1. Florence: Florentine Mosaic Private 1-Hour Tour with Guide
Meet your expert guide at the famous Opificio delle Pietre Dure, which when translated means the Workshop of the Inlaid Semiprecious Stones. The Opificio delle Pietre Dure was created in 1588 by Ferdinando I dei Medici for the creation of decorations for the tombs of the Medici family. On this tour, discover the wonders of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and learn about its fascinating history as well as about the mosaics themselves. Follow your guide around the workshop and marvel at the array of stunning mosaics on display. From a very close distance, admire the artworks made of jasper, mother-of-pearl, malachite, lapis lazuli, quartz, precious marble, and more. The gemstones have been precisely carved and perfected to create paintings, tables, fireplaces, and more. Throughout the 1-hour tour, listen to your guide share fascinating insight into this ancient technique and get a greater appreciation of the artistic skill it requires. The tour covers the entire history of the Florentine Mosaic from the Medici period up until the 19th century when the Opificio delle Pietre Dure became a restoration workshop for delicate and famous paintings from artists including Donatello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci.