Piazza San Marco, Florence

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Piazza San Marco, Florence: Our most recommended tours and activities

The Dark Side of Florence: Mysteries and Legends

1. The Dark Side of Florence: Mysteries and Legends

Have you ever heard about the Monster of Florence, one of the bloodiest serial killers ever? Are you curious about florentine superstitions, conspiracies, unexplained things, saints, miracles or tortures? If so, this is the tour for you. We just warn that some topics may hurt some sensitivities and may not be suitable for a public under 18. Come with us and discover the side of Florence that doesn’t appear in tourist guides, so disturbing, lurid and unsettling that will make you have a sleepless night. Route Piazza San Marco Piazza SS Annunziata Via dei Servi Behind the Duomo Via del Campanile (Antica Via della Donna Morta) Via dello Studio Via del Corso Via Santa Margherita Via Proconsolo Palazzo del Bargello Piazza della Signoria Ponte Vecchio 1 hour 30’ aprox.

Best of Italy: 5-Day Escorted Tour from Rome

2. Best of Italy: 5-Day Escorted Tour from Rome

Over the course of five days, visit the most enchanting locations of Italy, soaking up art, culture, cuisine and the famous Italian romance. Led by a friendly guide, depart from Rome and visit Assisi, Siena, Florence, Pisa, Bologna, Padova, Venice and Montepulciano. See masterpieces from the likes of Michelangelo, Giotto, and Cimabue. Roam ancient cobbled streets, marvel at magnificent cathedrals, and taste delightful wines. This tour aims to inform and entertain you at the same time. Staying in comfy accommodation and traveling by deluxe bus, touring Italy couldn’t be easier. With 4 meals provided for you, plus an excellent itinerary and knowledgeable guides, sit back, relax and "get Italian". Day 1 Depart from Rome at 7:15 AM heading towards Assisi. Explore this tiny town dating back to the Middle Ages. Visit the Basilica of St. Francis and see works by Giotto and Cimabue. Afterwards drive towards Siena, whose highlight is Piazza del Campo. Continue to Florence where you will check in at your hotel before enjoying dinner (included) and a well-deserved night of rest. Day 2: Florence After breakfast, spend the day exploring Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance. Visit the Duomo, the Campanile Tower, Palazzo Vecchio and the Basilica of Santa Croce. Lunch (for free) in a typical Tuscan restaurant in Piazza Santa Croce. In the afternoon, wander the cobbled streets or take a short, optional trip to Pisa where you could enjoy a tour of the Square of Miracles, the Leaning Tower and the Duomo. Dinner is at your leisure. Back in Florence rest in your hotel and recharge your batteries for the next day. Day 3 Depart for Bologna after breakfast in Florence. Wander through the city’s 38 kilometers' worth of elegant arcades, for which it is famous. From Piazza Malpighi, walk to Piazza del Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore in the heart of the city. In the afternoon, continue towards Padova, with its original Sant’Antonio Basilica. Later, you will arrive in Venice, famous for its quaint gondola boats and intricate architecture. Check in at your hotel and enjoy your first Venetian dinner (included) and overnight stay. Day 4: Venice Hit the water and board a private waterbus to enjoy a cruise through the canals of Venice. Stop off at Murano to learn about the ancient art of glass blowing. Continue on to St. Mark’s Square for an exterior visit of the splendid cathedral. See the Doge Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Enjoy a spritz or Prosecco with your guide to cap off a day of discovery. Spend the afternoon roaming along Venice’s canals at your leisure and then return to the hotel and overnight. Day 5 After breakfast, departure from Piazzale Roma heading to Tuscany, world-known for its landscapes, its churches, castles and its delicious wines. Proceed to Val di Chiana with a stop in Montepulciano, a medieval town rich in history and art. Known for its “Noble” wine, on purchase in local wine houses, Montepulciano also hosts an annual jazz and wine festival every July. Lunch in a typical restaurant included! Spend the afternoon discovering Montepulciano at your own pace, enjoying free wine tastings in many wine shops and free time for shopping. In the evening, you will arrive in Rome, where the tour ends.

