Florence is a city steeped in marvelous history, from the local legends to the Renaissance, and reaching into the modern allure of its beautiful streets and enthusiastic museums. Arrive at the airport and be met by a private transfer who will take you into the historic city center near the unfathomable luster of the Ponte Vecchio and Duomo. It is hard to consider the city anything less than captivating; its streets continue to look as though they have come straight from the 15th century. At the top of Piazzale Michelangelo you will be able to view Florence’s panorama. The famous Duomo, a cathedral with the largest brick dome in history, towers with imposing wonder at the heart of the city. The elegant spires of Santa Croce’s marbled façade stand close by in the skyline’s scale as the vista pushes its way towards the mountains.
Follow your guide on an introductory tour of the streets, through the mesmerizing aroma of fresh baked pizza surrounding Piazza Signoria. A creamy gelato will soon drift by as well, ranging in flavors from fragola, strawberry, to stracciatella, chocolate chip. The buildings block the skyline but offer more historical grandeur. Small plaques adorn certain stretches of buildings that connote their inclusion within Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, letting passersby know the book, chapter, and passage in which you can find the reference.
Standing before the Duomo, Santa Maria del Fiore, you will feel dwarfed by the immensity of the structure, not only in height but in total magnitude, every inch decorated of the façade is covered in detail, from color to saintly statues. It took almost 80 years to complete, not including the almost 40 extra years it took to finish the dome. In the cavernous interior there is a subdued glow that shines along the colorful images that encircle the cupola. Vasari and Zuccari painted the fresco over a seven-year span; the depiction of Last Judgment ranges from the unfavorable depths to the heavenly sky.
In the afternoon you will find yourself within the open halls of the Galleria dell’Accademia, known for centuries of teaching artists and also housing one of the most famous sculptures of all time, Michelangelo’s David. View the lofted ceilings and immaculate hallways graced with vibrant paintings, stunning musical instruments, and inspiring sculptures, none more notable than the David. Through a long stretch of hallway you can see the figure standing in its own domed gallery, lit by a natural glow from the relief of stained glass above. As you venture closer to the iconic image you notice its scale, standing over 14 feet tall, with a stoic gaze and storied sling hung over his shoulder. The detail is in the mythology; the inspiration for the piece stemmed from the original biblical telling and resulted in the representation standing before you.