Europe, Photography, Review, Travel

Walking with the Masters: Florence with Walks of Italy


Meet Bernie.


He is probably the best tour guide we have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He is a professor of Art History – a subject that I had a passion for in college – and if I’d had him as a teacher then, I probably would have not despised it by the end. He is passionate, knowledgeable, and hilarious.

Also, did I mention he was the tour guide for the guys on Jersey Shore when they were in Florence? Juicy words were exchanged about that experience. Let’s just say some people aren’t acting.

Place this awesome man in the cradle of the Renaissance with the Florence City Stroll tour with Walks of Italy and you have a fascinating time.

You walk the streets of Florence knowing not much has changed. The buildings are the same and flawlessly restored.


And as the rain came pouring out of the sky Bernie made sure we stopped for just a moment to take it all in.

“Look down this alley. This is exactly how Florence has looked for hundreds of years. Photoshop out the scooter though.”


I got a warm fuzzy feeling as I wandered the streets knowing that the great Renaissance Masters did the same. I really loved how intimate our Florence tour was.

Leonardo lived here.


This school has been around for over half a millenium (OMG America is so young). DaVinci went to it as well.


Did you know that there were multiple fights in between the artists? Rafael would provoke people.

It was weird to think of these guys as people. And I was viewing what they saw.


We also got to see the bronze pig, Porcellino. Put a coin into his mouth and let it fall into the grate. If it lands in, your wish comes true. If it lands outside, you have to grab a new coin and let it drop. Rinse and repeat until you get a coin into the grate and your coin purse is empty. (Shaun tried 5 times. I got it in the first try. His wishes cost a little more than mine. :P)


We walked by the Duomo and we FINALLY got to hear a bit of information on it. It is the third largest church in the world. And the reason it is so big? It was competing with Siena, Italy over who would have the biggest church. Additions kept occurring and Sirena went bankrupt first. WINNING.


…and the greatest story of the entire day?

Americans are actually revered in Florence. During World War II a general refused to bomb the Germans because he didn’t want to go down in the history books as the general “who blew up David”. The Germans retreated and the city was one of the only ones not in ruins. Every 4th of July there is a massive parade to celebrate that fact.

Finally. A story involving my home that is positive.


Also, Bernie, don’t hate me for what I’m about to post.


Here is David. He is beautiful. You are also not allowed to take pictures of him.

Bernie made Shaun understand the significance of David and changed his outlook on fine art. He ENJOYS going to museums now. David changed everything. (We also spent an hour alone breaking down the statue and what it means.)

Thank you Bernie. You lit Shaun’s mind on fire and I’m ever so grateful.

So THIS. THIS is one of the reasons why I’m in love with Florence. A city full of life, history, art, and good food. How can you beat that?

Have you been on a life changing tour before?

Disclosure: We were guests of Walks of Italy, however all opinions are our own.

9 thoughts on “Walking with the Masters: Florence with Walks of Italy”

  1. Soooooooooooo you guys have officially made me want to go to Florence!! It looks like the most beautiful city and the buildings, ahh the architecture looks amazing! Also this tour sounds like a perfect way of actually getting to know the city and learning something at the same time 🙂

    1. The funny thing is that we had no intention on EVER going to Florence. It was an after thought when we got invited to hang out with Beth and Randy. It is sad to think I would have missed out on so much!

  2. I’ve always wondered about those arches between the buildings. Do they serve an actual purpose in terms of structure or are they just ornamental? I guess it doesn’t really matter, since they look great and make for great photos.

    1. Actually they do have a purpose! The ground in Florence is constantly flooded which creates a super mushy foundation. They are there because the buildings are leaning every which way and they needed to reinforce them. 🙂

  3. I was never much of a tour guide person. But I’ve been on a few tours in recent years that really made me change my perspective on tours. I wouldn’t want to drop a bunch of money on a tour, but if it’s a question of walking around and looking at buildings/ruins/art which can get boring quick, or paying a bit of money to hear some interesting stories about them, then I’m definitely in.


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