Article in TIME Europe magazine


"Walking Tours of Florence are wise and well informed. They have a fresh accessible style which makes it fun. The recipe seems to be the more you enjoy the more you learn. And it works."

Michael Palin

Actor/Presenter (Monty Python and a list of fabulous films too long to list here)

"The Greatest Tour Guide Ever!"

Lou Reed


"...This tour is wonderful, it is informative, complete and fun. And more importantly, you don't feel like a sheep in a flock, herded around town..."

Richard Kind

Actor (Mad about You, Spin City)

"Thank You for the Wonderful Experience!"

Alex Rodriguez

Baseball Star (In December of 2000 Rodriguez became the best-paid ballplayer of all time when he signed a $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers)

"Walking Tours of Florence are much more than tours, because you leave feeling almost as if you know Michelangelo and the other Masters personally."

Mike Munro

One of Australia's finest investigative journalists and well known media personalities.

"Thank you for a wonderful job… you made us feel like we were the most important people in Florence. We all left singing your praises. Thank you very much."

Bill Kurtis

Acclaimed documentary host and producer, network news anchor and multimedia production company.

"Entertaining and Informative!"

Nat Young

World Surfing Champion

"I had the most relaxing and fun experiences with you covering Italian food, wine, art and culture. Thank you for the warm and friendly way in which you welcomed me. I was very impressed by the high professionalism of your staff."

Chi Xun

Director and writer


A Grand Tour

Affluent travelers seek out exclusive outings with experts ranging from art detectives to wine writers


Tuesday, Sep. 19, 2006

What did you do last summer? Recent luxury spending surveys by Amex and the New York Times found that the wealthy are no longer satisfied with material possessions alone.  Increasingly, they are in pursuit of unique encounters as well. So how about touring the Uffizi Gallery with Maurizio Seracini? He's an art detective mentioned in The Da Vinci Code who uncovers the secrets of Renaissance masterpieces. Florence-based Artviva Exclusive Experiences has recruited such well-known experts from various fields to offer unforgettable outings to affluent travelers. Wine buffs might decide to visit castles and vineyards with renowned American wine writer Burton Anderson. "There's no set plan; we cater to the tastes of people who apply," says Anderson. "We have the possibility of opening almost any door." So if Sassicaia is your preferred vintage, you could be off to Bolgheri to meet the aristocrats who produce it. An insider's tour of Venice with Count Francesco da Mosto, who presented a BBC documentary and authored a book on his city, or an after-hours visit to the Vatican Museums with a noted scholar like American art historian Timothy Verdon are other options. Your imagination is the only limit. tel: (39-055) 264 5033;


From the Oct. 02, 2006 issue of TIME Europe magazine,13005,901061002-1536367,00.html