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Enjoy a Private guided Florence walking tour, visiting the left bank & Artisan neighbourhood of Oltrarno
Private guided walking tours of Oltrano in Florence. Explore Florence's left bank & Artisan neighbourhood of Oltrarno with one of our licensed expert Florence tour guides. A fascinating adventure awaits you in the labyrinth of back-streets and alleys of Florence's Oltrarno district home to the famous artisans of Florence and many other important attractions of the city. Enjoy a walking tour of Florence off-the-beaten-track with one of our Licensed Expert Guides who'll give you an insider's view of their native city.
The Artisan neighbourhood of Florence is fascinating and on these walking tours of Oltrarno enter a maze of alleys and side streets where you happen upon jewellers making earrings similar to those worn by duchess Eleonora de Toledo, or book binders sewing the pages of an old book on a loom, or a world famous metal-smith soldering an intricate grape leaf to a lamp... We also see the beautiful facade of the Santo Spirito church with its lovely piazza lined with several cafè nudged between old Renaissance palaces.
Oltrarno means "Beyond the Arno", and although it's a working man's neighbourhood, it houses the richest and largest Medici residence: Palazzo Pitti, and several churches with important works of art. The Medici had a corridor built to connect the Uffizi to their new residence, Palazzo Pitti, so they could quickly travel from offices to home without dealing with the common folk. In the process they tore down part of the Santa Felicità church, which is where the tour begins. Site of one of the oldest Christian communities in Florence, the church of Santa Felicità houses one of the most famous mannerist paintings in Florence: Pontormo's Descent from the Cross.
In 1525 Pontormo painted for the Capponi family chapel figures floating around a cross in jarring pinks, blues and orange. The ceiling frescoes of the chapel were destroyed to make room for the balcony from which the Medici celebrated mass, from above, of course. It was kind of an elite mall with access to a church from up on high.
Not far from Santa Felicità are jewellers who create animal pendants and earrings from irregular shaped Australian pearls just like those on display in Palazzo Pitti (Museo degli Argenti). Pearls everywhere were used in high society as you might have guessed from the Medici portraits. If hubby traveled afar for work, a rare and special present called Ninnolo in Italian, was a must. The two jewelers from tiny wax molds cast silver studs for a diamond eye of a cat, or gold wings for a bird, or a tiny gold tail of an animal. The shape of the pearl inspires the idea for the animal.
In another direction from Santa Felicità are two famous bookbinders who have been sewing leather bound books by hand for many years. This shop was very busy in 1966, when so many books were ruined from the Great Flood of the Arno. Afterwards we'll visit one of the oldest printers in Florence who now sells beautiful marlblized paper. We'll walk then to Santo Sprito to have an espresso in a fun cafè in front of the scalloped shape facade of the church.
Our private Florence Oltrarno walking tour starts from a centrally location in Florence. We will advise you at teh time of booking