In the Press

Read what travel writers have to say about ArtViva.

Testimonials

"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

Rockstar

"...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

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We are pleased to share a selection of articles featuring ArtViva. 

  • From The Telegraph, March 20, 2009, Michele Lester from London writes"We are travelling with a couple of friends to Florence next month. It is our first time in the city and we would like to employ a guide to show us around the Uffizi Gallery (above) as I understand it's a bit of a scrum. Any ideas?" - The response from The Telegraph reads: "I can personally recommend ArtViva, which employs art history experts (all native English speakers) who use humour and anecdotes to explain the background to the gallery's most famous works. You can join a three-hour guided tour for up to 14 people, which costs €29 each including entry charge, or hire a private guide for your party of four for €76 each. Artviva also offers excellent walking tours of central Florence, similar guided visits to other galleries in the city and 'exclusive experiences' including an irreverent look at the city's history with a count from one of Florence's oldest families followed by drinks at his palazzo on the River Arno. The three-hour tour costs about £450 for up to five people."

 

  • From TIME Europe magazine, October 2, 2006, Mimi Murphy writes: "Affluent travelers seek out exclusive outings with experts ranging from art detectives to wine writers". - "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."

 

  • From Forbes Travel, July 18, 2008, Emilie Harting writes: "The tours themselves also provide entertainment. When rain came down heavily on a route through Dickens’ London, our gray-haired guide, fully costumed in a long dress and bonnet, shepherded us into an overhang, hopped up on a shelf, and acted out scenes from Dickens until the storm passed. Another guide had us standing high on tiptoes in front of T.S. Eliot’s widow’s house on Gloucester Square so we could peek in and see Eliot’s library. On a tour of Rome’s Forum and Coliseum, our guide had us pause at a spot where we enjoyed a panoramic view of the ancient city’s temples, palaces, courtyards, and government houses. He then pointed to a door on the lower level: “That led to the slaves’ underground walkway.”

 

  • Travel writer James Williams writes: "Learn to be a gondolier! Ever wondered what it's like to ply the murky waters of La Serenissima? We had a go ourselves and it's not as easy as it looks. First you have to keep the oar in the water at all times and keep your balance. Second, keep your left hand below shoulder height and use those muscles. Many Venetians start rowing when they are kids, but luckily for us landlubbers a new hands-on course by ArtViva, The Original & Best Tours Italy will give you a 1.5 hour lesson rowing a gondola. Unique in Venice, an experienced native-English-speaking tutor takes you out onto the lagoon in a specially adapted boat, where you'll also hear plenty of stories about this age-old profession. It costs €80pp (maximum four) and can be booked at www.italy.artviva.com. For groups of 10 or more, try www.oltrex.it (lessons only). Also check out Artviva's Original Gondola Tour - the only one of its kind - and discover Venice with a quality guide in one of its magical black boats."
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