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Top 5 Florence Gems to visit after the Famous sites

Published On

April 5, 2022

May 14, 2024

Hidden Gems
minute read

After you have enjoyed guided tours to the famous sites like the Uffizi Gallery, Accademia, and Duomo Complex. You can dig deeper to find the many hidden Gems around the Renaissance City!

On my last TGI -Friday, we met with art Historian Lucia Montuschi to speak about her favorite Hidden Gems. I have added Lucia's recommendation to visit Casa Buonarotti! and here is a few other favorites to check out next time you are in Florence!

1. The District of Santa Maria Novella

Florence is a small city although it is packed with incredible districts that all tell a story! Here is one of our favorite walks.

Santa Maria Novella is one of them. Just a few minutes walk from the Duomo Complex you can arrive at the main square.  

The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella.  Is the only Basilica with it's original facade in Florence!  Designed by the great Renaissance Man 'Leon Battisti Alberti'.  

Enter inside to see frescos by Filippino Lippi at the Strozzi Chapel. The Fresco of the Holy Trinity by Masaccio. Admire the Crucifix by Giotto. See wooden crucifix by Brunelleschi.

Admire the Grand Hotel Minerva. Built in 1869. In the 1950's two innovative architects Eduardo Detti and Carlo Scappa turned the original tavern in to a Hotel.  You can enjoy an aperitivo at the roof top bar. That has a dipping pool and incredible views of the iconic towers and domes around Florence.

You can also admire the glass mosaics at Hotel Rome. By 1920's art deco designer Galileo Chini.

We will stop in to Cortese Cafe 900  a wonderful gem that serves delicious vegan desserts and coffee with Almond Milk. Set inside the Museo Novecento

Walk beyond the square on Via della Scala to arrive at the Ancient Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella. Admire the many rooms of ancient perfumes, soaps, and special potions. A beloved favorite is 'L'acqua Della Regina' - created for Catherine de Medici.  

If you continue down Via Dei Fossi a beautiful street that takes you toward the Arno river. Stop in to the Frill gallery. Opened by Master Antonio Frilli, sculptor artist and professor at Academy of Florence. Visit the showroom of contemporary artists. See projects the gallery has commissioned around Florence.  That includes the Baptistery Doors by Ghiberti & Pisano.

Stop into an independent bookstore Todo Modo Enjoy a glass of Wine, process or beverage of your choice at the bookstores caffe.

Our walk ends at a Galleria Faustini. That showcases contemporary Italian Artists including a local Florentine Uliviero Ulivieri.  Like the look of this itinerary send us an email!

2. Casa Buonarotti

In 1508 Michelangelo bought four buildings in the district of Santa Croce. In 1514 he purchased the fifth building. The entire structure became Casa Buonarotti, his Honorable Home in Florence.

Today the Museum houses two reliefs in marble by a young Michelangelo 'Madonna of the Stairs and the Battle of the Centaurs. Visit the second floor to witness hundreds of Michelangelo's drawings.

3. The Porcelain Gallery at the Pitti Palace

The Porcelain Gallery is at one of the highest points of the Boboli Gardens. The Gallery showcases a collection of porcelain from the Medici, Lorraine, and Savoy families.

A lovely walk through the Boboli Gardens will take you to the stunning Palazzina del Cavaliere building. The 1527 Knights building has a beautiful facade that includes a series of six terracotta vases alternated with four statues in Terracotta.

Five doorways lead into the main rooms of the Porcelain Museum. Porcelain by Meissen, Ginori, Sevres and works originating from the Lorraine Collections.

Visit the Porcelain Museum and the Boboli gardens together with a local guide. An ideal three-hour itinerary.

4. The Basilica of Santo Spirito

This beautiful square with the great Basilica of Santo Spirito. Is a tribute to the great architect Filippo Brunelleschi.

This was Brunelleschi's final design. The Basilica was designed to face the Arno river. However, Florence's most ancient and prominent families, including the Capponi, Soderini, and Frescobaldi, would not allow it.

The Frescobaldi that live on Via Santo Spriito. Are a Historical wine family. Their  family chapels can be found inside the Basilica. You can note the coat of arms over the outside windows.

Among the beauty and natural light that is exposed upon entry. You can admire a number of masterpieces. Designs by great Florentine painters that inlcudes Filippino Lippi. Designers such as Simone del Polaioio and Giuliano da San Gallo.

On your way to the two cloisters 'Cloister of death' and 'Grand Cloister' you can witness   a wooden crucifix by a young michelangelo.   A gift to the Augustian monks that allowed Michelangelo to analyze corpses from the convents hospital.

5. The Bargello Museum & The Workshops of Great Renaissance Artists

Did you know that Donatello's workshop was in Piazza Duomo. Have you ever wondered where Michelangelo worked on the David ? Our expert guides will take you on a wonderful walk around the historical centre.

Where you will discover the workshops of the great Renaissance artists Donatello, Ghiberti, Cellini and Giambologna. The walk will take you to Piazza della Signoria and Orsanmichele

Your guide will explain the History of the Florentine craft industry. Continue to Piazza Duomo see Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise and Giotto’s Bell tower.  See symbols of Florentine crafts on the base of the tower.

Visit the Bargello Museum. See masterpiece sculptor by one of the fathers of the Renaissance, Donatello. Admire Giambologna’s Bronze Flying Mercury sculpture. View works by Verrocchio the Teacher of Leonardo da Vinci.

Arrive at the Luca della Robbia Room to see his glazed terracotta technique. Invented by the artist in the 14th century.

Linda Sorgiovanni
Italy Customized

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