Medici Family: Masters of Florence Guided Tour
Trinity Chapel in the Medici Palace
Basilica of San Lorenzo
Cappella dei Principi
Duration of the tour: 1,5/3/4 hours
Suitable for children: yes
Accessibility for differently abled: no in the Trinity Chapel inside Medici Palace
Difference in level: 10 metres
Further information at the bottom of the page (or click here)
The history of Medici Family, the Masters of Florence
The history of Florence could not be told without recalling the events of the Medici, the Masters of Florence. This family, that has in fact managed the destiny of the ‘lily town’ from the fifteenth century until the beginning of the eighteenth century, left such an immense heritage of palaces, sculptures and paintings that in this day forms the main reason for which Florence is visited and admired by the whole world.
From the core of the town, not far from the religious centre consisting in the Duomo and the Baptistery, we begin the Medici Family Masters of Florence tour; our first place to visit is Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, the first example of a Renaissance palace in Florence that dates back to the middle of the fifteenth century. Entering the beautiful Chapel of the Trinity, better known as the Chapel of the Magi, we will admire the elegant procession of courtiers and knights – exotically fashioned – that were painted by Benozzo Gozzoli within a cycle of frescos that is among the most fascinating of that time both for beauty and for the symbolic complexity of the figures represented.
Medici Riccardi Palace courtyard
The mausoleum church of San Lorenzo
Leaving the Palace, we move on towards the Basilica of San Lorenzo, the mausoleum church of the Medici family. It’s inside this building where we are able to see the ‘Sagrestia Vecchia’ (the old Sacristy), the first sepulchral nucleus of the Medici family, built by the renowned architect Filippo Brunelleschi – the same one who was the author of the Cathedral’s dome. The interior of this chapel is truly suggestive since it embodies the architectonic ‘purity’ conceived by Brunelleschi; here is preserved – among others – the Piero the gouty’s tomb, a magnificent work by Andrea del Verrocchio. This environment also attests to the refined culture of the Medici family as evidenced by the suggestive starry sky painted in the dome above the chapel altar, a work where even some signs of the Zodiac are recognisable.
The burial of Cosimo ‘il Vecchio’
Also in the San Lorenzo church, we will see the tomb of the first important member of the Medici family: Cosimo ‘il vecchio’ (the elder); the burial of this enterprising merchant – Pater Patriæ – retains some great
From the church of San Lorenzo we go outside to see how the history of the Medici is also intertwined with the artistic story of Michelangelo Buonarroti. The great genius was in fact a protege of Lorenzo the Magnificent who is said to have wanted to carry out some of his first works for him.
However, the great relationship did not last long: after the death of the Magnificent something went wrong and with Lorenzo’s successors it can be said that the relationship was authentically one of love-hate.
A demonstration of this is offered by the facade of the church of San Lorenzo which, in its current gaunt appearance, still bears the signs of mishaps that arose between a member of the family and Buonarroti. We will find out together what happened.
The Trinity Chapel of Medici Palace
The ‘Sagrestia Vecchia’ in the Basilica of San Lorenzo
Michelangelo and the Medici: a complex relationship
If the façade of San Lorenzo was one of the first incidents between the Medici and Michelangelo, we continue our tour by going to see what other vicissitudes linked the clients with the sculptor, almost forced to create works in marble that today in reality, as we will see , are among the great masterpieces of Michelangelo in Florence together with David.
The Medici Chapels
We conclude our Medici tour by visiting two emblematic places for the history of the family. Part of an independent museum itinerary from the church of San Lorenzo, the chapels are two environments that can be visited in a single itinerary which, due to the wealth of works of art, represent a unicum in the Florentine artistic context. The first of the two, called the ‘Cappella dei Principi‘ (Princes Chapel), houses the monumental tombs of the members of the family who assumed the office of dukes.
Within this majestic environment we will have the opportunity to see one of the most typical Florentine craftsmanship up close: the semi-precious stone clerk, one of the most prestigious manufactories of all time, inaugurated by Duke Ferdinando I who, at the end of the sixteenth century, established the ‘Opificio delle Pietre dure, still today a reality of excellence in the restoration of stone materials and at the time one of the most complex handicrafts in Europe.
The last room we will visit with the tour dedicated to the Medici family is the ‘Sagrestia Nuova’ (New Sacristy). Space designed by Michelangelo to preserve the remains of Giuliano Duke of Nemours and Lorenzo Duke of Urbino, today this environment is the casket that collects the masterpieces of the great genius: the allegories of Day and Night, Dawn and Twilight, between the most emblematic and fascinating works of the master.
Equestrian statue of Cosimo I
Notte, Michelangelo, Sagrestia Nuova
Cappella dei Principi
important Information about the tour (click here)
A convenient way to access all the museums or to use the Florentine public transport service is by the Firenze Card (temporarily not active).
The activity proposed here, provided in english language, is not a pre-organised tour but a private tour that is carried out on request of individuals or groups organised with a tourist agency and can be customised for starting time, meeting place and duration. depending on the customer’s needs.
