Artisans

Italy has a strong artisan tradition that has evolved throughout the centuries and which remains true to this day.

Artviva: The Original and Best Walking Tours
Average Rating:   4.9
out of 5 stars
   Based on 91 Ratings.

On 2017/06/08
Eddie Wong said:
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Ishmael is Excellent

Ishmael led us on a fascinating food tour in and around the famed Mercado in Florence. After sampling tasty pizza dough poppers and lattes, we ventured into the indoor central market (mercado) and met several family owned businesses that sold olive oil, cheese, and other goodies. I'm not a huge foodie but enjoyed the food and learning about the process of aging olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We also had a full lunch at a local restaurant with delicious pasta and oxtail. I can't say enough superlatives about Ishmael. He is knowledgeable, personable and attentive. I would love to invite him over for dinner in San Francisco so that we can continue our conversations about food, music and art. There's so much more than food on a tour with Ishmael. Peace and blessing on to you. Ciao, Florence. We will return.

On 2017/06/04
Marita said:
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Artviva guides set a high standard

I booked Artviva's Original Florence Walk for 5 people and the Uffizi and David tours for three people. Our Artviva guides lived up to their reputation for being extremely knowledgeable about the city and its many wonders and their ability to transmit it all in flawless English was amazing. We really could not have wished for more. It was also great to spread this tour package over three days -- more time to take in all the interesting stories that we were offered. Special thanks to Barbara and Brenda for sharing their passion.

On 2017/05/24
Kathy Harris said:
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Florence walking tour

During a recent visit to Florence I was on a small group walking tour called "Sites and Statues" with tour guide Brenda. It was a delight spending the time with Brenda as she shared her stories and her knowledge of her beloved Florence. Thanks ArtViva for sharing Brenda with us!

On 2017/05/02
John Aldeborgh said:
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Just A Fantastic Tour

We took the tour of the Uffizi Gallery on April 22nd with Loredana as our guide. Just an outstanding way to see the museum as you get the opportunity to merge the art with the history of Florence and the Medici family history. If you love art history and the renaissance then Florence and the Uffizi have to be on your bucket list. Loredana is an outstanding guide, she is very personable and a walking encyclopedia of knowledge on both the art in the gallery as well as history of Florence and the renaissance. A great way to spend an afternoon.

On 2017/04/02
Kathleen O Pierce said:
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We were a group of 6 that had taken 4 tours in Florence and loved all of them. This tour in Rome was significantly different. This tour is not for the faint of heart. It is crowded and loud and tiring. I would never do it again even though our tour guide, Rosie, was great.

On 2017/04/02
Kathleen O Pierce said:
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Elisabetta gave us the two hour tour at the Uffizi Gallery. She was an EXCELLENT tour guide. We had a group of 6 and she held all of our attention. I would highly recommend this tour and this tour guide.

On 2017/04/02
Kathleen O Pierce said:
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We loved our tour to visit the David with Claas. It is only an hour long, and it is a MUST if visiting Florence. The only issue was that it was crowded and Claas did not hold his microphone up to his mouth, but pinned it on his shirt. There was a lot of background noise, walking to the tour, and inside the building. I would highly recommend he talk slower and hold his microphone to make the tour even better. I would highly recommend this.

On 2017/04/02
Kathleen O Pierce said:
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Our family of 6 spent the day visiting Tuscany with Stefan. We had a glorious day. Stefan was knowledgeable and fun...we learned so much. I highly recommend this tour! Couldn't have been better!

On 2016/11/04
Tasha said:
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BEST way to see Rome

My husband and I were on our honeymoon and booked the "Original Rome Walk" for a Monday afternoon on Halloween; it ended up being a private tour with our guide Sylvie and it was FANTASTIC! She was super knowledgeable and funny, and took the time to answer my husband's multiple questions. The tour itself was also great - I would highly recommend this to anyone visiting Rome!

On 2016/11/02
Dawn Everidge said:
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Tour of a lifetime

My friend and I took the Genius of Michelangelo Tour by Artviva and it was absolutely brilliant, the highlight of our time in Florence!! We cannot recommend it enough!! Our tour guide was fabulous, a riveting former art history professor, who brought The Renaissance to life for us as he guided us through Florence. His stories pulled us back to the Florence known to Michelangelo and his contemporaries. The crowds disappeared for us as we were transported through time and were guided to Michelangelo's well-known and lesser known works. Ultimately the masses literally parted for us, momentarily, as we realized the dream of a lifetime, seeing his masterpiece, The David. It was the tour of a lifetime that we never wanted to end!

