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