Join me for a trip far beyond the guide books, and discover all that Florence has to reveal to you!
Tours include, but are not limited to:
Imagine Florence filled with Romans in togas, visiting the Roman Forum, bathing to the thermal baths, watching plays in the theater or gladiatorial combats in the Amphitheater. Cages full of lions and other exotic animals awaiting their turn in the colosseum. Such a city exists under the cobble stone streets of Florence. This Roman city of Fiorentia, established by Julius Caesar in 59 BC, served as an agricultural base to reward his soldiers. Much of the evidence of this fascinating time period has been uncovered by archeological excavations, and it is still possible to see the remains of this civilization in the street plan and architecture of the city. Take a walk back in time and experience life in the Roman city of Fiorentia.
The Medici Women
Many legends swirl around the the House of the Medici that have fostered historically-romanticized literature and movies. We see the super-human images of Medician domination, from the fostering of great works during the Renaissance to the scandals and murders that occurred during their long reign. Who were the mothers, wives, and lovers of these famous men? They say “behind every successful man there is a woman” and it was certainly true of the Medicis. Come meet these influential women of the Medici Dynasty.
The Dark Period of the Tower Houses
“Dove c’è una torre c’è una memoria di Guerra…"
Where there is a tower there is a memory of war...
Although the period of the XIII Century was an extremely prosperous time for the city of Florence, with commercial relations flourishing between the major countries of the East and the West, it was also a time of intense conflict between two warring factions, the Guelphs (supporters of the Pope) and the Ghibellines (supporters of the German Emperor). The towers, built as a symbol of the economic power of these families, became the walls of defense from their enemies. Step back into the Dark Period when Florence was called the Tower City and explore a life of constant danger and conflict.
WWII: Saving Florence's Art
Florence, the City of Art, a city devoid of artwork. Impossible to imagine but this was the situation during WWII. Stained glass windows removed, statues encapsulated in brickwork, paintings hurriedly placed in villas outside the city, bridged blown up and historic buildings destroyed. Florence’s artistic heritage, although damaged, survives today thanks to heroic actions of people like the Superintendent of Art, Giovanni Poggi and the Italian spy, Rodolfo Siviero known as the 007 of Art who worked closely with the allies “Monument Men” to recover stolen artwork. Take a walk backward in time and experience a Florence in danger of losing her artistic heritage and the men responsible for its salvation.
Women in Italian Renaissance Art
The Renaissance was a time when Man was the center of the Universe. Yet it is the sublime images of women of this time period that are the subject of the many famous paintings that capture our attention: the grace and beauty of Botticelli’s Primavera and ethereal nudity of his Venus, the divine sweetness Raphael’s Madonnas or the sensuality of Titian’s Venus of Urbino. Images of women which filter the views of the Renaissance society’s idealized concepts of beauty and harmony. Explore the changing “faces” of Renaissance women and the stories that these paintings tell of a woman’s role in society during this fascinating period of humanism.