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The term artisan, or “artigiano” in Italian, implies skilled workers plying their trade by hand. “Master” artisans was used to refer to those who own their own business.

Even by Medieval times, artisans and particularly the Masters held a high status in society.  Artisan trades were so well established that these skilled workers began forming guilds that held strong until the mid-1700s.

Many typically Italian products are still created by hand to this day, mostly in the traditional ways, with techniques and tools often passed down through the generations and learnt from childhood, hanging around the workshops of fathers and grandfathers.

Besides making great things to buy when travelling in Italy, artisans are like a window to the past of Italy’s great art and crafts history.

Each region and even each town in Italy has their own specialty artisan wares.

Take for example Florence. Birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence’s strength and wealth was fortified by its artisans and guilds both locally and in the Tuscan surrounds. Typical artisan items from Florence include gold and silver items (including stunning traditional jewellery designs), fabrics and fashions, leather goods, ceramics and handmade picture frames – not to mention all the arts that saw Florence become home to most of the biggest names in the Renaissance.

Of the foodie variety, Florence and Tuscany boast a bevy of all that’s buono - cheeses, cured meats, breads, wines and of course, gelato.

In Venice, there are the world-famous glass blowers from Murano Island. So precious was their skill, that at one point in history these Venetian artisans were forbidden to leave the island for fear that their trade secrets would leave the shores. Eventually they were allowed off Murano Island and became local celebrities of the time. Venice also boasts artisan mask makers, lace weavers of Burano Island, marble paper makers and book binders, plus the skilled gondola creators.

Sorrento is known for its ceramics and hand-carved inlaid wood items, as well as Limoncello liqueur made from the plump Sorrento lemons. Sicily is famed for marionettes, Naples for nativity scene figurines. Orvieto in the Umbria region has an artisan tradition dating back to the Etruscan times for their ceramics, clothing, jewels and forged statues.

€ 36.00

An Evening Walk - Murders, Mystery & Wine!

The charming medieval Oltrarno quarter hides a dark and mysterious past. Let our experts lead you through its intriguing history on this unique twilight adventure, before taking the edge off with a glass of Italian wine.
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€ 30.00

My Exclusive Florence for Kids

Let our great guides help your children explore and learn about this magical destination. You and the kids will be taken on adventures designed to engage even the youngest of travellers! We are experts at bringing the past to life with fascinating and fun tales.
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€ 93.33

Learn to Paint or Sculpt Like A Master

In the birthplace of the Renaissance and one of the greatest art hubs of all time, be welcomed into the private studio of a local artist for a lesson on oil painting or sculpting in clay.
Individual instruction ensures this workshop suitable for all ages and skill levels - from complete novices to more experienced artists wanting to gain insight into Florence’s art scene and to meet local artists.
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€ 50.00

Florence Fashion Museums

Set off on a discovery of the evolution of style and sashay through the colourful past of Italian fashion. Explore the lives and styles of two of the most creative minds the fashion world has ever seen: Ferragamo and Gucci.
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€ 34.00

A Visit to Artisan Workshops

See local artisans producing some of the city’s most famous traditional handicrafts. This exclusive Artisan's Workshop tour takes you into a world that cannot be found anywhere else but in the ancient streets of this glorious destination.
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€ 40.00

The Florence In-City Shopping Tour

Indulge in a great shopping trip that simply overflows with style (and shopping bags!) in the company of a local fashionista. Discover tips for the best locations, the best prices and find the most unique items with our fashion-savvy shopping guru.
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€ 50.00

Islands of Glass - Masters of Murano

See the ancient art of glass making in one of Venice's most illustrious artisan workshops. With a personal skipper and guide accompanying you aboard a luxury motorboat, glide through picturesque canals out to the lagoon, and then on to the island of glass.
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€ 150.00

Custom Vacation Planning

Utilise our expertise by having us design that special unforgettable experience of a lifetime for you. 
Whether you wish to bike ride through the Tuscan hills, treat your family to the art cities, experience Italy's rich gourmet and wine heritage, explore your artistic side, or have a romantic honeymoon vacation, we can arrange it all.
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