The Medicis: Walking Tour

3. The Medicis: Walking Tour

Discover the amazing story of the ruling family of Florence, from the very beginning to the extinction of the Dynasty. Your licensed guide will lead you through a fascinating itinerary and will show you all the places which played an important role in their life, including their churches, their palaces, secret passageways and many more. The tour will start at San Marco Square and your guide will show you how the Medici grew their importance, from a simple family coming from the Mugello area (North of Florence) to become one of the most important in the Renaissance Period. You will pass through some of the most important places remembering their influence not only in Florence but also in Europe.

Florence: self guided audio tour

4. Florence: self guided audio tour

Discover the majesty and culture of Florence, its fashionable shopping streets and its quirky, breathtaking, hidden gems with a handy and informative digital guide. This state-of-the-art, self-guided sightseeing app uniquely combines public transportation and walking tours with high-quality audio narration available in 6 languages, rich visuals, helpful text, and offline navigable mapping to transform your smartphone into an intelligent assistant and reliable travel companion. Experience the city at your own pace, while discovering more than any guide could ever tell you. Thanks to local storytellers, you can enjoy over 80 points of interest in the city, plus seek out the best photo-spots and free Wi-Fi areas. Highlights include: - Florence's Cathedral - Uffizi Gallery - Accademia Gallery - HolyCross Basilica (SantaCroce) - HolyCross Square - Ponte Vecchio - Galileo Galilei's House - Santa Maria Maggiore - Gate of St Nicholas - Cappella Pazzi - Fish's Lodge - The Great Synagogue - Piazzale Michelangelo - Medici Chapel - Boboli's Garden

Florence: Guided City Bike Tour

5. Florence: Guided City Bike Tour

Explore the heart of Florence on a guided bike tour around the city’s most unforgettable spots. Ride down characteristic streets, through popular squares, and across historic bridges. Learn about the city through commentary from your local guide. The itinerary begins where the Medici family began to wield their power in Florence. See their stately palace and the Basilica of San Lorenzo. Next, pass by the medieval baptistery on your way to Piazza della Republica, the site of the ancient forum where the city’s history began. Then, reach the Arno River stopping to admire the Renaissance architecture. Cross the bridge designed by Michelangelo and get a stunning view of the famous Ponte Vecchio. Continue on to explore the other side of town. Ride through Piazza Santo Spirito and stop to admire the grand Pitti Palace. Ride alongside the Arno to cross back over the river and proceed to Santa Croce and Piazza della Signoria. Later, head to Cathedral Square as the tour circles around the landmark site with its incredible dome.

Florence: Skip the Line Academy Gallery with Walking Tour

6. Florence: Skip the Line Academy Gallery with Walking Tour

Enjoy a special cultural experience in Florence with a tour of the Accademia Gallery and a walking tour of the historic city center. Visit the home to the famous David and one of the must-see museums in Florence and learn about the history of the city from your expert guide. Academy Gallery is admired and recommended by travelers and art history lovers, thanks to its exclusive collection, which includes; numerous works of Michelangelo as well as David, Paolo Uccello, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Sandro Botticelli, and Andrea del Sarto and an original full-size model of “Rape of the Sabine” by Giambologna. The walking tour will start at San Marco Square, you will meet with your expert guide in front of San Marco Basilica. As you continue, you will learn more about the Medici Family and Florentine history from your expert guide. Next, you will see the iconic landmark of Florence; Duomo where the Baptistery, Brunelleschi’s Dome, and Giotto’s Bell Tower are waiting for you. You will continue to Piazza della Signoria and Loggia dei Lanzi to admire the beauty of the Palazzo Vecchio. You will explore the history of the Palace and admire to open-air museum at the Loggia. Then you will continue Vasari Corridor to reach your last stop; Ponte Vecchio.

