Grand Tour through art and history on Dante Alighieri's footsteps
Inferno Florence Tour!
Amazing mix of literature, art and mystery
The Inferno Florence Tour that I have experienced with Florencetown has been fascinating, mysterious and revealing. It is a journey through the path of the incredible adventure of professor Robert Langdon, the main character of Dan Brown‘s best seller Inferno. Anyway, I recommend you this experience even if you have not read the novel. I shall tell you that as soon as it ended I run into a bookshop to buy a copy.
The tour starts in the morning, I meet Gianluca at Florencetown headoffice in the very center of Florence. There we meet our great and charismatic guide Michele, who introduces us the tour and the connections with the novel. The tour starts at Orsanmichele Church and Museum, just in front of our meeting point.
Then we reach the astonishing Piazza della Signoria, the location where Inferno begins. Michele shows up anecdotes and mind-blowing details of every element of this beautiful square. He points out the majestic Palazzo Vecchio, once the site of the Medici Family, the political leader of Florence from the 15th to the 17th century, nowadays seat of the mayor. Approaching to the building, our guide makes us notice a little door of a secret passage… If you have read the book, you will know how this door is important for the protagonist of the dark thriller… We enter Palazzo Vecchio; walking in the courtyard we feel the ancient eco of its historical atmosphere. I admired the impressive Salone dei Cinquecento, the largest hall in the world by that time, frescoed by Vasari. One of these tableaus hides an “art enigma” – faced by professor Langdon too – the hidden sign “Seek and You Shall Find”.
We visit all the elegant and precious rooms of this palace, where Michele promptly illustrates every historical and artistic detail. Walking through these corridors you can easily imagine professor Langdon and his friend Sienna running down this path! In fact, we soon arrive at the Hall of Geographical Maps, full of ancient maps indeed. Here you can find also the biggest bronze globe in the world, at its time. Behind the old map of Armenia there is a hidden secret passage! Like Robert Langdon, you will reach the Room of Leonora di Toledo. We arrived then to the Death Mask of Dante, critical element in the thriller.
As in the book, we leave Palazzo Vecchio and head to the house of Dante (…but just after a coffee break, Italian style!). Then we enter Santa Margherita dei Cerchi Church, where the tomb of Dante’s beloved Beatrice is, a great symbol of platonic relationship. In this chapel professor Langdon and Sienna obtain information that lead them toward the Baptistery, the Paradise Gates and the Dome. Their beauty and history is really impressive.
Here the tour ends, but you can combine it with the unique cultural visit to the Vasari Corridor and the Uffizi Gallery and you will be able to have a whole view of professor Langdon’s adventure.
We say goodbye to Michele, then I continued my tour with Gianluca to Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, its Dome and bell tower. You scale hundreds of steps in a winding, narrow and steep stone staircase, but your effort is rewarded with a great panorama of Florence and all its surrounding areas. It is an amazing experience!
Now I shall leave you, I have to keep reading Dan Brown’s Inferno to relive page by page this magical experience made of mystery and suspense!
Flavia De Lorenzo
Visit Florence: helpful hints
Italian name: Firenze
The airport of Florence is an international airport connected to the city centre by a bus service (rides every 30 minutes, 6€, it takes 20 minutes to the city). For transcontinental flights you have to stop in other airports. Consider to get to Florence by train from other major Italian cities (from Rome or Milan, i.e.), both Trenitalia and Italo companies stop at St Maria Novella railway stations.
Florence is a small city and all the most important monuments are close to each other so the best way to visit the city is on foot or by bike. In Florence is available the mobike bike sharing service (it costs 0,69€ for a 20 minutes ride). Anyway is there public transports, a single ticket costs 1,5€ and lasts 60 minutes.
What to do
Florence is the capital city of Tuscany region, in the centre of Italy. The city of Italian Renaissance! In your sightseeing tour, don’t skip St. Maria del Fiore cathedral with Brunelleschi’s great Dome, the Old Bridge on river Arno and the Uffizi gallery where you can find some very important works of art (see Botticelli’s “Primavera”). Get the tickets on line, to skip the long queue!
The best view on the entire city is from Piazzale Michelangelo (i.e. Michelangelo sq.) and you should visit Palazzo Pitti too, with its amazing Garden – the Giardino di Boboli -. If you consider a tour nearby, we recommend you to visit Fiesole.
We also offer a FlorenceTown tour promo to our users! Here you can find a travel diary of the “Inferno Tour” inspired by Dan Brown’s novel.
Where to sleep
Florence is quite expensive and so are the accomodation, but Italia Slow Tour user can get a special discount on some hotels. Enjoy!