vasari Corridor

Another stroll worth taking is through the Vasari Corridor, connecting Palazzo Vecchio with Palazzo Pitti. The scenic walkway was initially constructed to allow Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici to travel from his family residence in Pitti through the river Arno without having to rough it with the plebeians of 16th century Florence. It consists of several elevated passageways, which now can only be accessed on a private tour. The total passageway extends between the ornate Boboli gardens, passing over landmark goldsmith shops and beautiful boutiques along Ponte Vecchio, and finally entering the Uffizi Gallery on the Palazzo Vecchio.

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum


The beautiful 13th-century Palazzo Spini-Feroni has been the home of the Ferragamo fashion empire since 1938. The museum is tucked away in the basement of this landmark shoe shop, dedicated of course to the man himself. Currently the museum is celebrating its 90-year anniversary with an exhibit focused on a nostalgic nod to 1920’s fashion. Cultural and social aspects of the label’s growth are characterized in several designs, including detailed wedges and intricate caged heels. There’s more than just some fancy-footwear here!

After seeing the sights of Florence, we’re sure that venturing off with us on in the hills of Chianti is going to be a welcome change of pace. With limited early bird rates left until July 31st, we encourage you to contact our dedicated travel agent, Clara Power at 416.996.6849 or cpower@tpi.ca soon!