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Posted by admin on August 01, 2013
When Avventure Bellissime (“Beautiful Adventures”) was founded in 1999, it was founded on this principle: to offer world-class Italy tours at affordable prices with exceptional customer service at every turn. And we’re proud to report that over the past 15 years our guests and clients have consistently reported that we meet and exceed these promises!
But while the Avventure Bellissime management team can plan perfect trips and provide them at competitive rates, it’s our Italy travel experts and tour guides that are responsible for that “excellent customer service” we’re praised for.
In that sentiment we’re excited to present the “Meet the Avventure Bellissime Team” series wherein we’ll introduce you to members of our expert team.
Today, we’d like you to meet Avventure Bellissime Tour Guides Antonella, Max, Francesca, and Kristina.
Antonella Fantoni, Avventure Bellissime Florence Tour Guide
“My name is Antonella Fantoni and I live in Florence, or “Firenze” as we say in Italian. (My family has lived in this part of Italy for over 300 years!)
“I attended the International High School of Firenze, where I studied German and English, and then graduated in 1988 from the University of Pisa in 1988. During university, I spent six months in Germany, studying at the Wolfgang Goethe Univeritat in Frankfurt.
“After university, I took a year off and lived in Santa Monica, California, taking courses at UCLA to improve my English and learn more about the US. It was a great experience!
“When I returned to Italy I taught for several years at high schools, and then set out to become a tour guide. I received my licence in 1998 and have been working as a licenced guide ever since!
“I love my job. It’s perfect for me: I adore art, I love talking with people, and I really want visitors to Florence to get to know this place intimately. (Florence is more than just two main squares and two main streets.) Florence is a little treasure, full of important museums, beautiful churches, a charming city center, good food, beautiful wine, and world-class shopping.
“My favorite Avventure Bellissime tour is the Original Renaissance Tour, because it is the perfect way to get to know the city from many points of view — a little bit of everything: historical background, hidden parts of Florence, highlights, and the Accademia Gallery with Michelangelo’s David. After the tour, clients can go through the city as if they were at home, knowing what to do and where they can do it, because we give them lot of tips for enjoying the city.
“I’m proud to work with Avventure Bellissime. I’m especially excited about my city, Florence, but all the Avventure Bellissime guides are equally enthusiastic and passionate!”
It would appear, based on online testimonials, that our clients are as excited about Antonella as she is about Florence! Antonella regularly receives rave reviews about her passion for Florence and the quality of the trips she leads. Below are just a few from TripAdvisor.com:
From Carl-jane-w, who visited Florence in June 2013: “Being a little unsure about city walking tours, following a flag on a stick like a line of ducklings and maybe being rushed from place to place without understanding the history of this wonderful city. Antonella, within minutes put our fears to rest. Yes it was a whistle stop tour, but her knowledge, enthusiasm and love of Florence and the art within shone through. Questions were encouraged and answered intelligently and fully. We had a group of nine which made it a very personable experience. We will be coming back to Florence again and we will make sure we go on another tour and we will make sure that tour is lead by Antonelli Fantoni.”
From moorejoy48 who visited in May: “I believe that a tour can be made GREAT by having a guide that is knowledgeable and excited about their city. Antonella, our guide was all of this, and more. She made everyone in the group fall in love with Florence. It is not a tour for slow walkers as there was much to cover during the tour. Florence is a magical city that I hope to visit again. Three days was not enough! Avventure Bellissime is a very efficient company and their Cinque Terre Trip was also wonderful. From what I experienced I would feel confident to take any tour that the company offered.”
From Leslie D who visited in 2012: “We pre-booked a walking tour of Florence with Antonella and ended up being the only two on the tour. It was wonderful. We learned more about this city in one afternoon than we could have staying there on our own for 2 weeks. Antonella was a lovely tour guide; gave us wonderful insite to “her city”!! We will miss Florence and Antonella!”
