FLORENCE AND URBINO

Art/Historic towns

  Palazzo Ducale in Urbino and Palazzo della      Signoria in Florence are the most important centres of Italian renaissance works. Here, travellers are able to appreciate outstanding masterpieces by Raffaello, Bramante, Paolo Uccello, Tiziano and many others.

Between these two invaluable exhibition centres there is a continuous flow of artwork which they share for their galleries. The tour is an invitation to enjoy the Italian artistic genius stretching from busy, once the Medicis’ bastion, always adorable Florence; to more peaceful fabled lands with plenty of castles and fortresses, once the Montefeltros’ bulwarks


Included in the package

·               3 night stays at 4-star central hotel in Florence  (HOTEL BRUNNELLESCHI 4* or similar)

·               4 night stays at 4-star wellness hotel nearby Urbino (URBINO RESORT 4* or similar)

·               Breakfast

·               1 Skip-the-line entrance ticket to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (without queueing up!)

·               1 City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour around Florence and Fiesole (ticket valid 48 hours)

·               Guided visit to Urbino (3 hour visit)

·               5 day car rental (unlimited mileage)


Program

1st Day: arrival

Arrival and check-in at the hotel. This 4-star accommodation facility is located in central Florence. Visitors may want to make use of the remaining free time by visiting Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral dome with its splendid Brunelleschi Chapel; it is also worth visiting the Baptistery of San Giovanni.So as to crown the evening, from the top of Giotto’s Bell Tower,  the traveller will have an enchanting 360° most panoramic sight of the typically Florentine rusty red-roofed urban architecture.  Dinner is not scheduled. A Florentine roast beef should be a must here!

2nd Day: Bus sightseeing tour in Florence and Fiesole
After breakfast, a first approach to this most adorable renaissance city on a sightseeing tour bus will provide excellent first hand information so as to better plan the stay. The sightseeing tour will introduce the traveller to the most significant Florentine architectural icons as well as its rich and interesting history. Guests are invited to ask for their sightseeing tour tickets at the reception. Ticket valid 48 hours for the lines A and B. You can join the tour from any stop. Line B reaches even Fiesole, an enchanting village right on the outskirts of Florence. Here visitor will discover a vast archaeological site with important Etruscan and Roman.In the remaining free time, Maraviglia suggests other visits such as the Galleria dell’Accademia with outstanding art collections including superb David by Michelangelo; monumental Santa Croce Basilica (XIV century) housing the tombs of some remarkable Italians including Galileo, Michelangelo, Canova, Rossini, Macchiavelli  and Ugo Foscolo; later, inside the  Del Carmine church (Chiesa del Carmen): the Brancacci Chapel (Cappella Brancacci) with its spectacular frescoes. Dinner is unscheduled. Night’s stay at the hotel.

3rd Day: : Florence, Uffizi Gallery and (optional) Palazzo Vecchio
The Uffizi Gallery boasts one of the most outstanding artistic patrimonies of the whole of the western culture. The exhibition includes some of the greatest Italian artists including Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Signorelli, Perugino, Giotto, Caravaggio, Raffaello and many others. Exhibitions enjoy continuous up-dating and development and there are always new masterpieces or theme exhibits at the gallery. Visitors usually come back so as to enhance and mature their art learning and appreciation skills. The Uffizi Gallery may take an entire day’s visit. In the remaining free time Maraviglia suggests a visit to Palazzo Vecchio, masterpiece of Florentine Mannerism.  An optional guided tour round the palace will lead visitors to discover some spectacular rooms, corridors, hidden doors and passages which were closed to the general public until recently; such is the case of the secret Stairs of the Gualtieri Duke; the striking studiolo (small office) of Francesco I; the studiolo of Cosimo I, the trusses of the ceiling of Il Salone dei 500. Then, a stroll across Ponte Vecchio (worldwide famous “Old Bridge”) -over the Arno River- so as to enjoy the goldsmiths’ shops and workshops right on the bridge is a must in Florence! Dinner is unscheduled. Night’s stay at the hotel.

4th Day: Chianti wineries, Siena, Urbino
On the 4th day this “Renaissance Italy” itinerary continues by car. Travellers will be able to ride through these most pleasurable gentle rolling lands at their leisure. In the morning the rental car will be already waiting at the central train station of Florence. From here, most lovely landscapes can be admired when going through the boundaries between Tuscany and Marche. The Chianti valleys and hillsides (lands of the famous Chianti wineries) and the Apennines ranges offer majestic sights: soul regenerating beauty. There is astonishing Siena and its rolling surrounding landscapes, this part of the heart of Italy characterises by the strength of its colours, people’s determined character and bright sunshine on beautiful cypresses lines, hamlets on hillsides and flowering fields. Precious vineyards. Before reaching Siena: Greve in Chianti, the world capital of one of most famous wines on Earth. Maraviglia suggests making a stop in Castello di Verrazzano where it is possible to visit the renowned wineries and taste most luscious excellences of the area. Leaving Arezzo, visitors may reach the dominance of the enchanting medieval town of Anghiari in Tuscany. Later, Bocca Trabaria. Eventually, renaissance Urbino. Check-in at the hotel. Maraviglia suggests the spa facilities at the hotel for complete relaxation.

