No name has been as intimately associated with Florence for as long a time as Medici. The family began in the wool trade and rose in status through the ranks of banking, politics, and, finally, royalty. Its glory began in the first half of the fifteenth century under the leadership of Cosimo de' Medici. Despite being expelled from the city twice, the family returned each time more determined than before to leave legacies of their absolute power in the form of the visual image. While they loved art for its own sake, they also loved it because it impressed, persuaded, and intimidated adversaries. The tour begins at the San Marco Monastery and Museum, housing the world's largest collection of the works of Fra Angelico, an early Renaissance painter whose talent Vasari described as "rare and perfect." The monastery was nurtured by Lorenzo the Magnificent, and its magnificent library contains priceless Medici manuscripts. At the Medici Palace, the family's Renaissance home, is the family's private chapel, the Cappella dei Magi, decorated with the world-famous frescoes of Benozzo Gozzoli depicting the arrival of the Magi in a splendid Renaissance cavalcade. Behind the family church of San Lorenzo are the Medici chapels; Giulio de' Medici, the future Pope Clemens VII, tasked Michelangelo in the early 1500s with the job of constructing, out of semi-precious stones, family mausoleums that would rival those of all others in Europe. Michelangelo never completed the commission, but statues of Lorenzo, the Duke of Urbino, the Duke of Nemours, allegories of Day, Night, Dawn, Dusk, and a Madonna and Child attest to the grandeur of the project. The tour culminates in the Piazza della Signoria, virtually an open air museum that underlines the absolute authority of the Medici in art as well as politics.
- This is a private tour for your group only
- Expert, licensed English-speaking tour guide
- San Marco Monastery and Museum
- Medici-Riccardi palace
- Michelangelo's Medici chapels
- The sculptures in Piazza della Signoria
- Modest attire is required in churches and basilicas; knees and shoulders must be covered
- Large bags and umbrellas are not allowed in the museum; retrieving checked items could affect your ability to cover the entire suggested itinerary.
- Please wear comfortable shoes, as this tour requires a fair amount of walking
- This tour is not fully accessible for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility. Please contact us directly and we devise an alternate route suitable for you.
- Is there a dress code I should know about?
- There is a dress code for churches and basilicas. Shoulders and knees must be covered; shorts, miniskirts, and sleeveless shirts are not permitted. It is recommended that you not take large bags or backpacks on tours that include churches as storage accommodations are not usually available.
- What if there is bad weather?
- Our tours operate rain or shine!
- Is tipping customary in Italy?
- Tipping is not as customary in Italy as in the United States and is not always expected. However, it is always a kind gesture and proper etiquette to leave "a little something extra," depending on the level of service you receive.
- What happens after I've requested a booking through your website?
- Your Own Italy will send a confirmation email within 24 hours of your booking. You will then be invited to make your payment using a link that will be provided.
- Can wheelchair users go on this walking tour?
- Not all walking tours are fully accessible for wheelchair users or those with walking disabilities. However, if anyone in your group requires special accommodation, please let us know when completing the booking and we will work out suitable alternative routes.
- Can tours be modified?
- If you would prefer to customize your tour to eliminate some sites, please feel free to contact us to discuss options.
- How far in advance should I book my walking tour?
- Tours should be booked 48 hours in advance. While we cannot guarantee availability if booking occurs in less than 48 hours, we will do our best to accommodate your request.
- What are Your Own Italy’s payment terms?
- Full payment is due when the tour confirmation email is sent, within 24 hours of your booking. You will be provided with a link to our payment page. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
- What is your cancellation policy?
- Tours must be canceled by email 24 hours prior to the start of the tour. If cancellation is made in less than this time, Your Own Italy cannot guarantee a full refund.
- How do I amend a reservation?
- Any changes to existing reservations must be requested by email. All efforts will be made to accommodate changes, but they cannot be guaranteed.
- Is your site secure?
- Our internet site uses the SSL encryption protocol to guarantee secure transactions and complete confidentiality. We use a security certificate issued by the Security Management Company, Control Scan.
- What should I do if I have a larger group than the size suggested on the website?
- Your Own Italy is delighted to accommodate large groups. Please specify the number in your party when booking, and every effort will be made to organize a tour within the time limits provided.