Private Preaching Orders Walk

Hear a fascinating tale of corruption & power struggles of two religious orders on this Renaissance Florence tour

Highlights and what's included

  • Local Expert Guide


Private guided walking tours of Florence focusing the on the role of religion in Renaissance Florence. A fascinating story of two diverse religious orders - the peace loving Dominicans and the street fighting Franciscans and how both their religious movements were corrupted by the wealth created in 14th Century.

Humility, vows of poverty, manual labour, preaching, and begging were the basic ideas behind the Franciscan and Dominican orders. Their roles in Florence started to change over the course of the thirteen hundreds as the population of the city grew. During this time the flourishing textile and banking trades brought wealth to the city.

The Franciscans built their big, hall church and piazza in the wool workers neighbourhood of the city known as Santa Croce. Not exactly the result of humble vows of poverty and manual labour, the tall church of Santa Croce becomes a famous place of learning Dante studied there, and wealthy patrons pay large sums of money to decorate the interior.

On the opposite side of the city, the Dominicans buy cultivated land and also build a large Hall Church called Santa Maria Novella, with cloisters and a piazza. The Dominicans, unlike the Franciscans, were a militant clerical order. Their name derives from the words "Hounds of the Lord". They would lead street fights against unbelievers. Both orders have huge piazzas for preaching to the masses.

As a result of the wealth, Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella have some of the finest masterpieces of Art to be seen in Florence. After all, what better way to appease the conscience than by donating money to decorate your own private chapel in a church? In Santa Croce: Giotto, Donatello, Brunelleschi. In Santa Maria Novella: Giotto, Masaccio, Ghirlandaio, Filippo Lippi, Alberti were laid to rest.

On this fascinating walking tour of Florence you'll enjoy in-depth discussions on works by some of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, while learning about these two very diverse religious orders and the role of religion during this epic time of Florence's history.


  • Entrance fees to the churches

Other info

  • This tour is not fully accessible for wheelchair users or people with walking disabilities. However, please contact us directly and we will be able to take you on alternative routes suitable for you.

Meeting Point

Your Private tour starts from a centrally location in Florence. We will advise at the time of booking

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