5th Day: Urbino Renaissance Genius and ceramics of Urbania
From the highest area of the city, Urbino -birthplace of great Raffaello- offers a majestic view of its ducal palace. A tour around Palazzo Ducale means a plunge into splendorous renaissance works by Raffaello, Tiziano, Piero della Francesca and Paolo Uccello; among innumerable pieces and architectural riches. In nearby Urbania, the ceramics of Casteldurante, art works which were initially fostered by renaissance iconic personages from Della Rovere family and mainly, Duke Federico. These ceramics are still being produced with some original techniques.
In the morning, a private tour guide will be waiting for an unforgettable tour experience around the renaissance splendours of the city (duration: 3 hours). Around the central, most historic area of the city, travellers are able to enjoy iconic architectural and historical riches. Maraviglia suggests visiting Palazzo Ducale (tickets are not included in the package). Later, the guided tour continues round the alleys of the historic centre and to the highest part of the city: the Fortress of Albornoz, from its gardens, it is possible to have some of the best panoramic views of Urbino: the ducal palace façade, the spires, the “cotto” (brick tiles) roofs of rusty reds of the city, the cathedral and the “torricini” (narrow towers spires of Palazzo Ducale). Eventually, the itinerary might continue (optional phase of the tour) to the Salimbeni brothers’ frescoes in San Giovanni Oratory. In the afternoon the itinerary might continue in Urbania. Here, it is possible to enjoy majolica craft masters at work in the numerous workshops present in the city. Invaluable pieces are created in the city following ancestral techniques of elaboration present in the area since Renaissance. Return to Urbino in the late afternoon. Dinner time: dinner is not scheduled. Night’s stay at the hotel.

6th Day: Furlo Gorge and (optional) Acqualagna truffle hunt
Urbinate lands are not only famous for its renaissance splendours, this part of the region offers palate delicacies on a base of precious truffles, fresh mushrooms, traditional cheeses and world-class extra virgin olive oil. A few kilometres away from Urbino, amidst the enchanting natural sceneries of the Furlo gorge, there lies Acqualagna, an area enjoying abundant white truffle. Travellers have the opportunity (optional excursion) to set off on a truffle hunt experience with expert hunter and his/her dog. The excursion lasts approximately 1,5 hours and at the end of it, and as part of the excursion, there is a tasting lunch with a range of typical local specialities including a variety of truffle-based delicacies. Later, at their own leisure, travellers might indulge in the pleasures of the Montefeltro area. Fortresses and castles scattered all around amidst rolling landscapes tell about the crucial role this area once had in history. Maraviglia suggests visiting the village of San Leo in the heart of Montefeltro. San Leo lies on top of a rocky crest, its once inaccessible strategic position made it a very powerful fortress.Dinner time: dinner is unscheduled. Night’s stay at the hotel. 

7th Day: Gradara, the wall of eternal love (optional exclusive love tour)
Near Urbino, there lies Gradara. A visit to the Gradara Castle involves setting off on a timeless dive into untrammelled riches and wonders of historic and artistic interests. Unfathomable art and determined architectural clues bestow newfound wonder and awe sensations on the visitor. According to legend, Gradara Castle was the scene of the famous and tragic love story of Paolo Malatesta and Francesca of Rimini, caught in each other's arms and killed by Gianciotto, Francesca's husband and Paolo’s brother. This love story was immortalized by Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy (V Canto, Inferno). On request, it is possible to go on a ‘Love Tour’ within the magic and romantic ambience of the castle. At sunset, a private guide will lead travellers around the interior of the fortress following the same antique patrolling routes of medieval times. And to crown the evening, a candlelit dinner at a restaurant downtown in Gradara. Night’s stay at the hotel.

8th Day:
Breakfast and set off for Florence. Returning of the car at the central train station of Florence.

Suggested excursions


Prices (for each person)

For rates or information, please contact info@marchemaraviglia.it or Skype:maraviglia.travel.

Extras

THE PACKAGE DOES NOT INCLUDE:  

·      Flight ticket and airport taxes

·     Shuttle services, beverages, meals, parking, optional excursions, access tickets and everything which is not expressly stated under ‘The package includes’ above.