Thursday, December 18, 2008

Virtual Cinque Terre Walking Tour

video Here's a taste of our walking tour at the Cinque Terra ...

Cinque Terra Tour Sunset

Sunset...

Cinque Terra Tour

Moss on a stone wall...

Restaurant Cinque Terra


Cinque Terre Tour Lazy Lunch

Ravioli-Ligurian style....

Cinque Terra Tour

Pesto in the land where it was invented!

Cinque Terra Tour Lazy Lunch

Primi Piatti, ligurian olives in a soup, local white wine...

Cinque Terra Walking Tour

Sea food salad...delicious!

Cinque Terra Walking Tour Lunch Stop

A lazy Sunday lunch...

Cinque Terra Walking Tours

Sunset washing on the Cinque Terra...

Cinque terra Walking Tour

Traditional mural designs...

A Walking Tour on the Cinque Terre

A Passage with Madonna ...

Cinque Terre Walking Tour

Olive Harvest Time...

Cinque Terre Walking Tour

Views past the olive trees to the wine dark sea...

A Sunday Afternoon Walk on the Ligurian Coast

A Walking Tour on the ligurian coast. Snow on the distant alps...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Private Venice Tours

If you're visiting Venice over the holidays, why not make it more memorable with a breathtaking tour into the heart of Venice? ArtViva Original & Best Walking Tours presents: My Exclusive- The Original and Best Gondola Tour.

Take the Original Gondola Tour with your own private tour guide! Learn about the real Venice, and the secrets she holds, through the eyes and ears of a Venetian Gondolier. He travels through the archipelago of this amazing city and enthrals with tales of ancient rites, secret symbols, high drama, and colourful characters. This is no ordinary tour.

For more information email us at: staff@artviva.com, or click here to book online!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Venice Glimpses Venice Tours

Having a coffee in St Marks Square.....


videoSee St Marks on our one of our original and best Venice Tours

Olive Harvest Glimpse

November is time for the olive harvest...which means wonderful fresh oil!
Here is a little glimpse of olive pickers we spied on route on a recent The Best of Tuscany Tour...
To sample wonderful Tuscan olive oil you can visit producers and walk through olive groves on our tours. Try our Best of Tuscany Tour, our Mornings in Tuscany Tour, our Taste of Tuscany Tour, our Bike Tuscany Tour, and Chianti Wine Castle Tour to taste and buy wonderful olive oils produced on the estates we visit.


video

Original Best Gondola Tours Venice

Why not try our Original Gondola Tour

The only tour of its kind in Venice! Experience quintessential Venice as we unlock the ancient world of the Gondola

Enter another world and leave the tourist hordes behind while we discover quintessential Venice at its most sensual best. We provide the keys to understanding the world’s most fascinating and unique city. To unlock the secrets of mysterious Venice you have to experience it as Venetians have for over a millennia. No one knows Venice like the Gondoliers that have plied the waters of this marvelous archipelago for centuries. What better way to learn about Venice than through the masters of the archetypal gondola guilds who will bring their world to life through our talented storytellers. Our weavers of Venice’s magic will enthrall you with tales of ancient rites, secret symbols, high drama and colorful characters- all amid stunning surroundings. What’s more we’ll gain the secrets of the fascinating and ancient gondola craft whilst plying iridescent canals. We will glide through history, experiencing achingly beautiful classic Venetian water scenes, where we chase the merry tinkling of Venetian accents disappearing around corners before we even catch a glimpse. We’ll be enveloped by history while we learn the traditional greeting of the gondoliers and sweeten to their merry sing-songy cadences as we see the water faintly lapping on moss covered facades, the colours’ seeping century by century, drip by drip into Venice’s mysterious lagoons. We’ll then continue on foot to explore the labyrinth maze of hidden tiny picturesque canals, tantalizingly mysterious byways, charming squares and magnificent palaces while seeing Venice’s own ‘Leaning Tower’, the ‘street of the assassins’, alleries, and Venice’s trendiest celebrity hang out. The Grand Finale-we’ll experience one of the world’s most famous views, a stunning vista of St Marks …Camera essential!

Book here for the Gondola Tour

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Original and Best Gondola Tour


September and October in Italy are busy months, as all the hotspots are packed with fall-time travelers. If you are tired of being pushed and pulled around town in a large group, following your guide with his umbrella up in the air, then we may have the perfect alternative for you: Why not experience Italy as an Italian- Or better yet, as a Venetian? Become part of an intimate group, no larger than 11. Prepare to be amazed as you step into the gondola, and escape into a beautiful mysterious past that will engulf your senses and imagination, as you leave all the tourists behind.

