Reviews The Original Florence Walk


"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


Some of the latest and greatest reviews of
The Original Florence Walk
: guided tour of Florence’s city centre.

“Interesting and Enjoyable”
My wife, son and I had a wonderful time with our guide, Brenda on our walking tour of March 31st.  Her knowledge of Florence history was  interesting and enjoyable.  Her English was perfect, as was her cheerful, pleasant personality.  She made us feel like natives of Florence.  I could have walked and listened to her for the entire day.  I would not hesitate to recommend Actviva, and look forward to taking my NEXT tour!!!  Thank you for making Florence even more interesting for us. Michael J. Tortoriello. USA

“Keep on the good work”
We loved both the tours we did with you.  We first had a glance of Florence with the city tour and then discovered the museum the Uffizi with wit and professionalism.  Both guides were amazing and very helpful and friendly. We would also like to thank the team of Artviva again for their extreme help to get us to the tours as we were caught by traffic and appeared too late.  That was really appreciated. Keep on the good work and we will certainly recommend your tours to our friends and family.Ans and Dimitri

“Tour was fabulous”
The tour was fabulous and Elisabeth was an excellent guide.  We were recommended Artviva by a friend, and would certainly recommend you to others.Many thanks!Quentin

“Definitely recommend this tour”
We very much enjoyed our walking tour of Florence with Liz .  The tour was informative and Liz struck the right balance in presenting information on both historical and contemporary topics.  I would definitely recommend this tour--and also Liz as guide--to anyone. Our Monday morning Florence tour with Elizabeth was wonderful!  She was very knowledgable, had a great sense of humor and kept the group moving at a pleasant pace (not frenetic or stagnant!). charlotte werner-kohler,douglas kohler

“Walking tour was excellent”
We enjoyed the tour very much. Our guide was very knowledgeable and explained everything with enthusiasm and made it interesting. The Florence walking tour was excellent. The guide was very knowledgeable informative and passionate about her subject. Would recommend art viva tours to all my friends. Thanks Belinda

“Knowledgeable and informative”
This is just a note to say how much we enjoy the walking tour with Corrina.  She was incredibly knowledgeable and informative and  imparted her knowledge in an entertaining manner.  She definitely made the tour for us. Eileen Bell and David Cox

“Brought historical facts to life”
The tour guide, Florida, was very personable, highly informed and had a great sense of humor. Her style made me feel comfortable about asking questions. I guess the most significant memory I have is the stories of intrigue about the characters and their lives. These narratives brought historical facts to life and were most interesting. I will readily recommend your tours to my friends travelling to Italy. Fran Collins

We found the walking tour of Florence EXCELLENT.  This was due to our very informative tour guide whose knowledge was amazing and explanation clear and concise.  His passion for his job was very commendable which made the tour more interesting.  Keep up the good work. Martine and Peter Osborne (Melbourne, Australia)

“Loved the walk”
Loved the walk. Our tour guide was very informative, entertaining and interesting: she would make a wonderful teacher, I just wish she taught my kids history and art because I am sure they would love both a lot more if she did. Unfortunately had to leave a bit early as had to meet up with my husband but would recommend it to anyone visiting Florence. Helen Harris

"Eyes opened"
My wife and I had a fabulous time and we thank you very much for the walking tour. We had our "eyes opened" by the guide which helped us tremendously when continuing our sightseeing on our own. You  service was professional and friendly. As you were recommended to us by friends, so we continue to recommend your company to others visiting Firenze. Jonathan

“Perfect way to orient us in Florence”
We took this tour while on our honeymoon in Florence and we have nothing but great things to say about The Original and Best Walking Tour.  The tour was well priced and the content was great.  It was the perfect way to orient us in Florence and introduce us to the city.  The guide was so knowledgeable and easy to understand, I feel like she could talk for hours about the city.  My husband and I both joked that we wish she was our personal friend so that we could have spent the whole day walking around Florence with her, asking her question and having her tells us stories and facts about city. Anyway, it was such a great tour I recommended it to my parents who hope to visit next year. Thank You.  This tour was such a nice addition to our honeymoon.-tracy

“Wonderful time”
We truly loved your tour. Our guide was the tall fellow from Holland . We had a wonderful time and my kids (6,9) also loved it. I learned afterwards that you also offer a kids tour. Too bad we missed time. I have already recommended your company to some friends. Ciao! Alex

