The Uffizi Gallery is home to the world’s greatest collection of Italian Renaissance art. We will spend all morning here, expertly guided through the priceless works including those by Cimabue, Giotto, Duccio, Simone Martini, Lorenzo Monaco, Gentile da Fabriano, Uccello, Fra Angelico, Piero della Francesca, Hugo van der Goes (a Flemish altarpiece with Florentine connections), Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Filippo Lippi, Verrocchio, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Bronzino, Pontormo, Andrea del Sarto, Titian, the Baroque Caravaggio and others.
In the afternoon we will visit the Pazzi chapel in the Chapter House of the church of Santa Croce, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture attributed to Brunelleschi.
From there we will stretch our legs on a guided walk over the Ponte Vecchio bridge and up to Piazzale Michelangelo, a large public terrace offering a panoramic view over the city. Those keen to keep walking can continue uphill to the Romanesque basilica of San Miniato al Monte, from where the views are even more expansive. The interior of this influential church is also well worth checking out if there is time.
The day ends with the opportunity to climb to the top of Florence’s cathedral. Firstly, an ascent to the drum with its views of the mid 15th century stained glass windows and Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari's late 16th century frescoes of the Last Judgement in the cupola above. You then climb between the two shells of Brunelleschi’s dome before stepping outside onto the marble lantern with its breathtaking views of Florence and the surrounding hills. Descent is via the interior of the dome, with even closer views of the Last Judgement.
Accommodation: 2nd night at Hotel Balestri, Florence.
Meals included: breakfast.