ArtViva Walking Tours, based in Florence, Italy, is now opening up the tour world to a new amazing experience: TheOriginal and Best Gondola Tour. Learn about the real Venice, and the secrets she holds, through the eyes and ears of a Venetian Gondolier as he travels through the archipelago of this amazing city and enthrals you with tales of ancient rites, secret symbols, high drama, and colourful characters. This is no ordinary tour.

Undoubtedly on of the most famous cities in the world, Venice is known by many names. From La Serenissima (the most serene) Queen of the Adriatic, to City of Bridges, Light and Water, everyone agrees that there is a magnetic pull which brings millions of tourists every year to discover the magic of this misty city. Although there are certainly an abundance of walking tours around Venice, ArtViva provides a truly original and breathtaking experience so you can experience, sense and feel Venice like a true Venetian.

The Original and Best of Gondola Tour takes you through the mysterious, dauntingly beautiful archipelago, unlocking the city’s secrets as your personal gondolier navigates the canals and your own personal storyteller regales you with the city’s secrets. Leave the hordes of tourists and step into the enchanting world of narrow canals, beautiful ancient bridges and a history that will envelope and fascinate you. Learn about Venice’s ancient rites, secret symbols, history, and drama. Afterwords, we will take you by foot through the narrow canal streets, through the charming squares and finally show you a grand finale of St.Mark’s square. Bring your camera, and take photos, because friends back home will never believe what an amazing, sensory experience you’ve had.



Monday, September 1, 2008

The Original David

Arguably one of the most famous pieces of artwork in the world, The David-sculpted by Michelangelo-is proudly housed in the Accademia museum in Florence. The millions of tourists who visit Florence each year can see a copy of the David outside of Palazzo Vecchio, but ask anyone who’s seen the real David, and they’ll tell you the exact copy and the original are nothing alike. The Original David is an experience in and of itself, and will leave you in awe after experiencing it firsthand.

ArtViva Walking Tours offers a one-hour tour that takes you to the Original David inside the Accademia museum. And as Walking Tours knows all too well, half the beauty of the artwork is knowing the story behind it. Listen to stories about the amazing creation of The David. Learn the truth behind the rumors about its creator, Michelangelo, the “Bill Gates of Florence”.You will also see other works of art by Michelangelo before the grand finale of The David, which we guarantee will leave you breathless. The tour ends in the Accademia museum, so you will time after the tour ends to browse the famous sculptures on your own.

Artviva is well known throughout Italy for offering high-quality, smaller group scheduled tours. Our tours are only conducted in English and entertain as much as they inform. We have been featured on BBC World, The History Channel, Time Magazine, as well as recommended and praised by our clients- and celebrities- from all around the globe.From Rick Steve's to Lonely Planet, to internet sites such as TripAdvisor, our tours are constantly being talked about. We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service, entertaining, informative and fun tours, that leave a lasting impression on all of our clients and create memories that last a lifetime.
For more information on our Original David tour and others, please visit us at:
www.italy.artviva.com or email us at: staff@artviva.com

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Masterpieces of the Uffizi


The Uffizi Gallery is a must-see stop in Florence. The world-famous museum houses masterpieces of the some of the greatest artists the Renaissance and Primitive period produced. Masterpieces by genius painters such as: Botticelli, Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Correggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo and Caravaggio will leave you breathless. As you walk from room to room our guide will explain the painting, background and techniques of select works of art. You will be transfixed and fascinated hearing the real stories of paintings that changed art forever: who the real Venus was in Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, how DaVinci genius was cultivated, why the artworks and the gallery were created. Booking Masterpieces of the Uffizi with Walking Tours allows you to skip the lines and enjoy the artwork immediately. The tour ends in the Uffizi Museum so clients are encouraged to take time afterwards to browse paintings on their own. For bookings and more information, please visit us on our website or email us at: staff@artviva.com

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rome in One Glorious Day


Artviva Walking Tours has been praised for its successful, small group tours that are based in Florence, Italy. This year, because of high demand, they’ve expanded their public tour sector to include tours in Venice as well as Rome.

