Saturday, August 18, 2007

Winners Italy Travel Writing Competition

The winners of the Italy Travel Writing Competition are those that reached publication status on our blog below. Congratulations to all published entrants! All winners- please ensure you contact us with your correct mail address so we can post your prizes!

Long Lunch

"Long Lunch " Painting by Rick Everingham

Stable Door

"Stable Door " Painting by Rick Everingham

Tellaro Harbour

"Tellaro Harbour" painting by Rick Everingham, Italy

Red Door

"Red Door " Painting by Rick Everingham, Italy

Venice Corner

"Venice Corner" Painting by Rick Everingham

Hill Town Near Carrara

"Hill Town Near Carrara " Painting by Rick Everingham

Rick Everingham -Artist in Tuscany

Rick Everingham
Rick Everingham has been dreaming of Italy since 1977. That was the year of his first visit to Tuscany, the year that he decided Florence was the most beautiful city he'd ever seen. Everingham, an Australian native, has been a professional painter for 38 years (he has recently added sculpture to his repetoire). Italy has been his greatest inspiration and, since 1999, his adopted homeland. His paintings capture the heart and soul of the country through use of the simplest of images: a shady alleyway, an ancient bridge, the crumbling facade of a building in an idyllic Italian town. He paints the scenes he loves, the ones he sees all around him in his home in Tuscany and those glimpsed during his travels throughout Italy. In a world full of dark and troubling images, Everingham paints peaceful, life affirming scenes infused with light and color. His work is wonderfully evocative. “If I can paint a picture and it gives me the same feeling I had when I saw it for the first time, then I know it's right.” His work reminds us that there is, as Everingham says, “an abundance of simple beauty still in the world, waiting wherever we choose to find it.” He tells the story of an exhibition in Brisbane. An Italian woman walked into the gallery and stood in the middle of the room looking at his paintings. She burst into tears, saying, “They are so beautiful. They feel like home.” For Everingham, there could be no higher compliment.
You can view selected paintings and sculptures at the Walking Tours office at Via Sassetti, 1 in Florence. For more information please contact or see the exhibition on our web site at

Young, Innovative Hotelier Changes the Face of Florence's Luxury HotelsJK Place Florence

Young, Innovative Hotelier Changes the Face of Florence's Luxury Hotels

Just a few brief steps from Florence's famed Renaissance church, Santa Maria Novella, you'll find a discreet and elegant door of glass and carved wood, through which you'll enter JK Place, a hotel like no other. Ori Kaffrey, Florentine born hotelier, created the four star JK Place with a vision beyond that of the cliched luxury hotel. By incorporating impeccable service, unique design and a welcoming, gracious ambience, Kaffrey's hotel is beyond the ordinary, a truly special hospitality experience in which visitors feel as though they'd stepped into the home that they'd always dreamed of. Says Kaffrey, “At JK Place, our visitors don't feel like clients, they feel like guests, as if I were in my own home, personally inviting people in.” JK Place is Refined and elegant, but more importantly, warm, inviting and utterly unforgettable in its detailing and service. The design is timeless and classic with a contemporary twist: soothing beiges, grays, browns and whites with fresh flowers and the occasional vibrant print to catch the eye and lift the spirit. With only 20 rooms, and a staff of 24, including a professional concierge, JK Place excels in service. In fact, it is the foundation upon which Kaffrey built his hotel. “The real luxury,” he says, “Is the time we put into satisfying our guests' every desire. We are their guardian angels during their stay.” For Kaffrey, being a hotelier is not merely a job, it's a passion. Fortunately for us, he's taking that passion to new locales, he opened a second JK Palace in Capri in May and we can only hope that there are more to come.
For more information about Ori Kaffrey's marvelous hotels, please visit the JK Place website at :

Summer 2007 Newsletter

Welcome to the summer issue of the Walking Tours Newsletter! Glorious summer, or the bella stagione as it is known in Italy, has finally arrived! The days are warm and sunny and the nights are perfect for an evening stroll along the cobbled streets. The city's museums, including the Galleria Accademia, home to Michelangelo's David, and the Uffizi Gallery - world's largest collection of Renaissance art - have extended their opening hours. Outdoor events abound: jazz, classical music and rock concerts under the stars as well as exhibits and readings. And that's just within the city limits, the surrounding countryside bursts to life in the summer months. The Chianti Festival offers a wealth of outdoor plays and concerts. Food festivals called sagre give you a chance to sample each village's local delicacies . There's no better time to visit vineyards for wine tastings and to see some of Italy's most breathtaking scenery.You'll need a place to rest your head after all of that sight seeing, and Florence's hotels are better than ever. Below you can read interviews with a fascinating hotelier, whose vision and innovation led him to create one of Florence's most unique, and beautiful, hotels . You'll also find an interview with Rick Everingham, an extraordinary contemporary painter.We hope to see you soon! In the meantime, don't forget to visit out website at for all of our latest tours and services. Let us help you to create the vacation of a lifetime.