“Struck by the expertise, humour and geniality”
We only had a day visit, and it was a good way to get a broad overview of the city's layout, architecture, history, and art.  Our guide had a wonderful way of expressing herself and keeping our attention. I did indeed enjoy the walk on 12th June and was much struck by the expertise, humour and geniality of the two guides. It was a very instructive and convivial experience. Splitting the group into two was useful as it enabled people to really hear, and also to talk to one another and to the guide. Should I come to Florence/Venice/Rome again I would certainly consider taking one of your tours. With best wishes, Suzette 

“Excellent mix of history, art, architecture”
Chris and I really enjoyed the walking tour of Florence. It was an excellent mix of history, art, architecture and historical trivia and anecdote. Our guide was knowledgeable and personable. Thanks very much, Felicity,(Tas, Australia)

“Learned a lot”
Loved it! A good length, learned a lot! Good setup with the walkie-talkie devices so that the customers don't have to jockey for position to hear. Beautiful city, interesting history! Erin

“5 stars out of 5”
We enjoyed our Florence tour with your guide, Brenda, very much! She was very informative, friendly, interesting and a lot of fun. We could clearly hear everything she said and her pace was excellent. We would certainly recommend this tour to others. 5 stars out of 5!Thanks so much, Brenda! Elaine and Ted Crabtree, Pickering, Ontario, Canada

“Brilliant and great guide”
Tour was fabulous - tour guide spoke excellent English, was very knowledgable and knew how to keep the groups attention.  Best tour I went on during my travels through Italy earlier this month!!!It was excellent - Klaas was really brilliant and great guide - if we visit Florence again we will definitely look out for a tour done by him. We had a very knowledgable guide, she could answer any question and knew history and stories of any place in Florence! Both I and my 14-year daughter had a very fun and interesting tour with your guide. I have kept your brochure so that I will remember to check your tours out if I come to Italy again sometime. The size of the group was good, and the listening device worked as it should. Best regards, Helga Vik

“Enjoyed the tour”
We recently completed The Original Florence Walk tour with Brenda . We found Brenda to be a very friendly person. She was willing to share her knowledge related to the monuments we were visiting during the course of the tour and answer any related questions. We enjoyed the tour and would recommend the same. Thank you. Rashmin Anjaria

“Fantastic memory”
I am just back in Ireland from Florence and wanted to take a couple of minutes to say how much I enjoyed the walking tour with Brenda on Friday. She was an excellent guide, mixing stories of  local colour with all the historical facts. She was so genuine and enthusiastic about her role as a guide that it made the three hours go by in a flash! I also had a few additional questions which she answered very graciously on her break. That sunny morning in Florence (it was my first time there) will always be a fantastic memory for me! Kind regards,Karen

Having already spent Saturday 28/7walking around Florence, we were somewhat wondering what we would see and learn that was different. In fact I need not have worried; the tour with Helen was incredible.  Her insight into the history and the art really put into perspective what we had seen only 24 hours before. Buildings we had looked at, but completely missed important details, that she brought to life. The use of the radio microphone and the individual headsets was an innovation, and makes a real difference, because you heard everything clearly above the background noise, and you did not need to be crowded together with others in the group, and try to hear. We learnt about how they painted and how they repair frescos (incredible--- how do they do that?) Why they really burn incense in churches , and the plotting between the families who lived in Florence. Her background as a teacher of arts, help her deliver the information in a clear, and interesting way, and was happy to answer our questions. My girlfriend who is not a native English speaker also found it easy to follow. The 3 hours flew by, but brought Florence to life. Would have no hesitation in recommending this to others…DO THE TOUR if you do nothing else in Florence… !!!

“Perfect thing to do”
We really enjoyed our walking tour of Florence in July and it was the perfect thing to do to get acquainted with the city and its history having just arrived on July 28.  The most outstanding thing about the tour to me was how knowledgeable our tour guide was.  Her name escapes me right now, hopefully you know which guide it was.  She knew the history backward and forward and stated it in a way that made us go back in time to envision how it used to be.  Even though it was 3 hours long, at no time was it in any way too long, boring or tedious.  She kept us interested the entire time. I would definitely recommend Artviva tours to anyone coming to Florence for the first time, or even if you have already been but want to get reacquainted with the history. Nancy Smith 

We loved our tour with Elisabetta . She was entertaining and kept everyones attention with all her interesting facts including my 19yo daughter. The 3 hours went too quickly and I would have liked to do another tour with her if there had been time. She presented her informations in an organized fashion starting with Roman history, then medieval and finally Renaissance. If a site was too crowded, she moved us to a less crowded place and showed us something interesting until the original site got less crowded. The audio system worked great. She had good suggestions for sites to visit like the Davanzati tower house which we really liked,  and great gelato suggestions. I would hightly recommend her as a tour guide. Marcia McAvoy

