This is an excellent orientation tour of historic Florence but from a Jewish Perspective. By the beginning of the 14th century, Florence experienced great growth as the population quadrupled due to enterprising merchants, a thriving banking industry, and internationally renowned cloth and fabric manufacturers. As the population grew, a large Jewish migration to Florence and the Tuscan region was recorded. Many Jews who settled in Florence were merchants and money lenders adding to the grand expansion of the Comune of Florence. Emanuel ben Uzziel da Camerino was one of the first known Jews of Florence whose name was recorded.
As the city of Florence witnessed the completion of the largest brick and mortar dome in the known world by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1436, the Jews received recognition in the following year. During the century leading up to this, Florentine Jews prospered, lending money to Popes in exchange for protection. The success of this small but close-knit community benefited further under the wealthy Medici family who protected the Jews of Florence from sermons by infamous fanatics of the time like Girolamo Savonarola, who pursued a policy of expulsion by drumming up public hysteria over plagues, or natural disasters. During this tour, you will discover how Jewish money loaned to the Republic of Florence delayed the expulsion during turbulent political times with the Medici's.
We will stroll over to Piazza della Signoria and the Ponte Vecchio to find the hidden clues of Jewish life in the city from the 15th to 20th centuries. On Via dei Giudei (The Street of the Jews), we will discover where the first Jewish settlement in Florence stood until assigned to the Ghetto in the 15th century. At the area known today as Piazza della Repubblica, we will explore the streets of where that Ghetto once stood.
The tour will take us through the Piazza del Duomo to admire the ten Biblical stories from David and Goliath to Salomon and Sheba, in the replicas of Lorenzo Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. Our tour will also include a visit to see Michelangelo's original sculpture of the David, the crowning achievement of the Renaissance at the Galleria dell'Accademia.
Finally, our walk takes us to learn about the Jewish Community today at the Great Synagogue and its Museum.
private tour starting at €384 total, not per person
4-hour private walking tour • reservations required
from rags and renaissance to inquistions and nazis
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December 24, 25, 31
• The Galleria dell'Accademia
• Girolamo Savonarola Statue
• Piazza della Signoria
• Ponte Vecchio
• Via dei Giudei
• Piazza della Repubblica and Ghetto
• Piazza del Duomo
• Baptistery of Florence with Lorenzo Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise
• Great Synagogue and Museum
• Backstreets of the Oltr'arno (the other side of the Arno)
• Piazza Pitti (exterior)
• Vasari Corridor
• Piazzale Degli Uffizi
• Piazza della Signoria
• Palazzo Vecchio
• Painted vignettes of the Ghetto
• Cathedral of Flroence exterior
• Much, much more...
June 1, through September 30:
Sun, Tue, Wed, Thu: 9:30am, or at 2:00pm
Fridays: 9:30am, or 1:30pm
October 1 through May 31:
Sun, Tues, Wed, Thurs: 9:00am, or 1:30pm
Friday: 9:30am only
Excellent English-speaking, authorized guide.
Hotel, apartment, or at an easy-to-find location in historic center. A map and photo of exact meeting point is sent with tour confirmation. Hotel or apartment meetings subject to time and location.
Galleria dell'Accademia and Synagogue Museum: €23 total.
Students under 18 years with a passport €9.
We pre-reserve VIP tickets for you to skip the line.
Sun, Tue, Wed, Thu
Afternoon: 1:30Ppm, or 2:00pm
Fridays only at: 9:30am
90% level ground. Several stair cases up and down. Uneven cobblestones on tour route. Not safe for those with walking challenges, canes or unable to walk for 1-hour without resting.
Transportation to and from the tour is additional, and only needed if guests stay outside of historic Florence.
Ticktes fees are addityional and paid to the guide with cash.
ClearSound headphones required for more than 7 guests. €1.50 per person
Wear comfortable athletic shoes.
There are stops for clean restrooms, and food & beverage breaks if needed.
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