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“Great time with Eugene”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Ars Opulenta Tours - CLOSED

Ars Opulenta Tours
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Attraction details
Owner description: Ars Opulenta - Private Custom Tours of Florence and its Environs. I'm Eugene Martinez, private art and history guide, licensed and authorized by the Province of Florence and the Region of Tuscany. I have a degree in in art history and graphic arts from New York University, am a native English speaker, and have been in Tuscany since 1982. I'm passionate about sharing my love and knowledge of the art and culture of Florence. With me, you'll discover that in Florence there is no art without history, no history without art and neither without food and wine. After all, the artists and their patrons had to eat! With me, you'll see that the paintings on the wall and the statues on their pedestals tell us about the people who made them, the people they worked for, the world they lived in. Would you like to combine the culture of art with the culture of food? "Cooking in Chianti"! Join chef and author Antonio Alfani for a day of cooking and feasting in the scenic setting of a converted 10th century church in the florentine Ghianti hills! Let's explore Florence's museums, galleries, churches, artists' studios and more. Mix it up, if you like, with a private tasting of Local delicacies or even of one of Florence's most essential contributions to the world - gelato! I'll turn your vacation in Florence into a Florentine experience you'll never forget.
naples, fl
Level Contributor
414 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
“Great time with Eugene”
Reviewed June 20, 2013

You'll like this guy...hey he's from NYC, been in Florence for 30+ years...fun and knowledgeable. Booked him at the last minute for a tour of Pitti Palace....which was very tiring to walk thru for several hours...don't know how the ancients did it with sandals or whatever but our feet were killing us. Don't hesitate to contact this guide...he offers a variety of services, is flexible and at the end of the 9 days we were happy to be with an American for a change.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Larry K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugene M, Owner at Ars Opulenta Tours, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Hi Larry K! Thanks so much for your kind words. I can tell you that the best antidote to sore feet is the mindboggling art on the walls at the Palatine Gallery! Also, the promise of a cool glass of Prosecco across the street afterwards helps too. I totally enjoyed touring with you, your wife and friends and thank you for having chosen to explore Pitti with me!
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99 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    97
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“What a Day”
Reviewed June 8, 2013

My husband and I had the pleasure of private tour with Eugene in mid May. We had limited time in Florence so decided to arrange a private tour to maximize our sightseeing opportunity; it proved to be well worth it.
We had a fantastic day and learnt so much fro Eugene; he has a way of bringing things to life. Our experience of viewing "David" for the first time would have been nowhere as enjoyable. The private tasting of balsamics, olive oils etc was great fun as was the gelato tasting - what a treat.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank SandyKa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugene M, Owner at Ars Opulenta Tours, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Hello SandyKa! Thank you so much for your kind words. I had a great time with you and your husband, and am especially grateful that, coming from far away New Zealand, you chose me to be your guide to discover the wondrous art, history and foods of Florence.
Sending you both my warmest regards!
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Solomons, Maryland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Amazing Day with Eugene”
Reviewed May 24, 2013

My friend and I love to travel. We do our homework and want to see all of the key sights in a city. As we didn't have enough time in Florence, we decided to splurge on a private tour. We couldn't have picked a better guide than Eugene! He was amazing from start to finish. He replied promptly to our request for info. Answered many questions unrelated to our time together. And, best of all, worked with our wish list to craft an outstanding day.

Because of his art history training and US background, Eugene is very effective as a communicator and educator. And, he's not stuffy at all. He's great fun! I learned more in those 8 hours about art, Florence, and the Renaissance than I had in my life. When he talked about the David statue, I had tears in my eyes just looking at it. He was absolutely marvelous.

One fun suggestion of his was a balsamic tasting and light lunch at Florence's main market. That was a unique, memorable experience. I don't know when I'll be in Florence again, but if I am, I'll definitely spend a day with Ars Opulenta.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Love2BaTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugene M, Owner at Ars Opulenta Tours, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Dear Love2BaTravler,
I'll never forget seeing you get teary eyed before David. It was a beautiful moment for both of us because I, too, have never gotten jaded by the big marble guy. To the contrary, the better I know him, the more I love him.
My day with you two was great fun for me. What can be more fun than to spend time with people who want to soak all this beauty and history up! I do hope that you'll be back in Florence someday. Until then, I send you both a big hug!
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
“A Lonely Planet on open sandals”
Reviewed May 24, 2013

Having already done a cooking class with Eugene in the Tuscan countryside back in 2011, I was already familiar with his eloquent manners and most charming personality. This cooking class –by the way– is also an experience definitely worth looking into. It was hosted by Eugene and his wonderful partner Antonio, very pleasant people to be around. It makes you wish you could enjoy their hospitality, culinary skills & smooth Italian lifestyle more often. Anyway, this last summer, together with my girlfriend I enjoyed a wonderful walk through the historical center of perhaps the prettiest city in the world: Florence. As a host Eugene once again proved himself to be a modest entertainer. Offering us delightful insights, interesting side notes and a way bringing the cities past to the present. He has a way of pulling you into his stories that gives you a great sense of involvement, instead of just being talked to or having to gather your information from a guide book. This at one point made me feel a bit sorry for all travelers walking around with ‘just’ a Lonely Planet or the ones chasing some guide running around with a banner and shouting from under it. As if this all was not enough he gave us an interesting tip after a long Florentine day in the sun: negroni!

Do yourself a favor and give your Italy trip this boost, you won’t regret doing so!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank vkloeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugene M, Owner at Ars Opulenta Tours, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Hi vkloeth! What fun it was to spend an afternoon with you and your beautiful girlfriend, and sharing stories of this incredible city with you. Thank you for your lovely words! Next time you're in town, we'll have a negroni together!
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San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A Great Experience”
Reviewed May 22, 2013

Eugene is a great guide. He brings art and history to life. We spent 8 hours with him over two days and I have to say I learned more, and had more fun learning it, than any class I have ever taken. He is smart, fun, knowledgeable, and listens well to his clients, and so tailors the touring to the interests of those he is touring.

We highly recommend him!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugene M, Owner at Ars Opulenta Tours, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Hi Richard! I thoroughly enjoyed touring in Florence with you and your two friends! Since you are a sculptor, it was especially fun and interesting for me to gaze at Donatello, Verrocchio and Michelangelo, and exchange ideas and impressions. I'm glad you enjoyed spending that time with me and hope to see you all again here in Florence!
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