Florence Travel Guide

The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is saturated with artistic wonders and stunning architecture. Not to mention the food!

Florence school trip travel guide

An introduction to Florence

The play 'All’s Well That Ends Well' by Shakespeare was written in 1605 and mostly based in the city of Florence, Italy.  No surprise really, that Shakespeare chose this location as this was at the end of what's considered the Italian Renaissance and by this point, Florence had been the most important European centre of culture for over 250 years.

400 odd years later 'Firenze' is still the home of some of the world's most astonishing art and architecture. Combine this with the Florentines own version of 'La Dolce Vita', you've got a heady mix of sensory experiences hard to rival anywhere else.

Art tours will home in on the Uffizi and the Bargello, but a cross-curricular tour here will reward students just as much and deliver memories to last a lifetime.

All visits are covered by our externally verified Safety Management System and are pre-paid when applicable. Prices and opening times are accurate as of May 2018 and are subject to change and availability. Booking fees may apply to services provided by Voyager School Travel when paid on site.

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History

Museo di San Marco

The museum occupies a vast area of the Dominican convent of San Marco and preserves much of its original atmosphere. Founded in 1436 and designed by the architect Michelozzo, the convent played an important role in the cultural and religious life of Florence, especially at the time of Savonarola.
visitflorence.com

Price £3
Opening times Mon - Fri: 08:15 - 13:50
Sat - Sun: 08:15 - 16:50

Palazzo Medici Riccardi

Another Michelozzo masterpiece commissioned by the Medici family, it was the first Renaissance building ever built in Florence and completed in 1460. The palace had various famous residents including Lorenzo the Magnificent and is currently the seat of the Metropolitan City of Florence. Today the most visited part of the complex is the chapel with it's superb 1459 fresco by Benozzo Gozzoli which represents the Procession of the Magi, although many of the figures are clearly members of the Medici family at the time it was made.

Price £4
Opening times Mon - Tues / Thurs - Fri:
09:00 - 19:00

Basilica di San Lorenzo

A further example of the Medici family wealth, The Basilica of San Lorenzo is the burial place of all of the principal members of the family. Michelangelo was commissioned to design the eastern façade but this was never completed and as a result the building has a rough, unfinished appearance. The bronze pulpits were designed by Donatello, who is buried here also.
operamedicealaurenziana.org

Price £6
Opening times Mon - Sat: 10:00 - 17:30
Sun: 13:30 - 17:30

Santa Trinita

Completed in 1280, Santa Trinita is the mother church of the Vallumbrosan Order of monks and is home to numerous chapels containing various relics, fresco's altars and paintings. 
visitflorence.com/florence-churches/santa-trinita

Price £6
Opening times Mon - Sat: 10:00 - 17:30
Sun: 13:30 - 17:30

Opera di Santa Croce

The importance of this church cannot be underestimated, it is said to have been founded by St Francis, and is the burial place of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli and Rossini and as a result is also known as the Temple of the Italian Glories. It's the largest Franciscan church in the world and boasts frescos by Giotto amongst other luminaries.
santacroceopera.it

 

Price £6 + £1.50 guide
Opening times Mon - Sat: 09:30 - 17:30
Sun: 14:00 - 17:30

San Miniato al Monte

High up on a hill overlooking the city, this Romanesque church of 1089 is said to be the finest example of this architectural period in the whole of Tuscany. The interior is stunning with black and white marble panels throughout. In 1530 it was used as an artillery post during the siege of Florence and the enterprising Michelangelo used mattresses to protect it from enemy fire.
sanminiatoalmonte.it

Price Free
Opening times Mon - Sat:
09:30 - 13:00 / 15:00 - 19:00
Sun: 09:30 - 19:00

Brancacci Chapel

Found within the the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine and often referred to as the 'Sistine Chapel of the Renaissance', the Brancacci Chapel contains frescoes and paintings by a young artist called Masaccio.

The reason for their fame is that they were some of the earliest works that broke away from the traditional medieval style and adopted the new Renaissance influence. This chapel is well worth a visit as the works remain impressive to this day.
museumsinflorence.com

Price Free
Opening times Mon / Wed - Sat:
10:00 - 17:00
Sun: 13:00 - 17:00

Orsanmichele Church and Museum

If a building and museum could best sum up the Renaissance and the progress that resulted from this new enlightened way of thinking, Orsanmichele does exactly that. Safely hidden away in the museum (they can be seen on Mondays - the only day the museum is open) are a series of sculptures considered some of the finest ever made.

The competition between artists and tradesmen led to this jump in quality and finishing. Replicas of these statues are in place in the loggia of the church for you to marvel at.
bargellomusei.beniculturali.it

Price Free
Opening times Church
Mon - Sun: 10:00 - 16:50
Museum
Mon: 10:00 - 16:50
Sat: 10:00 - 12:30

Orsanmichele



 

Let's go to Florence!

Art

Museo Dell’Opera del Duomo

The 'Museum of the Works of the Cathedral' is a vast collection of art collected and preserved over 7 centuries. Opened in the late 19th century, highlights include The Penitent Magdalene by Donatello, The Hall of Paradise andThe Pietà by Michelangelo (the statue is unfinished because after 9 years of work Michelangelo stopped as he was angered by all the flaws in the marble).
operaduomo.firenze.it
 

Museo Dell'Opera Del Duomo

Price £17 (72 hour pass)
Inclusions Cathedral, Cupola, Baptistry, Campanile di Giotto, Cripta di Santa Reperata and Museo dell’Opera del Duomo

The Uffizi

Needing little introduction, the Uffizi is one of the most famous museums of painting and sculpture in the world. Its collection of Primitive and renaissance painting comprises several universally acclaimed masterpieces, including works by Giotto, Simone Martini, Pietro della Francesca, Fra Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Mantegna, Correggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo and Caravaggio.
uffizifirenze.it

Price : €1.50pp for groups of 8+
Opening times Tues - Sun: 08:15 - 18:50

Uffizi

Bargello National Museum

The Palazzo del Bargello is the oldest public building in Florence and home to a dazzling collection of treasures. It's imposing exterior hides works by Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Verrocchio, Michelangelo and Cellini. 
bargellomusei.beniculturali.it

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