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“Elisabetta is THE resource you need for your trip to Florence!”

Tuscany Tour Guides Private Day Tours
Ranked #70 of 331 Tours in Florence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Discover Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and the other jewels of Tuscany with us!
Frontenac, Missouri
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Elisabetta is THE resource you need for your trip to Florence!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2014

My husband and I were planning our first trip to Italy, with time in Florence, Tuscany and Lake Como. We were taking our grown daughters and their husbands/boyfriends. Fortunately, we have an exceptional travel agent in St. Louis and she was amazing in lining things up with our three hotels and our airfare. We also have many friends who've traveled to Italy so we had oodles of recommendations, but the trip really took shape when we started working with Elisabetta Marchi, an experienced guide in Florence and Siena. We were specific about our preferences...whenever possible, we wanted to dine al fresco...we would prefer "locals" spots over tourist meccas...we were interested in half-day tours and wanted to start early each day...we did not want to drive ourselves...we wanted private tours so we could adapt and change it if necessary. When we arrived in Milan, Elisabetta had a driver for us and it was all A+ from that moment forward!

In our trip planning, we had the Academia, Ponte Vecchio, Santa Croce and other highlights in mind. We can't rave enough about our guide, Tiziana! She and Elisabetta had customized a walking tour for us and it was PERFECT -- they are terrific listeners! It is not just "one size fits all" like so many tours. Our guide was funny and smart and energetic -- and flexible. She handled the timed tickets for us and still modified things along the way, based on our comments. I must also mention one of the true highlights of our trip: Elisabetta knew that this was an anniversary trip for us so she asked if we were interested in a photographer who could take photos of our entire family. We thought it was a terrific idea and she introduced us to Alberto. I wish I could attach some of his photos to this review. He suggested that we opt for photos of our Florence walking tour and they are ADORABLE -- beautiful candid (and some posed) shots in that incredible setting!!!

We also had specific ideas like a cooking school for all 6 of us. I had done some research on the classes offered through our hotels and they seemed fine. When I mentioned this to Elisabetta, she proposed a class at Mama Cooking School in Florence -- the couple who runs it is amazing, the chef was adorable and talented, our feast was incredible and the facility was beautiful. The class was less expensive than the hotels' and it was the most fun experience that we had!! We have recommended this to everyone!!

I had also mentioned to Elisabetta that we would like to spend some time in the countryside, perhaps in Chianti. Again, I had done some research and found some cheese tastings...Elisabetta recommended a trip to Corzano e Paterno. She arranged the driver...Leonardo was a safe driver and very entertaining... the tour and tasting was AMAZING and in an incredible setting...and Elisabetta arranged lunch for a us at an outdoor restaurant (formerly a stable) and we could have cried because the lunch was sooooo delicious. We toured Greve in Chianti along the way -- all ideas from Elisabetta.

I know this review is extremely long but I also wanted to rave about another idea from E. On our way to Lake Como, she suggested that we take a detour to Parma. We LOVED it! We actually toured (and lunched at) a prosciutto factory -- no one does that!!! Once again, the guide she chose for us was so knowledgeable and fun...it was a perfect way to break up the day and to see more of the countryside. She had also arranged our beloved driver so it was an extremely entertaining travel day.

Okay, the last thing I must exclaim about is the guide she found for us in Cernobbio. For our first morning, we thought it would be great to have a private tour of Lake Como. Anna lives in Bellagio and she was outstanding. She was soooooo good...we learned so much about the area...she recommended lunch spots and gardens that we wouldn't have chosen...and the balance of our trip was exceptional, thanks to her.

