florence views

Noble Beauty: Art & Architecture in Florence

The cradle and muse of mythical masters of art, architecture and culture (Dante, Da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo—to name a few), Florence reverberates with a beauty and depth of feeling that is centuries-deep, and beyond compare. Often referred to as a “living museum,” the City of Lilies enchants visitors with its timelessness: Frescoed Medici palazzos and glittering Gucci storefronts share the same ancient Roman streets, which are dotted by family-owned workshops as well as contemporary artworks. On this journey, led by expert art historian and local Elaine Ruffolo, travelers will study these many features of Florence’s noble beauty, with unparalleled private access to iconic monuments like the Duomo Cathedral and the Uffizi, invitations into magnificent private homes and estates, exploration in the trendy Oltrarno and a day trip to nearby UNESCO World Heritage site Siena. And with plenty of time for savoring culinary and viticultural pursuits, this is a journey that the aesthete and epicure should not miss.

The health and safety of our travelers is our No. 1 priority. We are committed to upholding the highest safety standards, while providing world-class hospitality and a seamless travel experience. For more information and questions about specific protocols that have been put into place to make your trip as safe as possible, as well as entry/exit requirements for Italy, please reach out to our team at insiderjourneys@indagare.com.

What to Expect

Itinerary highlights include:

  • Immerse yourself in the art, history and architecture of Florence and Siena on private, expert-guided tours with Elaine Ruffolo. Explorations will focus on the creativity of the Renaissance and the rule of the Medici, from Cosimo to Lorenzo Il Magnifico.
  • Enjoy exclusive, privileged access to Florence’s top monuments, including the off-limits top floor of the Orsanmichele gallery, the world-famous Uffizi Museum after-hours (where you can find works by Botticelli, Caravaggio and many others) and the staggering Duomo, with special entrance to the cathedral’s terraces for unforgettable views.
  • Explore the wonderfully renovated Opera del Duomo Museum with its director, who will provide behind-the-scenes insight into the fascinating collection.
  • With special permission, go underneath the tombs of the Medici Chapel in the Basilica di San Lorenzo to a secret underground chamber covered in charcoal wall drawings by Michelangelo, who lived there for a month in 1530 while hiding from the pope.
  • Attend receptions at historic residences for a view into private life in Florence— including the Renaissance-era Palazzo Gondi, where the Count and Countess Gondi will welcome you, and the wine estate of Alessandra Bindi Sergardi, who will share the rich history of her family, going back to the 14th century.
  • Visit the Castello di Nipozzano winery in Chianti for a tasting dinner, with other culinary experiences including a meal at the famed Antinori restaurant in Florence.
  • Explore the backstreets of the artistic Oltrarno neighborhood, where many of Florence’s traditional artisans still live and work. Visit with these masters in their workshops and enjoy hands-on experiences of such traditional Florentine arts as gilding and silk weaving.
  • Connect with your host and fellow travelers—and gain a deeper understanding of the itinerary—before the trip with complimentary enrollment in Elaine’s new Indagare Art Club: The Medici, Power and Patronage (four virtual sessions, $650 value).
  • Worry less, experience more: Indagare’s expert Insider Journeys team will help you navigate a safe and rewarding travel experience—and help plan custom trip extensions. Plus: You’ll have complimentary 24/7 access to the emergency medical, security and evacuation services of Global Rescue, while on the ground.

Please note that elements of the itinerary may change.

Coming Soon
  • When
    Coming Soon
  • Length
    7 days / 6 nights
  • Type of Traveler
    Art Lovers , Foodies , Intellectuals

This Journey's Host


Elaine Ruffolo is a Renaissance art historian, with a special interest in 15th-century patronage. She has lectured for Syracuse and Stanford University in Florence, and she has designed academic travel programs for the Smithsonian, the Clark and Telfair Museums, Atlanta High Museum, Yale University Alumni, the College of William & Mary and the Patrons of the Vatican Museums. Elaine also sits on the advisory board of the Friends of Florence and consults for CEO and YPO programs throughout Europe.

Curious to receive the full itinerary and join the trip? Contact us and find out more.

Trip Details

In preparation for the journey, members will also receive a comprehensive departure package that includes an itinerary, packing list, accommodations overview and other important information.

  • When
    Coming Soon
  • Length
    7 days / 6 nights
  • Group Size
    Up to 16 travelers
  • Host
    Elaine Ruffolo


  • Six nights’ accommodation at Hotel Savoy (Executive Room or Junior Suite)
  • All meals and beverages, as detailed in the itinerary
  • All guided touring, admission fees and activities, as detailed in the itinerary
  • Group airport arrival and departure transfers, as well as group transfers by car and plane throughout Italy to all included stops
  • Expert guides and drivers, including the 24/7 support of Indagare’s partners on the ground
  • The services of Indagare’s expert travel team to plan all trip details, international flights and trip extensions (costs not included)
  • 24/7 access to Global Rescue emergency medical services for the duration of the trip
  • Complimentary enrollment inthe Indagare Art Club: The Medici, Power and Patronage, hosted by Elaine Ruffolo (four virtual sessions, $650 value)


  • Transportation to/from Florence
  • Meals not specified and premium or alcoholic beverages; optional activities and personal items and expenses
  • Gratuities
  • Covid testing fees
  • Trip insurance (highly recommended— please let us know if you would like to see quotes)
  • Liability for change in itinerary due to reasons beyond our control (change in flights, cancellations, political disturbances, natural phenomena)
Curious to receive the full itinerary and join the trip? Contact us and find out more.

What To Read

Indagare has selected articles from our website and magazine to prepare you for your journey. Peruse inspiring slideshows, insider tips, reading lists and more.

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