Enjoy famous sites and learn the amazing history of the Eternal City on the Original Rome Walk. This 3.5 hour tour visits such sites as: the Coliseum, the Arch of Constantine, Via Sacra, Arch of Titus, the Trevi Fountain, Ponte Sant’Angelo, and much, much more. ArtViva’s expert guides make history come alive and give entertaining and informative tours that will leave clients with memories to last a lifetime.

If clients wish to partecipate in Rome in One Glorious Day, the next stop after the Original Rome Walk is the Vatican Tour. Masterpieces of the Vatican and St.Peters is the 3.5 hour tour that takes you to the world famous collection of masterpieces that are centuries old. Highlights include: The Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s Dome, the Chiaramonti Collection, Stanza Rotonda, Raphael Rooms, Bramante’s Triple Gallery and more.

The Original Rome Walk and Masterpieces of the Vatican cost 50Euros each. If clients choose to participate in both Rome tours, we offer a special discount with the total package of Rome in One Glorious Day costing 90Euro. For a detailed list of all the famous sites visited on the tours, please visit ArtViva online.

All of ArtViva’s public Rome tours can also be taken as private tours for a more personal, enriching experience. Clients are encouraged to experience a private tour with their family or close friends while one of ArtViva’s renowned guides will regale them not only with Rome’s fascinating history, but also with stories and anecdotes not found in
history books at home.

ArtViva Walking Tours has been around for years- and they are all over the place. From Rick Steve's to Lonely Planet, to internet sites such as TripAdvisor, ArtViva tours are constantly being talked about. They are proud of providing excellent customer service, and offering entertaining, informative and fun tours, that leave a lasting impression. ArtViva- The Best and Original. For more information on Rome in One Glorious Day, please visit: http://www.italy.artviva.com/ or email us at: staff@artviva.com

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fireworks and Feasting, Venetian-Style

Come join us in Venice July 20-21 for the historic Festa del Redentore, held every year since 1577.The festival offers Venetians the opportunity to remember and give thanks for surviving the Plague of 1575-77, when over 50,000 people (almost a third of the population) were struck down. Venice pledged to build the church of the Redeemer if the city was saved from the Pest.

After the scourge had passed, the famed architect Palladio built the Church of the Redeemer on the island of Giudecca. Every year since, a temporary bridge has been built to span the Guidecca Canal and permit Venetians to attend thanksgiving mass at the basilica.Venetians use this occasion to throw a weekend-long party. It all starts Saturday evening at 19:00 when the bridge is officially opened and Venetians arrive in St. Mark's Basin in their boats to await fireworks at 23:30.

Everyone decorates their boats with brightly colored lights, sings, and feasts on traditional dishes while onboard. Those without a boat of their own can sit on the fondamentas and watch the spectacle from dry land. Make sure you arrive early to find a good view of the Basin!

After the fireworks, head to Blue Moon Beach on the Lido where there will be live music until dawn, with breakfast being served to all still awake at 6:00.Take advantage of the bridge on Sunday to attend one of the many masses held at the church, and then find a good perch canalside, because starting at 16:00 you can cheer on men, women, and children as they compete in the Regata del Redentore. Brightly colored racing gondolas rowed "Venetian-style" (standing up) vy to see who will cross the finish line first!

Finish the weekend with a mass at the church of the Redentore at 19:00, celebrated by Cardinal Patriarch Angelo Scola.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Private Tours and Unforgettable Experiences: Only with ArtViva

Artviva is well known throughout Italy for offering high-quality, smaller group scheduled tours. Our tours are only conducted in English and entertain as much as they inform. We have been featured on BBC World, The History Channel, Time Magazine, as well as recommended and praised by our clients- and celebrities- from all around the globe. Although ArtViva specializes in small public tours, our exclusive, one-of-a-kind private tours offer a different, more exclusive experience that will leave memories of your trip to the Bel Paese lasting a lifetime.

All of our public tours can be taken as private tours for a more personal, enriching experience. Why not experience a private tour with your family and one of our renowned guides who will regale you not only with Florence’s fascinating history, but also with stories and anecdotes not found in your history books at home?

Because ArtViva recognizes the needs of the affluent traveler, just as much as we recognize the budgeted needs of the travelling student, we now offer tours that go above and beyond your typical walk through the city.

Imagine a tour of the Uffizi with Maurizo Seracini, an art detective who was mentioned in the DaVinci Code. Or your very own private course in painting, cooking, gilding or wine tasting, taught to you by an authentic Italian expert in the field? Imagine having supper in a private palace with your closest friends and Italian aristocrat, or learning the step-by-step writing process from a best selling author who lives in Italy and writes about her experiences here. The world is at your fingertips through ArtViva experiences, all you have to do is ask.