“Time went by quickly”
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour in Florence!  Our guide was bright, funny, helpful and entertaining.  The time went by quickly and she seemed to be enjoying herself as much as we were enjoying ours.  I would recommend this tour to anyone traveling to Florence. Sincerely, Kim Zielke

“Very informative”
The walking tour we did in Florence was enjoyable and very informative.  The guide knew her stuff and ensured that everyone in the group was able to hear and understand what she was saying. Calvin and Kerry Day

“Superior service”
We had a perfect day with Helen. She was absolutely delightful not to mention her extensive knowledge. She brought everything to life for us. In all our travels she was the best guide we have ever had.  Thank you again for your superior service. Jan Firth

“So pleased”
I just had to write and say that we thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Florence with Corinna last week. She absolutely made our trip to Florence! Her insight, approach and humor were fantastic. Can’t say enough good things about her! I don’t usually write to companies to let them know this but we were all just so pleased that we signed up for the tour. Thanks, Sharon Kinkade

“Top marks”
What I liked about our guide is her incredible depth of knowledge. She knew a lot about the art, architecture, culture, history and politics of Renaissance Florence etc. She delivered this information in an engaging way and brought the streets to life. Three hours is a long time to hold anyone's attention, and she did it wonderfully. My group had a visually impaired woman, and our guide was very respectful of her. When passing other tour groups, I listened in to what their tour guides saying, and it was nowhere near as interesting, detailed or informed as what we were getting. Art Viva's strength is the credentials and experience of its tour guides. But, even more so, it is the ability to find tour guides who are excellent communicators and know how to deliver information in an interesting way. I did the Cinque Terre tour with another group and found it lacking in a lot of information. On the tour, I met another solo traveller and recommended she do the Florence Walking Tour with Art Viva. She emailed me a few weeks ago to say she did two walking tours with Art Viva and loved it. She says she's become an Art Viva snob. So have I. Your tours might be a little more expensive than other groups, but after experiencing 4 of your tours in Italy, I will NEVER go through any other company again. Top marks to the three guides I had with Art Viva (2 in Florence and 1 in Rome). Vera Jokic

“Would highly recommend”
Just to say that I enjoyed the whole thing and would highly recommend it to others visiting the city. I learnt so much and developed a better understanding of Florence, architecture and the history of art, which led nicely into the tour of the Uffizi the following day.

“Brought everything alive”
I think the Florence Walking Tour was excellent. I enjoyed all aspects due mainly to our exceptional tour guide, Elizabeth- She brought everything alive with her vast knowledge of the city and its art. I also liked the fact that locals said hello to her while we were walking and she knew a street vendor and explained the food to us. Thanks Margie Snyder

"Fantastic tour"
It was a fantastic tour. I was worried because I'd booked it for a group of us - there were eight and I wanted to please everyone - and I did! Everyone enjoyed it tremendously - it was informative, easy to understand and follow, full of good humour, and interesting stories making the lives of Florence and Florentines through the years come alive. Our guide was really great as she enabled all of the above. We all felt as if she was glad we were there too. - Ms. Melara

My guide was outstanding in every way.  She was very knowledgeable, articulate, easy to talk with, and put everything in a broader historical context. This was a great tour that I would highly recommend to anyone else I knew that was going to Florence. Everything was great!!!! - Mr. Mowatt

“The kids were fascinated!”
We loved both of the walking tours we signed up for.  Our first morning in Firenze we had Elizabeth as our guide for The Original Florence Walk.  She was great, very well informed and with a lovely sense of humour.  We were travelling with our two children and I wanted her to give a broad history lesson on the power of the Medici family so that the kids could understand a little better what was going on.  It was amazing, she spent the next 10 minutes explaining all the relationships of the Medici family, and how they rose to power or didn't, how they died or didn't, who they married, or didn't and all the great and not so great things they did for Florence. The kids were fascinated and I think without that perfect description, they would have been bored by all that came next on the tour. - Julie Graham Zeiden

“The wisest choice”
I cannot say enough good about this tour. This was the wisest choice I could have made for my first full day in Florence. Our guide was very informative – we hit all the highlights and I learned so much! I was able to take this knowledge and look for certain things while I was touring on my own later in the day. This tour gave me the confidence to explore around on my own and when my husband was able to join me later (he was attending a business conference the morning of my tour), I was able to tell him all the many wonderful things I learned. I would highly recommend this tour to all my family and friends and anyone else wishing a tour of Florence. In fact, I would highly recommend that visitors take your tour prior to exploring on their own. The tour gives a very good overview of the history of Florence and is a good foundation to build on. - Vicki Howard