Here are the headlines of what I have told my travel agent and my friends about Elisabetta: She is a terrific listener and she truly cares about matching clients with their activities/guides. She is incredibly smart and is a fabulous emailer (and so darn funny too!). She follows up on everything -- everyone she arranged for us was EARLY. We didn't have to follow up with anyone (but I had their contact info just in case). Prior to our trip, she prepared a spreadsheet for me -- including the method of payment -- so I knew how much I would need for each tour and whether I needed Euros or a card. On every prior trip, there was always a guide who kind of "phoned it in" or was just doing a standard tour...we can't even name a favorite person from our Italy trip because they were all outstanding. We learned so much from each driver and each guide. We can't thank Elisabetta enough for all of the work she did for us!!! Grazie!!!!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Connie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
HK
Level Contributor
1 review
“Our excellent guide, our friend Elizabetta Marchi”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2014

I came across Elizabetta after I checked with recommended guides from Trip Advisor. Elizabetta put together a nine days tour of Florence, Siena, Pisa/Lucca, Arezzo/Cortona, Monteriggioni, Montepulciano/Pienza etc for us. She is not an operator but she would spend time on organizing the chauffeur service, and having other wine expert guides in Tuscany to satisfy us. In another words, she was actually making efforts in arranging something that is beyond her normal service.

She is intelligent, humorous, and kind hearted. She knows the history and art of her country well. The most important thing is that she takes pride in presenting these facts everyday to different people. I would not have imagined the long queue of Uffizi and Accademia if she was not there to take care of the pre-booked tickets!

On one of the full day tour we have spent too much time in Ponte Vecchio and it was near the end of the tour, but we still want to catch a glimpse of Boboli Garden. It was her husband's birthday that day and she still took us there and we walked on the boundary only as it was impossible to walk the entire garden. This is a guide who really attends to demanding tourists like us!

Elizabetta has reommended wonderful homestead villas and an Abbey turned into lodge in Siena and in Montepulciano. The latter, The Locanda dell'Amorosa in Sinalunga is beau-tiiii-fullll!

And I forgot to mention the restaurants she recommended in various towns, they were all very good. No disappointments!

A guide with a .magical touch, she will make you feel that she is a close friend or family after the first two days. I read reviews from other tourists in the forum, and not surprised to find that there re other people who feel the same way! Therefore I intend to keep her as a dear friend, and promised to keep in touch.

We have together discovered a secret place in Florence which she did not even know. I will not mention it here and hope that this special place remains to be a token of our friendship. And we shall no doubt spend sometime there during our next trip to Florence.

See you again soon perhaps in 2015!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank LindaYin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“One-of-a-kind Guide”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2014

Elisabetta did a fantastic job coordinating a ten day Italian adventure for our group of six. We stayed in Florence, Fiesole and Lake Como and wanted to not only see the main sights but also get a taste for rural Italy. A few of the highlights included touring a prosciutto factory (tasting afterwards of course), touring a wine/cheese farm (incredible, organic products), and a personal tour of Florence combined with a photographer following us around all day to capture some great snapshots of our family walking around the city. Elisabetta truly customized our experience to be perfect for us. If you get a chance to go to Italy, do it right -- work with Elisabetta!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Libby B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kristiansand, Norway
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The best way to experience Florence and Tuscany!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2014

If you are looking for guide in Florence, you can stop looking, you found her! Elisabetta Marchi is the best guide you can ever imagine. Her knowledge of Florence, Tuscany and the rest of Italy for that matter, is incredible. We contacted Elisabetta for a couple of months ago for a two-day guided tour of Chianti, as well as highlights of Florence's sights. From the first moment she took part in the planning so we would get the best experience and see the best sights in Florence and Chianti. She helped us even with restaurant suggestions and table reservations. Elisabetta took care of us before, during and even after the guidance was over, and always with a humorous comment. Highly recommended.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Bjørn T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“2 exceptional days with Elisabetta”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2014

I recently went to Tuscany with a group of 8, many of whom had never been to Italy. To help bring the riches of the country alive for them I hired Elisabetta as a guide for San Gimignano, Siena, and Florence. In addition to cultural landmarks, my compatriots wanted see more authentic neighborhoods and of course wanted cappuccinos and pastries every hour. I just wanted stress free navigation on Florence and Siena's city streets.

Elisabetta delivered on all of our needs and more meeting us in our little town and leading a convey of rental cars through the countryside. Her wit and frankness about present day Italian culture and politics really brought the country alive for my friends. She also provided loads of travel tips about getting around Italy even after our time with her was over.

After two days some in my group believed we had been visited by an Italian Mary Poppins, as she brought a little magic to our time in Tuscany and made us feel like family. I recommend you book with her; she is exceptional. Grazie mille, Elisabetta.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Cliff C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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