Florence Classics Private Walking Tour

7. Florence Classics Private Walking Tour

Explore the iconic sights of Florence with a customizable half-day, full-day, or 2-day private sightseeing tour. Your guide will meet you in front of the monument of Manfredo Fanti at Piazza San Marco (half-day and full-day tours) or at your hotel (if the 2-day option is selected) and take you to the attractions that you want to see.  See one of the most visited landmarks in Europe at the Duomo, known for its dome by Brunelleschi. See the octagonal baptistery on Piazza del Duomo, and see the slender Campanile by Giotto. Skip the long lines to the Accademia to see Michelangelo's masterpiece statue of David. Enjoy fast-track entry to the Uffizi Gallery, and admire works of art by Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci. Discover wonderful examples of Florentine architecture on Piazza Signoria, and stroll past some of the city's most iconic landmarks, such as the Porcellino bronze fountain of a boar that is said to bring luck if you place a coin in its jaws or rub its nose. Cross the River Arno via the Ponte Vecchio, and enjoy visiting the shops and admiring the lovely view.

Florence: Occult & Esotericism Walking Tour For The Curious

8. Florence: Occult & Esotericism Walking Tour For The Curious

Join your guide on a special tour of Florence that reveals the dark history of the city. Look for esoteric symbols and discuss all things magic and alchemy. See the basilicas of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella, the Florence Baptistery, Piazza San Marco, the Museum of Masonic Symbols, and more. See the facades of the basilicas of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella for evident signs of science mixed with esoteric symbols. Spot the Latin palindrome engraved in the Florence Baptistery that remains to be a mystery. Study the deeds of Pazzino de' Pazzi, a crusader knight from 1050. Learn about the stones of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, which are still used for lighting the famous Brindellone, during the Florentine tradition of the Explosion of the Chariot on Easter day. Furthermore, analyze the arsenic poisoning that killed Pico della Mirandola and Agnolo Poliziano in 1494, intriguing intellectuals from the circle of Lorenzo the Magnificent, who rest together in the Church of San Marco in Florence. Then, listen as your guide sheds light on the Neoplatonic Florentine Academy, founded by Cosimo de' Medici, and its impact on the literary and artistic culture of Florence. Talk about the Florentine Studio, a place that once teemed with philosophers, theologians, and magicians. Get ready for more tales of killings, crimes, and punishments. Hear of Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican preacher, who was hanged and burnt at the stake in 1498 in Piazza della Signoria. Uncover the history of the Templars and Cathars in Florence and the city's first Masonic lodge. Get goosebumps as you learn about a dark period during which babies born crippled were rejected by families and killed in secret—never to be found— because the general belief suggested that they were children of the devil. Next, walk to Piazza Santissima Annunziata and try to count the bees on the statue of Ferdinand I. End the tour with a visit to the Museum of Masonic Symbols, the first Italian museum devoted to Masonic ideology. See a display of ritual objects with etched, embroidered, printed, and engraved symbols. 

Florence: Raphael's 500th Anniversary Experience

9. Florence: Raphael's 500th Anniversary Experience

Raffaello Sanzio from Urbino contributed to beautifying the city of Florence during his stay in the city from 1504 to 1508. He died at the age of 37 in 1520, and on the occasion of the anniversary of his death you can enjoy a special tour about this rarely-discussed painter. The Palatine Gallery, Palazzo Pitti, houses the best Raphael paintings in Florence, including a portrait of the beautiful Fornarina in the sweet face of the Madonna della Seggiola (Virgin Mary of the Chair). You will also encounter the palace where Raphael saw Leonardo’s Mona Lisa in Florence, which totally impressed him. Raphael was also an original architect of smart taste with Raphael’s style palaces in Florence very different from the Florentine Renaissance-style buildings. Raffaello was handsome, kind, and intelligent, and everybody loved him. Your guide will tell you the story of Raphael's short but intense life, full of love, women, and favors from his patrons.

Other Sightseeing Options in Piazza San Marco, Florence

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What people are saying about Piazza San Marco, Florence

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 76 reviews

Really beautiful and engaging experience, our guide Ilaria spent more time than expected to tell us about the city and its history. Nice, clear, engaging and very well prepared. We will definitely do other tours! It deserves a lot to go beyond the surface of self-guided tours and really get to know the history and monuments.

Excellent tour of Florence in the company of Giacomo who allows you to know both the history of the most important family in the city, but also a general smattering of the history of the city itself and how it has developed over time.

Good bikes and a nice way to discover the city. Also had useful do's and don'ts. Recommended!!

The two hour bike tour was awesome with our English speaking guide Claude.

The tour was very interesting and the guide knowledgeable and nice.