Saturday, October 24, 2009

50 Days of International Film in Florence

Florence will be host to a prestigious array of film festivals at the Odeon Cinema from October 29th - December 13th, 2009. The ArtViva office is conveniently located right around the corner from the Odeon Cinema.

Artviva is the only tour agency in Florence selling tickets to the film festivals with the added bonus of 10% off any tour purchased with tickets!

The event, promoted by Mediateca Toscana & the Tuscany Film Commission, will be showcasing documentary films from all over the world (with English & Italian subtitles), as well as organising 3 separate festivals dedicated respectively to contemporary French, Finnish and Indian cinema.

Check out the listing below and take your pick!

France Odeon French Film Festival
October 29-31, 2009

Festival dei Popoli International Documentary Film Festival November 1-7, 2009

Florence International Film Festival November 12, 2009

Finnish Film Festival November 13-15, 2009

International Cinema and Women Film Festival November 17-22, 2009

Lo schermo dell'Arte/Contemporary Art Film Festival November 23-29, 2009

Florence Queer Festival November 27-December 3, 2009

River to River Florence Indian Film Festival December 4-10, 2009

New Italian Film December 11, 2009

Ethno-music Film Festival December 12-13, 2009

Please see The Florentine for bi-weekly listing of events in Florence & Tuscany. In the meantime, check out our blog for further events!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Do you see what I see?

Illusion, Deception, Objective Reality vs. Subjective Reality...these are all words that come to mind when describing Trompe-l'oeil artwork.

Trompe-l’oeil, meaning "trick of the eye" is a fascinating genre in art that has been popular for thousands of years. In fact, the earliest trompe-l'oeil pieces are traced back to Greco-Roman mosaics, and the most recent are pieces created by current day artists. The artwork itself is a visual deception, but the most fasicnating concept of this exhibit is whether all the pieces were actually meant to be trompe-l'oeil or, perhaps simply, misunderstood.

What is it that makes a work of art a real trompe l’œil? One of the keys is obviously the artist’s intention: does he want the work of art to "deceive" the observer or, on the contrary, is his work simply an attempt to reproduce an environment faithfully and in a realistic fashion, as for instance with a still life or an anatomical model? The illusion or ambiguity factor is also important in establishing whether a work of art is a trompe l’œil or not. -

The exciting part is deciding for yourself. Florence is now exhibiting this 3-month exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi, which is only about a 10 minute walk from our office. Tickets cost 10Euro, and the exhibit is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. until January 24th .
For more information you can visit the english version of the Palazzo Strozzi website here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Attention: Strike Friday!

To all clients visiting Florence:
There will be a general transportation strike on Friday, October 23rd.

The strike conditions are as follows:

No public transportation (buses): on strike all day
Train schedule: on strike from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
General airline flight (please check your airlines as it may vary depending on company).

There is also a strong possibility of a museum strike on the 23rd, however it is unclear yet as to when that will be decided. We will post all news on the blog as soon as we're aware of the situation. Should there be a strike during the time of a scheduled tour, we will either fully refund our clients, rebook them to antoher day or issue credit towards another tour of their choice.

Please feel free to contact us at: if you have questions or concerns.

..and remember...strikes are just part of "La Bella Vita" here, so don't stress out! It's Italy, and we'll do all that we can to ensure your time spent with us is as enjoyable as possibile!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Florence International Art and Restoration Fair

From the 29th to the 31st of October, The Florence International Art and Restoration Fair will be taking place at Stazione Leopolda Exhibition Center.

The fair will bring together all those working in the artworld, dedicated to the restoration and preservation of masterpieces. Florence is one of the leading cities dedicated to cultural preservation of the arts and has the largest percentage of schools and restorers in the world.

Click here for a full progam of the fair, or visit the english version by clicking the link below:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Florence Film Festival

ArtViva would like to remind all clients that the Florence "50 Days of International Film" Festival is taking place right around the corner and we are the only tourist agency in town selling tickets with the added bonus of 10% off any tour purchased with tickets.

The last film playing in the Odeon theatre will be October 31st. Les Grandes Personnes will be shown in French with subtitles in English. Director Anna Novion will be present as well as the stars of the film, Anaiis Demoustier and Judith Henry. Film buffs, don't miss this spectacular event!

