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“Terrible Loss”
Review of Ars Opulenta Tours - CLOSED

Ars Opulenta Tours
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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.
Reviewed January 17, 2014

One of the most talented and exciting guides we've ever came across.
First time I wrote to Eugene he sent us a huge response, full of detailed information. From that point it was clear that he loved his job.
Our experience in Firenze (oct 2013) was awesome.

We're very sorry that he left us recently.

Thank thepinheiros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (99)
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5 - 9 of 99 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2014

We had the pleasure of meeting Eugene in Florence for a tour of the market, followed by a cooking class with his partner Antonio.

The two were the most gracious hosts in their home, where the cooking class took place. The class was relaxed, informal, and very educational. The two ensured that we were comfortable, well, fed, and provided wonderful wine from local vineyards. The recipes were authentic Italian recipes from Antonio's family.

We spent the entire afternoon and evening deep in conversation over the dinner we made (brown butter chicken, pasta with a squash blossom puree, and heavenly hazelnut chocolate cake) and Antonio and Eugene were one of the most interesting duos we have ever encountered. We were so sad to leave at the end of our evening!

What a tragedy that Eugene has passed away. The world has lost a beautiful soul. Antonio plans to continue classes and selling the cookbook that he and Eugene had published. He will also be teaching classes in New York at some point. Do not overlook this opportunity to meet a great chef, instructor, and an unforgettable way to spend an afternoon.

1  Thank Betsy0903
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2013

My daughter and I along with two other Canadian couples had a wonderful time with Eugene in Florence in September. Sadly, writing a review was on my to-do list, but somehow never got done.

I've just heard the incredibly sad news that Eugene passed away suddenly from a heart attack in early November. So anyone hoping for a unique, passionate and personalized "insider's" tour guide in Florence will miss out on the joy he shared with us that day.

My condolences to all those who knew and loved Eugene.
I'm so glad we were able to spend a day with him before his time on earth ended.

Janice and Samantha

Thank JJCanada521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013 via mobile

Eugene met us at the train station and from there he did the impossible, he showed us Florence in one day. We wanted to see it all in a short time. With his stories and knowledge he helped us to see and understand the city, it's people and the art without feeling rushed. We are not educated in the arts but had read ahead to try and have some basics. He took our very basic knowledge and brought the art alive. I can't imagine Florence without Eugene. When we were all tired and hungry he introduced us to a wonderful family owned restaurant where we had
Delicious Tuscan beef.
Refreshed and invigorated we toured the Uffizi. We all learned so much and left wishing we had more time to spend with our new friend. Speaking of time, he got us through the lines very quickly. We will remember Eugene and of course " David" fondly.

Thank Skw1230
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2013

We have now been back a few weeks, from our long awaited European holiday, and when we recall our trip and the memories we have, one of our fondest memories is that of our day trip to Florence from Rome.

Our visit to Florence was made very interesting and memorable because of a chance encounter with Eugene Martinez through a Canadian couple and their daughter we met in Rome. This family had toured Florence with Eugene and they highly recommended him.

Our tour of Florence with Eugene was very educational, informative and entertaining. As the saying goes "you learn something new everyday". We learnt quite a few new things that day - ballot, movement in a statute, building architecture, lifestyle of a past era and more.

Eugene is very knowledgeable and passionate about his city (he is a New Yorker - but Florence is now his adoptive city). He wants his guest to experience and know or to have some appreciation and understanding for this beautiful city.

The visit with David at his home (the Accamedia Gallery) was an eye-opener.

We are glad to have toured Florence with Eugene and we would recommend his services to our friends and family who intend to visit Italy.

Olive and Doug
Perth, Australia

Thank Doug S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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