Florence is a wealth of Renaissance treasures, yet many of its riches elude all but the most experienced travelers. During this exclusive tour, our Resident Expert and popular art historian Elaine Ruffolo takes you behind the scenes to discover the city’s hidden gems. You’ll enjoy special access at some of Florence’s most celebrated sites during private after-hours visits and gain insight from local experts, curators, and museum directors. Learn about restoration issues with a conservator in the Uffizi’s lab, take tea with a principessa after a private viewing of her art collection, and meet with artisans practicing their ages-old art forms. During a special day in the countryside, you’ll also go behind the scenes to explore lovely villas and gardens once owned by members of the Medici family. Plus, enjoy time on your own to explore the city’s remarkable piazzas, restaurants, and other museums. This distinctive journey offers first time and returning visitors a chance to delve deeper into the arts and treasures of Florence.
Special Savings when booking the 2013 Insider's Florence combined with Hidden Venice. Call for details.
Throughout this tour, travel in the company of an exceptional Smithsonian Study Leader. Elaine Ruffolo offers keen insight and a contagious passion for the art treasures, history, and contemporary culture of her adopted city. She holds a Master’s degree in art history from Syracuse University and serves as a lecturer for Syracuse University’s Italy program. Read an interview with Study Leader Elaine Ruffolo.
Examine the masterpieces of the Uffizi on an exclusive visit when the galleries are closed to the public and join a former curator on a guided tour of the Vasari Corridor.
Join Principessa Corsini for tea at her private residence after viewing her personal art collection.
Enjoy a special visit to the gardens of Villa Medici, which is closed to the public, and go behind the scenes to view the art collection at Villa La Pietra.
Explore the celebrated Baptistery and Duomo before opening hour.
Meet the director of the Casa Buonarroti during an after-hours visit to the former home of Michelangelo.
Marvel at the restoration of a Uffizi masterpiece at one of Italy’s foremost art restoration laboratories.
World Heritage site
This tour features the following World Heritage site in Italy:
The Historic Center of Florence
To see a complete list of all our tours featuring World Heritage sites, click here.
"Wow! This trip far exceeded my expectations and they were high! I feel as though I went through a degree program in Renaissance Art and Architecture. Thank you Elaine Ruffolo and thank you Smithsonian."
-Sharon and Patrick Hart, Insider's Florence