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“Italian History at its Best!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Artviva: The Original & Best Tours Italy

Artviva: The Original & Best Tours Italy
Via Sassetti 1 | Second Floor, 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 2645033
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Ranked #21 of 278 activities in Florence
Type: Tours
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Acclaimed since 1996 for our great guides and tours, we offer the original, small-group Best of Tuscany tour, as well as wonderful guided tours of Florence, Venice, Rome and the Cinque Terre. Our tours are high-quality, entertaining, informative and fun! We love sharing Italy on a more personal level and with our small group sizes, we refuse to make you feel like a tourist. Our highly-qualified guides are passionate, have a sense of humour and enjoy bringing history to life. They include historians, aristocrats, wine makers, art sleuths, well-known journalists, guide writers, as well as talented artists and authors. What’s more, we are an ASTA approved, fully-licensed tour operator. We promise we are anything but ordinary, and we guarantee we are the Original & Best.
Geneva, Switzerland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Italian History at its Best!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

I recently visited both Venice and Florence and since I was going by myself, decided to book a couple of tours to get better acquainted with the cities. I wasn't able to make the bookings until just before my trip but this was no problem for ArtViva. Their website was easy to use and the staff was extremely responsive to my questions even going so far as to call my hotel to make sure I had received all the information.

In addition to having a fabulous administrative staff, ArtViva's guides are everything you could want in a guide: knowledgeable, funny and great storytellers-you can actually imagine what life in either of these two incredible cities might have been like.

While in Venice I took the Original Venice and Doge's Palace tours with Barbara. She was fantastic and very easy going. It was a small group which was good since it gave us more time for questions and pictures. She took time to answer all and included all the interesting tidbits about the St Mark's Square and the Doge's Palace.

For Florence, I arrived in the afternoon and immediately went for the tour of the Accademia museum where Michelangelo's David is housed. Charles, our guide was super informative and insightful on both the life of Michelangelo and the politics and influences of the time. I really appreciated how he walked us around each side of David to take in the full magnificence of Michelangelo's creation. I also did the Uffizi Gallery tour with Klaas and the Original Florence walk while there. These tours were equally outstanding, packed with interesting information about the city and the important role art has played over its history.

All tours that Artviva have to offer are worth every penny. Would highly recommend!

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Artviva, Manager at Artviva: The Original & Best Tours Italy, responded to this review, November 8, 2012
Dear Tamara,

We appreciate you taking the time to write about your experience with Artviva. Our staff and guides are the best in town, and we are happy to know that you felt they enhanced your experience of both Venice and Florence. Thank you for this glowing review. We hope to see you again sometime.

Kind regards,

Artviva Staff
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Fabulous tours of Florence and Wine in Tuscany”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

My husband and I had a wonderful time on both a last minute booking we did of the Original Florence Walk tour with Elizabeth as well as the Tuscany Wine Tour we had later that day. We hadn't booked any tours for our time in Italy, but this being our first on our trip was definitely worth every euro spent!

While the tour didn't take us to see all the sites all over Florence or give us the regularly expected tour information, it did take us on a journey inside Florence to sites we would have walked right on past. Elizabeth's in depth knowledge of Florence, mid-evil history, Catholic church history and the like were amazing! She weaved together the story of all the various story lines that were happening thru the years in Florence to help us understand how it became the city that it is today. We left with a truely better picture of the city that surrounded us.

The afternoon Tuscany Wine Tour was also exceptional. We toured 2 wineries, one large and another smaller winery. The first winery was impressive with their vast lands, large facility and famous family. The wine tasting of three wines with cheese, bread and honey pairing was delicious and helped to make up for the wineries tour guide being a bit cold around the edges. The second winery was a cute smaller production, but the guide gave us a full behind the scenes tour with 1 wine and 1 dessert wine tasting at the end along with their olive oil tasting.

it was a great day to be on tours with ArtViva, thankful for the knowledge that we gleaned from their well versed tour guides!