ArtViva Walking Tours has been around for years- and we're all over the place. From Rick Steve's to Lonely Planet, to internet sites such as TripAdvisor, our tours are constantly being talked about. We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service, entertaining, informative and fun tours, that leave a lasting impression on all of our clients and create memories that last a lifetime.

For more information on our Private and personalized Tours please visit us online or email us at: privatetours@artviva.com

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Everybody's Talking...

ArtViva Walking Tours has been around for years- and we're all over the place. From Rick Steve's to Lonely Planet, to internet sites such as TripAdvisor, our tours are constantly being talked about. We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service, entertaining, informative and fun tours. We care about what our customers think and feedback is essential to us so that we may keep our clients satisfied and coming back for more tours. If you have any questions or would like to give us feedback, don't hesitate to contact us- we welcome any comments or suggestions.

Here's what they've been saying so far...

Original Florence Walk:
The Florence Walking Tour came alive with your tour guide. We had a private tour later on in the day (with another agency) and it was nowhere as good or as factual!

Outstanding presentation with excellent knowledge…most importantly a great sense of humor. The best tour I’ve been on…lot’s of fun.

Very good manner, the right mix of information and history without being overwhelming.

Excellent Job! Clear, precise, informative in her presentation with just the right details! Excellent tour! True taste of Florence, History and Culture!
Excellent. The guide was extremely knowledgeable, entertaining and funny. She brought Florence to life for us. We wish she was leading our tour tomorrow but we trust the new guide will be fabulous as well.

We were taken on two tours: the Uffizi and the Academia. Our guide had a dynamic way of selecting a set of the most interesting pieces and bringing them to life with stories about their history. We were happy to have her for both tours. The tour was great- about the right length for a person with general interest. The audio devices were excellent.


Mornings in Tuscany:
The best! Our guide was funny, helpful, intelligent- charming and handsome!!

A wonderful chance to sample the Tuscan countryside for those of us travelling without a car! Enjoyed the walk, the villa was beautiful and the meal very nice. Our guide was exuberant and entertaining, knowledgeable and fun. We have really enjoyed all the tours so far- keep it up!

I don’t think you could have a better guide than ours! Mornings in Tuscany was everything I hoped it would be. A lovely walk and lunch. I hope to do it again sometime!

Excellent. Thoughtful, entertaining, well informed and good company! The tour was the right length, enough exercise, enough culture!

Excellent tour! I would do it again and recommend it to others! The food-wine tasting was the most enjoyable!

Fantastic! Our guide was excellent! Kept spirits up despite a little bit of rain. The tour was lovely and relaxing, well placed, and a good lunch included!

Taste of Tuscany:
Thoroughly enjoyable and worth the money. Wish I was here to do another one!

Best of Tuscany:
We had a very fun guide! Very informative, Great Suggestions!
A wonderful day- high point was San Gimignano and The Farm. We had a fabulous guide- taught us so much! Wonderful, perfecto!

Our guide was very a joy and pleasant. Very knowledgeable about the area and not a single question he could not answer. Thank you so much. Loved the tour, the winery, the cities.

Our guide was excellent, informed, friendly and very accommodating to individual needs. Once the bus came to pick us up it was fabulous- what amazing towns! We will tell our travel agent to continue recommending this tour and your agency!
Fantastic! Our guide was very knowledgeable about area and historic significance- will book with him again on my return.

We had a fantastic time on the morning walking tour! The meal was second to none. Our guide was a great guide and very knowledgeable. Thank you very much!
Great experience. Relaxing and fun, one of the most enjoyable moments in Florence by far. Guide was knowledgeable and friendly, very conscientious of our safety.

Masterpieces of the Uffizi:
Great Job! Articulate and informative! Passionate…the best guide yet!
The two tours (Original David and Uffizi Tour) were well worth the cost. They provided enough depth to let me learn and see the highlights in very large museums. Otherwise, it would have been truly exhausting & overwhelming as a first time visitor. I would highly recommend your tour to others.

Our tour guide was outstanding. Very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and entertaining. She made the art come alive and brought enough background of the art history and knowledge of the artist to make it extremely fabulous! I can’t think of any way to make it better. Exceptionally well organized and the headsets worked well.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Original Tuscany Bike Tour



"I have had little experience with biking, but found this a great tour. Just the right amount of different riding. The olive oil stop and lunch was fantastic. I'd recommend it to anyone!!!"


