Florence is one of the most frequented cities in the world; its tourism numbers are through the roof and continue to grow every year. Its renaissance flair, artistic heritage, and medieval beauty consistently prove intoxicating for people all over the world, from art lovers to architectural buffs and everyone in between looking to be impressed by that unique Italian aesthetic. However, anyone can go to Florence. It’s not that impressive. What is impressive (and therefore the only choice for BUCKiTDREAMERs) is to take in Italy’s old imperial capital like you’re one of the Medicis, Florence’s favorite aristocratic family.
Travel across the city in a secret passage you’ve probably never heard of The Vasari Corridor is a one-kilometer-long tunnel that connects the world-famous Uffizi Gallery with the Pitti Palace, the former seat of the Medicis. It was commissioned in 1565 so that the Medicis could make it across the city without having to mingle with the riff-raff, and if you know how, you can still travel through it today. Most of the crowds who gather in the venerated halls of Italy’s most important gallery probably have no idea that a secret passage across the city lies behind an unassuming door on the building’s first floor – but BUCKiTDREAMERs are always in the know!
Bring your whole crew if you want to get in The Medicis never traveled without an entourage, so make sure to bring yours. You’ll have to book your walk through the Vasari Corridor well in advance, as it’s only open to groups and only at limited times. It’s also undergoing renovations at the moment and is set to reopen May 2018.
See the famous Ponte Vecchio like you’ve never seen it before The Ponte Vecchio is one of Florence’s most famous sites, and the Vasari Corridor gives you the opportunity to see it like never before. Or maybe that should be seen from it; the view from this central part of the Corridor gives you an unrivaled panorama of Florence’s Arno river. Catching this spectacular view at sunset will stay with you for life.
Grab a bird’s-eye view of Santa Felicita The Medicis were a religious bunch, and attended mass regularly; their go-to spot was the Church of Santa Felicita, located just past the Ponte Vecchio. However, you’d never catch a Medici down in the pews with the common folk; the Corridor features a handy exit at the Church’s balcony, providing them (and now you) with a spectacular elevated view of the ancient building.
Skip town to chow down The city’s full of great restaurants, but getting out beyond the pale can result in discovering some hidden treasures. One of these is undoubtedly Caprese Michelangelo, the birthplace of renaissance superstar Michelangelo, who was a regular beneficiary of the Medicis. This tiny town specializes in delicious truffles, a delicacy of the Tuscan region, and absolutely essential for BUCKiTDREAMERs who want a special culinary experience.
Learn the Medici family business The Medicis were committed patrons of the arts, and you can learn about the history of art in Florence (as well as some insider facts about the Medicis) on one of these guided tours. For a BUCKiTDREAMER must-see, we recommend the Pitti Palace tour!
Get your head down like a Medici The Villa Medicea is an old Medici villa turned luxurious estate and provides the perfect escape from the bustling crowds of Florence. Located 15 minutes outside the city, this secluded getaway will ensure you spend your Florentine nights surrounded by all the trappings of the city’s most affluent natives.
Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but also one of the most crowded, especially in high season. Getting your Medici on with in-the-know excursions such as The Vasari Corridor create a perfect chance to break away from the heavy throngs of eager tourist while experiencing something amazing you can share with your fellow BUCKiTDREAMERS!
For more Florentine travel ideas, check out Five Masterpieces You Can’t Miss in the Uffizi Gallery and A Dante Fanatic’s Guide to Florence!