You have only a day – what a pity! We mustn’t waste anytime! This is a walk that will take us to the very heart of religious and political power in Florence:
This tour is all about the evolution of civic architecture in Florence, from the tower houses of medieval times to the aristocratic palazzos of the Renaissance, designed by architects such as Michelozzo, Cronaca and others.
Learning about and understanding Art by going to see works of art in churches
Craftsmanship is the Italians’ true genius, the conscious transmission of the beauty and wisdom that flourishes in the imagination and intelligence. The Oltrarno is a part of Florence where we find the unspoiled atmosphere of this medieval city with a myriad of craft shops using all kinds of materials. A walk in Oltrarno is a plunge into the heart of the city, faraway from the crowds of tourists.
Florence is a Roman city but, just seven kilometres for the city centre, is the Etruscan Fiesole of the fifth to fourth centuries B.C. standing on a hill with panoramic views. A visit to Fiesole is a leap into Tuscany and Italy’s distant past. With its traces of the ancient, the medieval and the Renaissance, our walk will show us a wonderful civilisation and the development of a whole area that was heavily populated over the centuries. The numerous Renaissance villas and Queen Victoria’s beloved belvedere also testify to that.
Vinci is not only the great Leonardo’s surname but the name of the little village on top of an enchanting hill, 44 kilometres from Florence, where he was born in 1452. The area where he lived as a child stretches over the slopes of Mount Albano and provides glimpses of the fertile, varied countryside with olive trees, cypresses and vineyards.
Going in search of the genius Leonardo is a good excuse for going on a trip to one of the most enchanting parts of the Tuscan countryside.
Chianti – a word that evokes history, wine and good food, all at the same time. This fine wine, famous throughout the world, was already well known in the 15th century and was even exported to foreign courts. But what is Chianti exactly? Certainly we don’t drink the wine of a thousand years ago. Its history is also the history of a region, the whole region of Tuscany. There are different kinds of Chianti: the Ruffino, the Montalbano… but the Gallo Nero (black cock) is the object of this outing. The most famous Chianti vineyards in the world stretch out on the slopes of the lower Apennines south of Florence, as do olive groves, on land that is completely uncontaminated, with wonderful panoramic views in every season. Everyone who spends a day in Chianti falls in love with this generous and naturally beautiful area.
Building villas began at the same time as the first stirrings of humanism, the discovery of classical writers and the study of Greek and Roman ruins. More than any other kind of building, it is the daughter of humanism, renewed faith in mankind and nature and the discovery of the classical origins of Italian culture. The gardens beside the new residences were transformed into microcosms where nature was recreated and man dominated and reduced it to known forms. The renewed interest in alchemy, the botanical novelties imported from the New World, the debate on the man/nature role are only some of the sources of inspiration for the new landscapes created by ars topiaria. These sculptures became a pretext for cultured citations of divinity.