Max, Avventure Bellissime Pompeii and Amalfi Tour Guide
Max is an Italian driver guide, and has been a member of the Avventure Bellissime team since 2010. He was born and raised in Rome, spent some time living in California in order to improve his English, and began working in the Italy tourism industry in 2004. To date, he has experience working and touring all over Italy! When he isn’t leading tours, Max loves to travel, play piano, write music and poetry, and learn new things. Most of all, though, he enjoys spending time with his seven-year-old son, Claudio — his greatest inspiration!
Max’s favourite Avventure Bellissime tour is the trip to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast:
“I drive on the coast of Amalfi pretty often, but I never get tired of it! The beauty of the coast is remarkable and it helps make my job truly enjoyable because clients are so happy to see the breathtaking views.
“On this tour, we travel the whole coast, passing through many little beautiful villages such as Vietri, (famous for its ceramics), Cetara (home of the popular Tuna festival), Majori, Minori, and Amalfi — where the group can really taste the Mediterranean atmosphere.
“Most of all, they get really impressed when I show them the Fiord of Furore! That’s a beautiful picturesque spot where Anna Magnani filmed a few scenes of “L’Amore” by well-known Italian director Roberto Rossellini. But the favorite part of the tour is always Positano, the gem of the Amalfi Coast! What an enchanting place! Many of my clients fall in love with that place.
“Positano has plenty of boutiques, leather sandals shops, lemon sellers everywhere, and ceramics stores. There’s something colorful and unique around every corner! That’s Positano! Despite the fact that this is my job, I always feel like I’m dreaming when I’m here. I secretly always hope my work schedule includes a tour to this beautiful part of Italy.”
Max’s enthusiasm for his job and for this part of Italy is infectious — his clients are always grateful to have had him as their guide.
Jenny B took a trip to the Amalfi Coast with Max and shared her feedback on TripAdvisor: “My mother & I spent 5 days in Rome. We participated in many tours as our time was short…but this tour was by far the best! Our driver Max met us at our hotel right on time and took us on a wonderful road trip to the Amalfi Coast. My mother gets a little uneasy on long car trips, so sitting in the front really helped her enjoy the day so much more. Max was awesome at pointing out the towns we were driving thru and their history on the way to Amalfi. Once we arrived we were amazed at how well he navigated the small winding road with such care and ease. He would even slow down and point out picturesque spots to us that weren’t on our scheduled stops so we could snap a quick pic before we held up traffic. We took frequent stops for wonderful pictures and were able to do a little shopping in Amalfi & have lunch at the fabulous Chez Black in Positana. Then Max took us to Pompeii. It was quite a sight and our guide Antonio was very informative and friendly. We had a wonderful day and were so pleased with Max. He was so professional, informative and best of all – fun! We are currently in Paris and wish we could have Max here with us also. Our only regret is that we didn’t book more Avventure Bellisime tours and request Max as our guide. It was truly the best part of our trip to Italy. Highly Recommend Both!”
SteelerFan_2013 toured with Max in March 2013 and wrote this: “One of the highlights of our Italian vacation! Our group of 8 was met at our hotel by Max and a Mercedes van. Max was very friendly, knowledgable and accommodating throughout this fantastic day! He is a great driver as well! This was welcomed as this tour takes you on some of the most scenic and crazy roads I’ve ever experienced. We were in great hands with Max who is very enthusiastic about the region. The Pompeii tour was led by a very knowledgable guide who took the time to answer questions and gave a great feel for life in Pompeii before the eruption. Everyone should see the towns along the coast at least once in life. Positano, Almafi, etc are just incredible and this tour was an excellent way to get away from Rome for a day and experience them. Lunch in Positano at Chez Black was a particular highlight of our trip! Do not hesitate to book this tour as you will not regret it!”
Francesca, Avventure Bellissime Rome Tour Guide
“My name is Francesca and I’m a native of Rome. After graduating with a degree in Archaeology I became a tour guide and I love my job! I love meeting new people from different parts of the world every day, and I love introducing them to past- and present-life and the history of this beautiful 2000-year-old city.