If you are looking for a tour that offers something a little different than the typical walk through the city, why not try The Original Tuscany Bike Tour? We take you out of the city of Florence towards sights that will leave a lasting impression: Visit a fabulous Renaissance Villa, stroll through a private hunting estate, visit olive groves and vineyards. You'll stop along the way to eat lunch at a famous Tuscan restaurant with views that will leave you breathless. Stop at Michelangelo's favorite church and take in the view from Piazza Michelangelo. We guarantee this is one bike ride that you'll never forget.

For more info: please visit www.italy.artviva.com

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Taste of Tuscany at the Villa



Anyone can come to Italy and find a restaurant that has decent food and is well known- but many are in search of a more 'authentic' dining experience. Clients are always asking us for restaurants that provide the authentic Italian-Tuscan experience without the tourists. We have an original experience for you, if this is what you are looking for.

A Taste of Tuscany at the Villa provides our clients with an exclusive dining experience. This private Renaissance Villa is surrounded by gardens and provides views of the Tuscan countryside. You'll also be able to brag about eating in a famous place- it was featured in two films: 'A Room with a View' and 'Tea with Mussolini'.

For more information, please visit our website at: http://www.italy.artviva.com/italytravel_best_tours_tour/tuscany_tour/taste_of_tuscany_at_the_villa

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Perfect Morning in Tuscany


Hike ancient paths through Tuscan olive groves...view Florence spread out in all its glory from the hilltop town of Fiesole...pass through ancient Roman and Etruscan ruins...stand in the very place where Leonardo tested his famous flying machine...visit the hillside stoneworks where Michelangelo learned his craft...enjoy a gourmet Tuscan lunch with wine on a Villa Estate...

Experience a Perfect Morning in Tuscany.

"The tour guide was delightful, knowledgeable and enthusastic! The tour was a lovely hike through the countryside and the lunch was wonderful. Beautiful views- perfect!"

"We thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of it. We will never forget the impression that it has left on us."

"We loved lunch and the walking tour. We got to see beautiful views. We definitely recommend this to anybody."

Monday, June 2, 2008

Best of Tuscany


Siena and San Gimingano have long been known for their spectacular countryside views and delicious wine. On the Best of Tuscany Tour, we take you there on a beautiful trip through the countryside on the same paths that famous artists from years past walked themselves. The full day tour ends with a wine tasting and a truly delicious lunch at an authentic Tuscan wine estate.


"Fantastic tour guide...enjoyed the commentary and insight into the history of Tuscany. Most enjoyable, and among the best tours I have ever been on."

"Especially enjoyed the farm where the owners seemed to have time for everyone."

"The most beautiful day in Tuscany by far. It was exactly as we dreamed it would be. The tour has definitely made me want to come back and spend more time in Tuscany."

Friday, May 30, 2008

Comments on our Castle Wine Tour




We've recently introduced a new tour and we're excited to be recieving rave reviews. The Marvelous Chianti Castle Wine Tour takes place in a historic castle in the Chianti Hills and includes wine tastings and a light Tuscan lunch. You not only will learn about wine production, but also about the fascinating history of the Medieval and Renessiance families who once lived in the very castle you will be visiting. Don't take our word for it, though. Here are some comments from those who participated in the tour this week:

"Wonderful location, history, countryside. The host of the winetasting was wonderful...fantastic guide, lots of information, very personal, would highly recommend!"

"This tour will probablly be the highlight of my trip. I saw jaw dropping views of the Tuscan countryside and will recommend it to all my friends."

To find out more about this tour and others, please visit our website at: www.italy.artviva.com

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Maurizio Seracini - 60 Minutes!

We are pleased to announce the exciting special produced by CBS 60 Minutes on the work of Maurizio Seracini, an internationally renowned art sleuth, concerning his 30 year search for the lost Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece. Maurizio Seracini is available for exclusive private visits to the site of the search in the stunning Palazzo Vecchio under the Artviva Exclusive Experiences program. Contact Rose Magers rose@artviva.com for more information.

See a video from CBS 60 Minutes by clicking here

See links to our site and more information about Maurizio Seracini and bookings for Artviva Exclusive Experiences here

See also our new My Prestigious Great Art Mysteries tour of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence for an insight into Maurizio Seracini's fascinating work.