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Universitè de Avignon
Speech Cycle
Università di Firenze
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12thAnnual Conference of the
International Speech Communication Association


Interspeech 2011 Florence

Accompanying Person Program

Dear All,
we would like to inform you that we have unfortunately been forced to cancel some of the tours, as the minimum required number for each of them has not been reached.

The Organizing Secretariat will shortly contact attendees who have already registered for some of them in order to provide them with a full refund and suggest a contact to organize, if they wish, a private tour.

Tour of Santa Maria Novella Church and cloisters

Santa Maria Novella Church: this gothic church was built by the Dominican Friars between 1279 and 1357. The façade dates back to the Renaissance period and it was designed by the great architect Leon Battista Alberti.Santa Maria Novella is one of the richest churches of Florence: the huge interior boasts important; fresco cycles by Filippino Lippi and Domenico Ghirlandaio and hosts masterpieces such as the Crucifix by Giotto (1288) and the celebrated Trinity by Masaccio, both recently restored.

Santa Maria Novella great cloisters (normally closed to the public): the largest of Florence, Santa Maria Novella's cloisters are decorated with a remarkable fresco cycle by some of the most important Florentine painters of the 16th century. The graceful Cappella dei Papi, built in 1515 for pope Leo X, boasts a beautiful fresco of the Veronica by Pontormo.

Farmacia di Santa Maria Novella: one of the most refined places in Florence, the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella overlooks the Chiostro Grande of the Dominican convent. This charming chemist’s shop still produces its own perfumes and soaps according to antique recipes. It boasts a collection of antique pharmacy jars, 17th century vases and beautiful 18th and 19th century furniture. It will be possible to visit the little medieval chapel decorated with 14th century frescoes. This chapel is normally closed to public.

(only on morning)

An exclusive city tour

Piazza Signoria: participants will be introduced to the beauties of Florence starting from Piazza Signoria, political center of the city since the Middle Ages. The square, dominated by the imposing fortress–palace of Palazzo Vecchio, is often quoted as an open-air museum of sculpture. Indeed, statues by the most important artists of the Renaissance, such as the magnificent bronze Perseus by Cellini, are situated in the square and visible to the public.

Visit to the external terrace of the Duomo of Florence (external terrace is normally closed to the public): set in the heart of the city, the Duomo is the cathedral of Florence. It produces a memorable effect of massive grandeur with its enormous chapel built by Brunelleschi. Its sheer size is typical of Florentine disposition to grandiosity. To date, no other building stands taller in the city.
In addition to the “classic” tour inside the cathedral, the group will be accompanied to a spectacular walk on the external terrace situated all around the church. From there, it is possible to have an unusual view of the chapel and of the whole city.

Uffizi Gallery and Vasarian Corridor

Uffizi Gallery: the Uffizi is one of the oldest and most famous museums in the world. Founded in 1581 by Francesco I de Medici, it occupies the top floor of a building designed by Vasari to house the administrative offices of the state of  Tuscany (hence Uffizi). The rooms of the Uffizi host masterpieces dating back to the early Renaissance in the works of artists such as Giotto and Cimabue. The group wil be walked through the sublime poetic style of Botticelli and Filippo Lippi, the interests in nature of Leonardo da Vinci and the high renaissance of Michelangelo and Raphael.

Vasari Corridor (closed to public). This famous corridor, which provides unique views of the city and the Arno river, was built by Giorgio Vasari for Cosimo I de’ Medici in only 5 months to celebrate the marriage of Francesco de’Medici and Joanna of Austria. Its purpose was to connect Palazzo Vecchio via the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio with the new residence of the Medici dukes at Palazzo Pitti, in the form of a private covered passage-way nearly 1 km long. The corridor currently contains 17C and 18C paintings and, above all, the finest artists’ self portrait collection in the world. This collection, of great historical interest and importance, includes self portraits of Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velazquez, Ingres, and Marc Chagall.

Download the Accompanying Person Program (with more individual tours) in pdf.

Hoping to meet you soon in Florence, we are looking forward to helping you in finding the best solution, obviously at the best price!

Our best regards,
The Organizing Secretariat.

Dott.ssa Alessandra Colombo
Promo Leader Service Congressi
Head quarter PLS Group
Via della Mattonaia, 17
50121 Firenze (Italy)
Phone +39 055 2462 201
Fax +39 055 2462 270