Art, Fun and Food
- Florentine Mosaic Workshop
- San Lorenzo food market and tastings
If your desire of exploring Florence includes those experiences that make you “taste the flavour” of the city, this is the tour you should choose.
We start with the visit of the Academy, a “must” in Florence, where your experienced guide will show you some of Michelangelo’s key works. We will admire the Prisoners, the sculptures made for the monument to Pope Julius II, and the touching Pietà (his second) and discuss his unfinished works, the so-called “non-finito”. Finally our attention will turn to Michelangelo’s David, masterpiece and symbol of the Florentine Renaissance, completed in 1504 when he was only 29 years old. (No standing in line, we make the reservations for you!)
On our way to the Duomo, we will show you the most extraordinary Florentine handicraft production, the so-called Florentine Mosaic, in one of the few workshops where, still today, skilled craftsmen continue the tradition.
It all started at the end of the 16th century when Ferdinand I de’ Medici, founded a workshop for the crafting of semi-precious stones. This art reached levels of excellence and attracted admiration from all over Europe.
The Florentine dukes sent these artistic creations as gifts to the crowned heads of Europe whom they wanted to impress.
This unique type of art is still carried on today and it’s the fruit of hard working and precise technicians, who amaze and seduce the observer with their “painting of stones”: the artist creates subjects inspired from reality, choosing the right hues that nature offers through the different stones.
Our cathedral, the Duomo, the building that has come to represent Florence itself, is just a few minutes away. The third-largest church in the world, it is impressively decorated with polychrome marbles, but the main focus of our visit will be the most important architectural element of the cathedral, the dome designed by Brunelleschi. Your guided tour will then continue with the Baptistery, one of the most ancient religious buildings in the city: the beauty of the Baptistery’s gilded doors made Michelangelo call them “the Gates of Paradise”.
Our walk will take us now to the busy Food Market of San Lorenzo (open until 2.00 pm only). It’ is an integral part of local life, a great place to find bargains or just browse around the wide variety of stalls, enjoying the colourful atmosphere and local market chitchat.
The structure deserves the visitor’s attention: the building is a construction of the late 1800s, built in the stream of renovation that happened in Florence when the city became the capital of Italy, it reminds us of ‘Les Halles’ of Paris, with its glass and iron structure in the upper part, while the big round arches on the ground level were inspired by the classical style, and they recall some entrances of Renaissance palaces.
The atmosphere inside is alive and colourful and is a real enjoyment for your senses: the unrivalled smell of freshly cut "prosciutto" or flavoured pecorino cheese will guide you through the wide variety of stalls. Here you realize why good food is such an important part of our culture.
We will also observe all the seasonal vegetables, from tomatoes to porcini mushrooms, to truffles and peppers.
We will finish our tour tickling your taste: you will enjoy olive oils, aged balsamic vinegar, pesto, ragù and sauces on crostini, cheeses (parmigiano and pecorino) and a variety of herbs. (Tastings are included in the price of the tour).