• Italian
  • English (UK)
  • Porta Romana

    "...they could make their way

    across it,

    bypassing the

    Porta Romana undetected."

  • Duomo

    "Langdon

    wandered around the interior of the

    Duomo

    admiring the artwork that Ignazio had so deeply loved..."

  • I am the shade

    "I am the shade,

    through the dolent city I flee.

    ... along the banks of the

    river arno

    I scramble breathless..."

One book three cities

inferno

Robert Langdon is back and he has replaced his Harris tweed suit and Mickey Mouse watch with a Brioni suit as he goes about solving this new Italian mystery.
The book "Inferno" sets out to challenge a scenario where all of the characters are not what they purport to be.

Amongst the many coup de theatre in the book the striking characters are the three magnificent cities making up the backdrop to this adventure, namely Florence, Venice and Istanbul. On our site you will find details of all of the locations visited by Sienna and Prof. Langdon in their race against time to...

Book your tour in Florence

ssh24If you loved, as we did, Langdon's adventures through the tiny streets of Florence, you can't miss our tour of the city.

The tour starts at 9.15 from Boboli then, after crossing Ponte Vecchio, offers an accurate visit of Palazzo Vecchio. It continues to the Badia Fiorentina, where the book starts and then stops at the Church of Dante where you can learn more about the Divine Comedy.

Immerse yourself in this unusal tour on the trail of Bob Langdon and pick the chance to view Florence from a different perspective, 

all you have to do is book the tour.

 

 

 

 

Santa Croce

The Santa Croce complex has always been closely connected with the Franciscans, who established themselves here around about 1227.
Soon after the death of St. Francis, they built a small church on the site of the present-day Santa Croce, which they enlarged in 1252. The remains of this first building came to light in 1967.
In May 1294, work started on the new church designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, who managed to produce the Florentine ideal of the beauty of simple forms in a vast space; in fact, Santa Croce is 115 metres long and its central nave 195 metres wide, about the same size as the first church of St. Peter's in Rome.
Building was completed in 1380. After the collapse of the first bell tower in 1512, another one designed by Niccolò Baccanti was finally erected in 1842. The marble facade of the church was built by Niccolò Matas between 1853 and 1863, and was apparently based on a 15th century design by Cronaca.
Santa Croce is the richest Florentine church in terms of works of art; inside, for example, there are wonderful frescos by Giotto, a marble pulpit by Benedetto da Maiano, the Vittorio Alfieri monument by Canova, and Donatello's high-relief Annunciation…
The rich 13th century Florentine families donated vast sums of money to the Franciscans in order to obtain the privilege of burying their family members in the chapels of the choir, and thus to display their family stems. At the end of the 14th century, the church also became a burial place for illustrious figures. There are also monuments to Dante Alighieri, Galilei, Machiavelli, Foscolo, and Rossini.
In the Santa Croce complex there is also a museum including such masterpieces as Cimabue's Crucifix, frescos by Orcagna, and a bronze by Donatello.
The basilica of Santa Croce faces onto a vast piazza, which was built to complement it; it is known throughout the world because for centuries it has hosted the traditional "calcio in costume" competition.
At Piazza Santa Croce, 21, one can admire the Palazzo dell'Antella, the facade of which was frescoed in 1629 in just twenty days by a team of skilled painters commissioned by Niccolò dell'Antella. It subsequently became known as the "Palazzo degli Sporti" because spectators used to watch the "calcio in costume" matches from the windows.

Porta Romana

Porta Romana belongs to the ancient walls of Florence, dating back to the 14th century, and it is the largest and best preserved gate of the city. This entrance still has the original iron doors and a marble slab with the Medici coat of arms.

Porta Romana is at the end of two boulevards: Viale del Poggio Imperiale and Viale Machiavelli. From here, Via Romana starts and leads to the historic center of Florence. Also, at the top of the boulevard Niccolò Machiavelli it is possible to run through a wonderful historic street of Florence. Along the boulevard there are small parks with benches and fountains.

At the center of the roundabout stands a marble statue of Michelangelo Pistoletto (Biella, June 25, 1933), the “Dietrofront” [Turnabout] (1981-1984). The sculpture was presented for the first time at the artist's exhibition at Forte Belvedere, and later permanently installed in the square of Porta Romana.

It consists of two female figures by the large size (about six meters high), the vertical one pointing at via Senese, which leads to Via Cassia and then to Rome; the other one (about three meters) is placed on the head of the first, and looks towards via Romana that enters the city walls of Florence.

