TUSCANY TROTTER

Photo credit Auro Giotti, Elisabetta Marchi e Gabriele Donati

  

My name is Elisabetta Marchi and I am a professional tour guide born and raised in Tuscany, Italy. I have been working in various capacities in the tourism industry for decades and have been a guide since 2002. During this time I have developed an exceptional knowledge of my wonderful region of Toscana. My background is in foreign languages, history and art history, but I am also passionate about wine, food, culture, and above all sharing my region with visitors from around the world.

 

My tours are offered in English and Italian and are innovative and dynamic and will be personalized for you based on what you would like to experience and explore. Not only can I take you to discover Florence, the Renaissance capital and largest city in Tuscany, but we can also explore smaller towns such as Siena, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza, Cortona, Carrara, Pistoia among others.

 

If you want to book a tour in English or Italian my preference is always to personally provide the tour for you, but if you need a different language or I am not available then I can arrange for a fantastic alternative guide for you. I have spent years creating a network of guides that are as passionate and knowledgeable as I am. These experienced guides are fluent in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin, Serbian, Croatian, Polish, Russian, as well as other languages upon request. If you will be heading to other areas of Italy, just let me know and I can arrange for a wonderful guide in other locations such as Rome, Venice, and Naples.

 

As a professional guide with nearly twenty years of experience, my wealth of knowledge about Tuscany allows me to personalize each tour to fit your needs. I can adapt the tour to create the right experience for you, whether you are traveling as a couple looking for an in-depth private tour, a family traveling with children that would like to go at a slower pace with plenty of gelato stops, or a large school or tour group that would like an overview of the highlights. On a tour with me don’t expect tons of dates and boring facts, instead I offer a true insider’s view of Italy with fascinating details about Italian life, history, and culture that will capture your attention and your heart.


 

 

EXPLORING TUSCANY

If you are hoping to experience Tuscany in a more original and personalized way, get inspired by looking through my tour ideas and then get in touch with me! Tell me about yourself, who you are traveling with, where you want to go, and what you like. This will allow me to create a custom half-day, full day or multi-day tour that is perfect for you. I can incorporate not only history and art but also local culture, traditions, crafts, food and wine.

 

If you are planning a trip to Tuscany, you already know it is full of amazing sites to see. There are dozens of chances to visit UNESCO world heritage sites, as well as endless monuments, museums, basilicas, squares, galleries, towns and breathtaking countryside scenery straight out of a movie. Let’s go discover these places together! I can take you to some of my favorite places you won’t find in a guidebook while still making sure you get to experience the destinations on your bucket list in stress-free and meaningful ways.  

 

Some of my most popular itineraries include: Florence artisans and their creations, Michelangelo’s life and works, and the market walk through San Lorenzo market with truffle sandwich and home made gelato. Check out the TOURS page for the complete list and descriptions.

FIRST TIME FLORENCE WITH DAVID

At the start of your private half-day walking tour of Florence, I can meet you in downtown Florence at the location you prefer, such as your hotel or Ponte Vecchio. Our first stop will be the 14-century Ponte Vecchio, which translates to Old Bridge, lined with tiny jewelry and gold shops since 1593. I will transport you back to Renaissance times with fascinating stories and local knowledge as you walk the very same streets as the famous painters, architects, and inventors of Tuscany. We will walk along the portico-covered passageway outside the immense Uffizi Gallery, one of the most important museums in the world. Upon arriving in Piazza della Signoria, Florence’s main square, you will see the fake David and the buildings of the Florentine city hall and county government offices, as well as Neptune’s Fountain and Loggia dei Lanzi. It’s hard to imagine the sheer size of the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, also referred to as the Duomo of Florence, until you turn a corner and are overwhelmed by the beauty and height of Brunelleschi’s famous dome, Giotto’s colorful Bell Tower, and the carved bronze Baptistery doors across from the entrance of the main church. Your tour will end with one of the highlights of Florence as you experience a small but very important museum called Galleria dell’Accademia with me. This museum features Michelangelo’s original David and his stunning unfinished sculptures called Slaves or Captives. It is still under debate whether he was unable to complete them or left them intentionally unfinished to symbolize the struggle of humankind to escape material bondage. You can also enjoy a tiny collection of rare musical instruments housed in the museum, some by Antonio Stradivari.

MEDICI FAMILY - MASTERS OF FLORENCE

This full day tour of Florence is for anyone who wants to experience first hand the Florence of the powerful Medici Family. I will tell you exciting stories of rivalry, riches beyond belief, and the powerful family that ran Florence for centuries. Our first stop during our walking tour in Florence will be the Convent of St Mark, where Cosimo the Elder spent the last days of his life. This community was also the home of one of the Medici’s fiercest enemies: the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola, who inspired Florence citizens with an austere lifestyle. We will walk through the vibrant outdoor market until we reach the Church of San Lorenzo that was remodeled at the request of the Medici family and later became their “private church.” It features Brunelleschi’s Old Sacristy, one of the most important examples of early Renaissance architecture placing importance on proportion and unity of elements. Now it is on to to the Medici Chapel, a private mausoleum of the Grand Dukes, where you can admire Michelangelo’s New Sacristy and his amazing statues sculpted for the Medici tombs. After a break for lunch, we will continue our tour with the first of the prestigious Medici residences, the Medici Riccardi Palace. This is the place where Lorenzo the Magnificent lived and had a young talented boy named Michelangelo as a permanent guest for some years. We won’t miss the Magi Chapel inside, showing the journey of the three Kings upon the background of a lush landscape, dotted with family portraits. We will finish at Palazzo Vecchio, today the City Hall of Florence, which was the residence of the family in the 16th century.