“Many times clients ask me which is my favourite tour. This is a very difficult question as I think every place is unique and deserves to be visited, but Rome is an important one! Certainly to understand how Rome became caput mundi (Latin for “Capital of the World”) and therefore to start understanding its history from the start, the Ancient Rome Tour is the best one.
“It is a three hour long tour during which it is possible to understand the evolution of the city from the start until the end of its empire, visiting the symbolic places such as the Colosseum, Palantine Hill, and the Ancient Forum.
“Many times I’ve noticed clients being overwhelmed once inside the Colosseum or inside the Ancient Forum for what they were seeing and hearing through my explanations. It is very hard to believe that over 2000 years ago Romans were such advanced engineers able to build buildings that would accommodate thousands of people, and that Rome was a cosmopolitan city where people from all over the provinces of the Roman Empire lived together!”
Francesca is exceptionally knowledgeable about Roman history, and her clients always appreciate how much they see and how much they learn during their time with her:
Familywong visited Rome and toured with Francesca in June 2013. They shared these thoughts on TripAdvisor.com: “Our tour guide for the trip to Rome and Vatican City is Franceser. She has taken very good care of the team and is patient all along. The descriptive and lively narration she gave in the Colosseum and the ancient facades provided our family with a great impression of the city of Roma and the smallest state in the world Vatican. The tour has offered us with an in depth understanding of the Roman history and ancient architecture, and myths connected with them. We would really love to thank you Franceser for her great work and dedication, and for leaving us with such good memories.”
basem0m had an equally great time with Francesca in Rome in May 2013: “We had a great tour of the major ancient ruins in Rome with Francesca. She was very knowledgeable, providing details and information that vividly took us back in time. The tour exceeded our expectations and next time we are in Rome, we plan to book her for additional tours.”
And so did MinMin4! “Took up the Vatican City tour. We enjoyed Franseca’s tour very much, as she is very clear on her explanations and even used images that she had stored in her iPad to further explain details! Not only that, she is attentive of the people in her group, missing no one at all. For sure all the members of the group enjoyed her sincerity over the 4hour tour!”
Kristina, Avventure Bellissime Venice Tour Guide
“My name is Kristina and I am 35 years old. I was born and raised in Slovakia and during university I worked as a tour leader travelling around Europe. In Venice, I met Riccardo and I never left. What a wonderful place to fall in love! Now it has been 15 years and I am in love not only with Riccardo but with Venice as well!
“I have been working for Avventure Bellissime as a tour leader for almost 10 years and I think we are really a great team. I love this job!
“I think one of the most popular tours in Venice is the Grand Canal Venice Boat Tour. This impressive and spectacular waterway is one you can only see by boat, exploring the minor canals — sort of the secret corners of Venice.
“I love giving food suggestions and helping visitors find the places the locals go, discovering new flavors and trying dishes they’ve never had before. And every time we have the opportunity, I love to let clients try the local wine and Chicchetti — the best gelato in town!
“Another great tour that has become very popular is the evening Venice Ghost Walking Tour. The city is less crowded at that time and we go through some hidden peaceful places. People love to hear the stories!”
Avventure Bellissime clients who get to tour Venice with Kristina regularly report what a great time they’ve had.
Shalpe shared this on TripAdvisor.com: “We went on the private tour to Murano and Burano with [Kristina]. She was wonderful and it was an amazing and beautiful experience. We loved it and would highly recommend the tour company and [Kristina]!”
And Tom Lester of Florida sent in this “thanks” to Kristina and Avventure Bellissime: “Hello Kristina! I found your business card a couple days ago, and I remembered that I promised to send you this picture of my family and you. We all enjoyed our tour of Venice and Murano and thought you were an excellent guide. Thank you so much for making our stay in Venice so wonderful.”
And stay tuned for information about Avventure Bellissime’s other talented expert licensed Italy tour guides. And if you’re ready to go and see these magical parts of Italy and more, click here. One of Avventure Bellissime’s travel specialists will help you plan the perfect Italian vacation.