“The 3 hours felt like 30 minutes”
We had a wonderful tour with Elisabetta. She was extremely informative and had a great sense of humour. The 3 hours felt like 30 minutes. I will surely recommend! Thank you! - Kathleen Peterson

“The best guide possible”
Our guide was fantastic.  He was born in Florence but was educated in the USA and then came back to Florence for a short visit - 35 years ago.  Anyway we really enjoyed our tour and felt that we had the best guide possible.  He was very well informed  and explained everything very clearly.  I believe his only problem was that he did not have enough time to tell us all the information he wanted to give us. - Eve Wickwire

“Outstanding tour”
This was an outstanding tour, Elisabetta was exceptional. She had a good understanding of Florence and the history of Italy. She was able to make the link between history, art and architecture in a way that we could understand. Our journey in Italy was just starting and this was our first city and first tour. Elisabetta linked Florence's history with that of Siena, Rome and other cities near by. It was excellent because as we made our way through the other cities and various museums, we were able to remember her words and join the dots. The tour also helped us orient ourselves with Florence and as we walked around later we were well positioned to find our way. In total during our stay in Italy we did about 10 or 11 tours in total and I would have to say that this was one of the very best. It was very worthwhile. - Brenda

“We would always use your company”
The most recent trip to Florence was the second time I have used your company, and we did the same tour.  The guides are excellent and being all native English speakers there was no accent issues. The amount of knowledge the guides have is amazing, and it is fun when it is told in situ and within the framework of a story. I would always use your company and I have recommended you to other Australians over the years. - Cherryann Woods

“The guide was excellent”
Our guide was Sara (an American girl). The guide was excellent and took us to, and explained the history of, 2 interesting churches which we would otherwise have overlooked.  We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and consequently Florence is one of the highlights of our trip. - Di Walmsley

“Extremely informative tour”
Extremely informative tour. Great to have a guide so knowledgeable, capable of answering questions, and willing to share "local knowledge" not covered by the tour. - Darren Lipnicki

“Wonderful job”
The tour was excellent. I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Florence.  My sister will be going at the end on April and will do this tour.  Paul brought out many interesting facts about Florence.  We are a family of 5 with teenagers on this tour and they enjoyed the tour very much.  Thank you to Paul who did a wonderful job. - Eileen Swiatkowski

“The walk was wonderful”
Our guide on the Original Florence walk was wonderful!  Very knowledgeable, very entertaining.  Our walking tour was well designed and the guide made the entire experience very pleasant!!! - Ed and Dominique Tribuzio

“Our guide was exceptional!”
We are very fond of walking tours and we have done them with various guides all over the world from Moscow to Chicago, but our guide Corinna was exceptional!  Her knowledge is vast and enthusiasm is infinite. - Mr and Mrs Malikov

“Super tour!”
Superb tour!  We did the Original Florence Walk and our guide Corinna was engaging, extremely knowledgeable in art, in history, culture, you name it.  She kept us all rapt throughout the 3 hours. - Daisi Martin

“The best walking tour in Italy!”
We went on the The Original Florence Walk with Sara.  She was excellent, very knowledgeable and made the 'stories' come alive.  The best walking tour in Italy so far!! - Nina Beyer

“Florence came alive!”
ARTVIVA! Thank you for making FLORENCE come alive and become OUR FAVORITE city we visited this summer!  When we reminisce about our vacation to Italy...FLORENCE always makes us smile. The night before our tour we walked into your office with questions.  We were immediately greeted with a smile and had our questions answered.  Your office left us with a good feeling for our tour the next morning. Sara, our tour guide and fellow Californian, brought such warmth to our group right from the "get go" ... from the minute our group gathered ... to our last minutes together.  We fell in love with both Sara and Florence and didn't want the tour to end.  Sara's knowledge of the amazing art and architecture, the history of the city and it's people, both past and present ~ made it come ALIVE!  She transported us to the past in a way that we felt like a living part of Florence.  She made the facts  not only interesting but fun and easy to remember and by adding some of her own perspective and personal touch to some of the facts, not only as an art major but now a local Florentine, she made them special. Sara's personal knowledge combined with her factual knowledge and obvious love of people make her one of a kind! At the end of our tour Sara shared the name of one of her favourite restaurants with us which we ate at that evening and ... WOW!  What a fabulous out of the way restaurant!  Thanks, Sara! It was our pleasure to join you, ArtViva ~ and thank you again, Sara! Until we see you again on our next trip, to Venice ~ Ciao! - Dan and Sally Burch

But wait, there's more...

2011 reviews of The Original Florence Walk tour