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Chianti Trail

What to See

What to see in Florence

- the Florence Cathedral is a world heritage listed gothic-style basilica. Its construction began in 1296 and took more than 140 years to complete. The Cathedral is composed of three buildings: the "Duomo," famous for its huge dome roof, the "Baptistery of San Giovanni," an octagonal building famous for the "Gates of Paradise" and "Giotto's Bell Tower," which stands to the side of the Duomo. The white, green and red marble exterior of the Cathedral is decorated with beautiful sculptures and mosaic works from many different artists

Piazza della Signoria – right from Medieval times, Piazza della Signoria has always been the civic centre of Florentine life. Dominated by the fourteenth century Palazzo della Signoria with its high crenellated tower, it is surrounded by other important buildings: the Loggia della Signoria and the Palazzo degli Uffizi, the sixteenth century Palazzo degli Uguccioni and the Palazzo del Tribunale di Mercanzia. Many important statues stand here: the copy of Michelangelo's David and Benvenuto Cellini's masterpiece in bronze, Perseus, under the Loggia dei Lanzi

Ponte Vecchio – this is the oldest bridge which crosses the Arno at its widest point. It dates back to Roman times, but it was re-built after the flooding of 1333. Later, it was re-constructed and now it hosts a double row of Jewell’s shops.

Galleria degli Uffizi - the Uffizi Gallery is one of the most important museums in the world. It was built by the architect Giorgio Vasari and houses many works of art by famous Italian and foreigner artists such as Tiziano, Cimabue, Giotto, Masaccio, Tintoretto, Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Piero della Francesca, Raffaello, Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt, Dürer, Goya and many others

Basilica di Santa Croce
- the Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) is the principal Franciscan church in Florence. It is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce, about 800 metres south east of the Duomo. The site, when first chosen, was in marshland outside the city walls. The Basilica became popular with Florentines as a place of worship and patronage and it became customary for greatly honoured Florentines to be buried or commemorated there. Here you can find the tomb of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini, and Marconi, thus it is known also as the Pantheon of the Italian Glories.

Palazzo Pitti
– it is a Renaissance palace built in 1458 as town residence of Luca Pitti, an ambitious Florentine banker. Later, it was bought by the Medici family in 1539 and became the chief residence of the ruling families of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. It grew as a great treasure house as later generations amassed paintings, plates, jewellery and luxurious possessions. In the late 18th century, the palazzo was used as a power base by Napoleon and later served for a brief period as the principal royal palace of the newly united Italy. Today, it houses several minor collections in addition to those of the Medici family.

Basilica di San Lorenzo
– it is one of the largest churches of Florence and the burial place of all the principal members of the Medici family. Filippo Brunelleschi, the leading Renaissance architect of the first half of the fifteenth century, was commissioned to design it, but the building, with alterations, was not completed until after his death. The church is part of a larger monastic complex that contains other important architectural works: the Old Sacristy by Brunelleschi; the Laurentian Library by Michelangelo; the New Sacristy based on Michelangelo's designs and the Medici Chapels by Matteo Nigetti

Galleria dell’Accademia
– the Gallery was built in 1784 for want of the grand duke Pietro Leopoldo, who decreed all the art schools had to be reunited in one Academy. One of the most visited museums, the Gallery hosts many sculptures by Michelangelo, such as the original copy of the David.

Il Giardino di Boboli
- The Boboli Gardens are a famous park, home to a distinguished collection of sculptures. The Gardens behind the Pitti Palace is one of the most familiar formal 16th century Italian gardens. The Boboli Garden is characterised by the abundance of water, monumental fountains and some suggestive monuments such as the Large Grotto realised by Bernardo Buontalenti

What to see in Siena 

Piazza del Campo – it is a unique place in the whole of the world, thanks to its shape like a big shell. Both the Palazzo Comunale (town hall), unusually built on the lowest part of the square, and the tall, slender Torre del Mangia overlook this square. "Piazza del Campo" is still used today for the well known Palio, a horse race which is one of the most famous popular Italian manifestations. It takes place every year on July 2 and August 16.

Palazzo Pubblico
- complete with chapel and meeting rooms, it once housed the Podestà and the Council while today it is a town hall. Made of red brick (typical of Siena) with a travertine base, it presents the image of a fortress, but the blind arcade on the ground level suggests commercialism rather than fortification. The most famous frescoes here are three panels in the series on government in the Hall of the Nine (also known as Sala della Pace) by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, who are collectively known as Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government.

Duomo - Siena's cathedral, built between 1215 and 1263 by the Gothic master Nicola Pisano, is one of the great examples of Italian Gothic architecture and with its black-and-white striped bell tower and its baptistery makes a fine group. Its flooring features a mosaic of 59 etched and inlaid marble panels, while the famous Gothic octagonal pulpit by Nicola Pisano is admirable too. The north transept has a bronze statue by Donatello of an emaciated St. John the Baptist. About halfway down the nave and on the left is the entrance to the Libreria Piccolomini, a library commissioned by Francesco Piccolomini (Pope Pius III) to house the books of his uncle Pius II.
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The Chianti from Florence to Siena
Tour Code: ZZ-HK-VN02
7 days / 6 nights ~$755.00
Dates: April - Oct

Difficulty : Riding Level (Click for legend) Lodging: Standard
Day to Day Itinerary
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What to See
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Pace: Paths and easy country roads, hilly ar...

Airport: Florence
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Riding Level Explained
A Beginner
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
B Novice
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
C Intermediate
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
E Advanced
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handling a spirited horse in open country.
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