For more information on tickets, please contact us at:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

“Great way to get introduced to Florence”

"Wanting to avoid the huge lines at the Accademia we took Rick Steves advice and booked a walking tour of the museum with Art Viva (

The tour we took was the Original David Tour, which concentrates on the statue of David within the Accademia.

Our guide was excellent and it was obvious to us that she was very passionate about art in general, and Florentine art and Michelangelo's David in particular. She provided some very unique insights into Michelangelo's style and the approachs he used to create this breathtaking statue.
I highly recommend Art Viva. They provide exceptional service and are professional in every way.

TravellerNanaimoB_C_ 1 contribution
Nanaimo B.C.
Oct 9, 2009

"All of the Florence in One Day tours were excellent! Good length and full of interesting information. Christine's sense of humor enhanced the Florence Walking Tour, Sarah brought Michelangelo to life when we visited the Accademia, and Paul made Renaissance art fascinating at the Uffizi. His passion for and knowledge of art was very evident."

Nashville, TN
Oct 9, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

ArtViva now selling International Film Festival tickets

From Thursday the 29th of October until Friday the 17th of December, the Odeon cinema will be showcasing 50 Days of International Film in Florence.
ArtViva will be offering tickets to all of the films, as well as a special 10% discount for any of our tours when purchased along with the tickets. By purchasing through ArtViva, clients will be able to skip the line. For more information on the movies and purchasing tickets, please email us at:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

ArtViva guides are among the best storytellers!

"I recently visited Florence and took an Uffizi Gallery tour with the company Artviva.

The guides are qualified art historians, therefore they are passionate, so the tour is not only informative, but interesting and personable.

I was so impressed I booked for the Original David Tour later that day ( as did most of the morning group). Having the knowledge and story behind the artworks you are looking at makes such a difference.

There are many tour companies in Florence so ensure you get the correct company - Artviva. You can look them up on the internet prior to arriving in Florence.

There any numerous other tours you can take with Artviva and they will bend over backwards to ensure your Florence experience is a memorable one.

I would highly reccommend you take at least one of the tours of Florence offered by Artviva. The highlight of my Florence visit!

Trip Advisor Review
Gina - gandvadventure
September 18, 2009
Italy, France, Greek Islands

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Elisabetta was the most wonderful storyteller!

She brought the art to life with the explanations and made us wish the tour could cover all the museum!


John & Theadora Browning
Washington D.C.

The Brownings joined our Masterpieces of the Uffizi Tour & The Original David Tour on October 6th, 2009.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"Artviva Bike Tours - One of the most authentic experiences of the Tuscan countryside in the hills overlooking Florence..."

"We could not have been more pleased with our Bike Tour, everything about it was fabulous.

The winery was truly beautiful and if we should decide in the future to stay out of the city it will be tops on our list of places to stay. They also had the best white wine I’ve ever drank. The restaurant was great food and very attentive service. Of course, having the place all to ourselves was an added bonus.

We can’t say enough nice things about our guide Giuseppe. He was very informative, had a terrific personality, and made us feel very comfortable. He went out of his way to accommodate us at our every request."

Dallas, Texas
Septe,ber 25, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Trip Advisor Review: “What a wonderful Original Walking tour in Florence!”

"The Original Florence Walk tour was great!

It was wonderful to have our visit to Florence given such interesting context.

The story about the young woman in the Middle Ages & the Plague; the one about the attempted coup on the Medici brothers that took place in the Duomo.

I loved how carefully the guide pointed out to us the "redone" Piazza Republic (done over in the 19th century to be more "modern"), and the comments about the Strozzi Palace (where Strozzi ran out of money to complete it, and the purpose of the bench at the front), and all the other general architectural details on the buildings throughout the city (i.e., what those tiny windows were used for, or the hooks, or how the buildings tended to expand outwards, so bars were run through to strengthen them), comments about the Ponte Vecchio and Orsanmichele were great too. Tidbits about Donatello and other sculptors and artists were woven in nicely as well.

All in all, a lovely tour which helped us contextualize our visit to Florence. It was an especially good choice for my 16 year-old, whose patience with looking at just one painting and church after another had worn a touch thin at this point in the trip.

Just a great tour, I'd recommend it highly. The guide did an excellent job."

Trip Advisor Review from 20th September