Loggia dei Lanzi

The most beautiful loggia in Florence is without doubt the Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza della Signoria. Originally called the Loggia dei Priori, in the time of Cosimo I it housed his soldiers (Swiss lancers), who were called Lanzichenecchi, and so it came to be known as the Loggia dei Lanzi. This elegant loggia, built to form part of the Palazzo Vecchio complex and inaugurated in 1381, was used for ceremonies and for the proclamation of the edicts of the Signoria. Today the loggia is a kind of open-air museum housing an important group of statues which all rather strangely share a note of violence. Under the left arch is Benvenuto Cellini's Perseus, which depicts the Greek hero holding up the head of the Medusa that he has just killed. Under the right arch is the Rape of the Sabines by Giambologna. In the second row, on the right, there is another work by Giambologna, Hercules fighting the Centaur Nessus; then there is Menelaus supporting the Body of Patroclus, a Roman copy of the original Greek work, and The Rape of Polixena by Pio Fedi. At the back of the loggia there are six Roman statues which have been heavily restored.
Above the loggia there is a beautiful terrace with a view of Piazza della Signoria, which can be reached from the Galleria degli Uffizi.

Ponte Vecchio

This is the oldest bridge in the city and until the construction of Ponte alla Carraia in 1218, it was the only one in Florence.
In the times of the Roman Florentia there was already a wooden bridge very close to where today's bridge stands. This was substituted by one in stone in 123 BC.
In the thirteenth century shops began to spring up along the bridge, the majority of which were butchers. However, because of the bad smell that wafted up from them into the Vasari corridor that ran along the top of the bridge, Grand Duke Ferdinando I had them moved elsewhere in 1593, and made sure they were replaced with goldsmiths shops (which brought in double the rent), that still line the sides of the bridge today.
In 1944, the Germans blew up all but one of the bridges over the River Arno as they retreated north after having occupied the city. Ponte Vecchio was spared, but at the expense of the surrounding areas, which were systematically razed to the ground by the Nazis

Piazza della Signoria

The site on which Piazza della Signoria was built was occupied in the period of the Roman Florentia by a large theatre. In the Middle Ages, modest houses and alleyways sprang up there. The land was the property of the powerful Ghibelline family of the Uberti, and when the Guelphs took power, they razed the Ghibelline properties to the ground and established that nothing should be built on it again; this is the reason why Palazzo Vecchio, which faces onto the piazza, is irregularly-shaped and both the main entrance and the tower are somewhat eccentric.
Work on the piazza, which was designed and supervised by Arnolfo di Cambio, started in 1299 and since then has witnessed all the major changes in the history of the city. Like Palazzo Vecchio, its name has changed a number of times: initially called "Piazza dei Priori" or "Piazza dei Signori", it was renamed "Piazza del Granduca" during the government of Cosimo I, and maintained this name till 1859 when the Grand Duchy finally collapsed. Since the unification of Italy, it has had its current name of Piazza della Signoria.
Besides the name, the perimeter and the paving of the piazza have also changed several times. When Palazzo Vecchio was enlarged, a number of houses were destroyed or moved back in order to maintain the size of the piazza. At the beginning there was simply a dirt surface, then it was paved in red brick and finished with pietra serena. This lasted until the nineteenth century when it was resurfaced entirely in pietra serena. This nineteenth century surface was largely replaced with new pietra serena paving a few years ago, which sparked off a polemical dispute between the Florentines and the bodies responsible for the work, not only because of the appearance of the 'patch job' but also because the old stones mysteriously 'disappeared'…
The piazza was embellished in 1563 with the Neptune Fountain by Ammannati (known by Florentines as the "Fontana del Biancone") and in1590 the Equestrian Monument to Cosimo I de' Medici by Giambologna was positioned to the right of Palazzo Vecchio.
In 1420, on the extreme right of the main facade of Palazzo Vecchio, The Marzocco by Donatello (now a copy) was displayed as a symbol of the strength and liberty of the comune, while the famous David of Michelangelo (now also a copy) was positioned to the side of the main doorway to symbolise the victory of democracy over tyranny. Bandinelli's Hector and Cacus, dated 1534, was placed near the David to recall the victory of the Medici over their internal enemies. Close to the centre of the piazza there is a circular plaque with an inscription which indicates the point where Savonarola was burnt at the stake.