If you want to encounter the Renaissance, that great era of social and cultural change, arguably the most important city to include in your vacation to Italy is Florence.
The Renaissance, or rebirth, was the time between the medieval period and the beginning of the modern age. In other words, the time after the Middle Ages spanning the 14th to 16th centuries that saw a revival of the art and intellectual pursuits of Ancient Greek and Roman times.
The Tuscan city of Florence, Italy, with many of its most celebrated creative minds from that inspiring period still famous today, is believed to be the birthplace of the Renaissance.
The secret behind this cultural awakening can be traced to the city’s social conditions of the early 1300s. In Florence, this was a time of prosperity that saw the urban population grow and innovations abound. It was the perfect climate for an artistic community to thrive, meeting the demand from society for art and literature.
Instead of the restrictive approach to religious artwork that was customary in the Middle Ages, artists in the Renaissance explored more natural ways of depicting the human form in both religious and secular ways. The human form was portrayed more realistically, with incredible attention to perspective and human anatomy that is still breathtaking when you see it in person today.
If you want to immerse yourself in the Florentine masterpieces born of the Renaissance, or Skip the line David and Florence Walking Tour is the tour to take if you want to see the highlights and avoid the queue. An expert guide, fluent in English and educated in history and art, will take you to the most stunning accomplishments in art and architecture from this period.
As you stroll through the streets and backstreets of central Florence in a small group, you’ll enjoy seeing the contrast between examples of architecture from medieval and Renaissance times. Sites you can expect to see include the beautiful Piazza Della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio, the Dome, and Giotto bell tower. You’ll hardly notice the walking as you enjoy the sights and hear about Florence’s rich history from your guide.
You’ll learn why the city was called the New Athens and how it set the standards for art, science, literature, and philosophy across Europe.
Naturally you wouldn’t have an accurate picture of the Florentine Renaissance without learning about the personalities that pushed the limits and were notorious for their exploits, such as the powerful Medici family.
This wealthy Florentine clan used their financial leverage not only as patrons of the artists, but to build prestige and establish their power. They not only ruled the city for over a century, the Medicis commissioned some of the greatest minds of the Renaissance. So powerful were they that more than one generation of Medici children were tutored by none other than Galileo. He even named the four largest moons of the planet Jupiter for four of the Medici offspring.
The walking tour finishes in the Accademia, a veritable showcase of Renaissance genius most notably Michelangelo’s celebrated sculpture, David. His talented peers in Florence included master painter Giotto di Bondone, Bernardo Daddi, and Taddeo Gaddi, among countless others.
For a walking tour of Florence that brings to life all the secrets of Renaissance artwork, check out our Skip the line David and Florence Walking Tour.