Duration of the Medici tour
The guided tour can last 1 and a half, 3 or 4 hours. In the course of 1 hour and a half you can visit Palazzo Medici or the Medici Chapels. In the 3-hour itinerary you can visit Palazzo Medici and the Basilica of San Lorenzo or Palazzo Medici and the Medici Chapels. In the 4-hour tour you can visit Palazzo Medici, the Basilica of San Lorenzo and the Medici Chapels.
Radio rental compulsory from 6 people onwards
From 6 people onwards, to facilitate listening to the guide explanations and ensuring social distancing outdoors and indoors, it is strictly recommended to rent radio devices with transmitters that ensure perfect listening to the explanations of the guide even from a distance; since in this tour we visit the inside of the monuments, the rental of radios is compulsory for 4 or more people. The service is booked by the guide when the guided tour is requested, but the rental cost, which is € 1.00 per person for 2 or 3 hours, is charged to the customer and can be paid directly to the guide who will then take care to pay the supplier.
Carers or teachers of school groups do not pay for the rental of the radio.
Opening time Palazzo Medici:
Ticket prices Palazzo Medici
Opening time Basilica San Lorenzo:
Ticket prices Basilica San Lorenzo
Opening time Cappelle Medicee:
Ticket prices Cappelle medicee
The price of the ticket(s) for Palazzo Medici, Basilica of San Lorenzo or the Cappelle medicee is not included in the rate of the guided tour
The guide does not provide private transport service, which entails the client needs to reach the meeting point established in the route on his own.
To get the contact of a licensed driver who provides private transfer service, as well as getting further information about the tour, please write to:
Cost and reservation of the tour (click here)
Cost of guided tour
The cost for a 1 and a half hour private guided tour is € 90.00 (total price and not per person).
For 3 hours € 150.00
For 4 hours € 240.00 (always price in total and not per person).
For further information about the rates, also to check the deals available, please visit the dedicated section by clicking here.
How to book the tour?
Once the day and time of the tour have been agreed with the guide, to book it is necessary to advance 50% of the tour value with a deposit to be paid by credit card.
Attention: pay the deposit only after agreed the date and the details of the tour with the guide. The remaining payment of the guided tour takes place after the tour by card, in cash or by bank transfer.
It is the responsibility of the guide to guarantee the guide service in any case. If, even for personal reasons, the guide is unable to perform the service in the date set with the client, it will be his concern to contact a trusted colleague who can replace him and therefore guarantee the customer service.
The cancellation of the tour from the client can be done free of charge by giving timely notice to the guide before 48 hours from the date and time agreed for the service. In this case the deposit paid in advance by the customer will be returned by the guide. If instead cancellation is made by the customer when there are less than 48 hours before the date agreed for the service, the customer will lose the deposit paid.
How to reach Florence Historic centre (click here)
Reachable via the A1 motorway (Firenze Scandicci exit and from there continue towards the center, reaching the area of the Santa Maria Novella station, where there is a multi-storey underground car park (reachable only for vehicles with engines from EURO 6 onwards). From the station underpass, Piazza di Santa Maria Novella can be reached in a few minutes.
As a cheaper alternative to the underground car park, there is the Piazzale Montelungo car park (always subject to charges). An excellent alternative to car parking near the center historic is to leave the vehicle at the Villa Costanza car park and from there take the T1 tram line which takes about 22 minutes to reach the Santa Maria Novella station. The T1 line has stops both before and after the Santa Maria station Novella that can be convenient to reach any accommodation For more information on the Tramvia timetables and stops click here.
By private bus lines
|There are connections of private lines to reach Florence, such as Italbus and Flixbus which reach the Villa Costanza tramway station; from the latter the tram line takes about 22 minutes to reach Santa Maria Novella station. For more info on the Tramvia timetables click here.|
Florence can be reached by plane via the Amerigo Vespucci Airport. From here the historic center is connected:
With the Tram
With Taxi service
Contatctable to the numbers +390554643159 al +390554242 or on the web site clicking here.
Florence can be reached by train with the Trenitalia service. Depending on your accommodation needs, you can arrive in Firenze Santa Maria Novella, Firenze Rifredi or Firenze Campo di Marte. With the regional lines then Florence can also be reached from other cities of Tuscany.
Organised Groups with tourist coach
For organised groups by touristic bus, there are drop-off/drop-on points for passengers in the urban centre of Florence (click here to view the points).
Tourist coaches are subject to the payment of a checkpoint (more information here).
Camper owners find car parks for campers (only some of these are equipped) in Via delle Porte Sante,, in Via delle Porte Sante, in Viale Abramo Lincoln, in Via Luigi Castaldi, in Largo Alcide De Gasperi, at the Largo Alcide De Gasperi (the latter connected to the center with the Nelli-Torregalli tram stop). For more info on the equipped Campervan areas around Florence click here.