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Artviva, Manager at Artviva: The Original & Best Tours Italy, responded to this review, November 1, 2012
We are pleased that you enjoyed your time both in Florence city center, as well as out in the Tuscan countryside with Artviva. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip, and we are happy that we could be a part of your experience. Thank you for providing us with your comments and praise!
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Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Crash Course on Florence”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

I booked a full day of tours with Art Viva and I was not disappointed. I learned so much about Florence but also about art in general, and about history. The best tours I have been on so far. Definitely recommend them, especially if you just have a day or two in Florence!

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Artviva, Manager at Artviva: The Original & Best Tours Italy, responded to this review, November 1, 2012
Dear Maria,

Thanks for your review on our tours! We really appreciate our clients taking the time to share their experiences with others. We are glad to know that the tours were able to provide you with great insight into the history, art and culture of Florence. We hope to see you again someday!

Kind regards,

Artviva
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Epsom, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Superguide Klaus ......a true inspiration”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

A huge 'thank you' to Artviva and superguide Klaus.
Mu husband and I visited Florence on 26-29th Oct 2012 and booked a whole day tour - 3 hour walking tour wih Brenda, who was also excellent and a 2 hour tour of the Uffizi and just over an hour at the Academia with Klaus.
Klaus was just brilliant. He was so knowledgable about the painters and their works, that he brought life to the art we saw; his explanations and examples showed two complete novices like my husband and I what to look out for in the paintings. Klaus was passionate and inspiring and in the short time we spent with him, we were truly mesmerised, learned a great deal and instead of just 'looking' at the art, we felt like we had really seen something remarkable.
Not only did we gain a lot from the tours, but our next day in Florence was all the more enriched by what we had learned from him the day before. Klaus was just fantastic. I would spend a month in his company if I could! Artviva was just great and if you are going to Florence for the first or the umpteenth time, don't miss out on the opportunity to see it through a different pair of eyes! Well worth every penny! If I'd paid double I would still be saying that.
Thanks Klaus and all the staff at Artviva! I will not make the mistake of not booking a guided tour to other places I visit....as it made our holiday!
Just breathtaking....thanks you so much.

Visited October 2012
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Artviva, Manager at Artviva: The Original & Best Tours Italy, responded to this review, November 1, 2012
The best thing about tours is that you gain an understanding of your new surroundings, therein enriching your time spent in each place and making everything more memorable. In addition to this, Artviva wants to provide our clientele with top of the line guides, who enhance this already beneficial experience. Thank you for the great review on our tours and guides! We are happy to have been a part of your marvelous vacation.
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Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Excellent guide”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

While on a cruise to Italy,my wife and I did the walking tour of Florence. We cannot say enough about how good our guide, Sylvia, was getting there almost ruined the experience. We were picked up with our group in Livorno. Everything on the trip into the city was great. No traffic, making time. Got into Florence and our driver had no idea of how to get to the office to start our tour. We circled around one spot 4 times. One hour in Florence trying to find the office. Extremely disheartening. Finally found the office and Sylvia took over. She was a wealth of information, able to describe the history, use and little known facts of buildings we were walking by. Though she had to speed up tour because we were late and we had an appointment at Academia she didn't skip a beat and put up with our group even though we were cranky due to arriving late. The tour is great because it is up close and with a small group. At Academia she explained the highlights and then let us roam freely to thoroughly enjoy this wonderful museum and see the David up close.

Visited July 2012
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Artviva, Manager at Artviva: The Original & Best Tours Italy, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to respond to us. We’re thrilled you so enjoyed your guided tour with Sylvia! In regards to entering into Florence, recently the council closed off the historical city centre to traffic. They are now repaving many streets to make them more pedestrian friendly. Due to this, on the day of your visit there was a series of unannounced temporary closures meaning your driver could not get to our office using the regular routes. We’re glad that your guide was nonetheless able to show you all the tour inclusions despite this unusual start. Thank you again for your great review about our tour and guide!
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