christopher w

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christopher w

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Sep182012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Small Group Florence Uffizi Gallery Walking Tour

Florence, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This was a thoroughly enjoyable tour and one of the highlights of our week in Florence. We had never been to the Uffizi Gallery before and knew little about its contents. We would have been lost (literally), confused and unable to make sense of what we were looking at if we had been on our own. The fact that the tour was enjoyable and illuminating was due entirely to our guide who was blessed with a fund of information, a dry wit and, above all, a genuine enthusiasm for the topic. She was also very skilled at creating space for her group around the pictures that she wanted to talk about. This is essential in such a crowded setting as the Gallery. The guide made clear that the tour could examine only a few of the many exhibits and that her selection was based on her particular understanding of the historical development of western art but this gave us a context in which to relate the exhibits to each other. It was particularly interesting to see how changes in the styles and topics of art reflected political and economic developments. The guide was also concerned about the welfare of her group to the point of seeking me out when I had wandered off after accidentally attaching myself to another group of visitors to the Gallery (easy to do). Above all, the tour made us enthusiastic to revisit the Gallery.This tour was excellent value and I would strongly recommend it to any visitor to Florence.

Sep142012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Venice in One Day Including Boat Tour

Venice, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This was an excellent tour covering both a morning walk and an afternoon water-taxi ride.
The morning tour was well organised led by an enthusiastic guide and covered St Mark’s Square, the Basilica and a residential area off the usual tourist routes. We benefited from the fast line into the Basilica but were ushered through rather quickly with little time to linger but this seemed to be due to the policy of the church authorities not the guide. In all settings the guide showed herself to be well-informed, responsive to questions and keen to share her first-hand knowledge of Venice. The afternoon tour was at least equally enjoyable. There were some organisational problems at the outset due to an imbalance between the expected and actual numbers in our group but these were resolved quickly and effectively. The water tour covered not only the Grand Canal but also a number of side canals as well as the more ‘industrial’ areas and around the cruise ship docking area. Not only was this tour comprehensive but it was led by an enthusiastic and humorous guide who identified and gave us an informative history of the particular points of interest on the route. Overall, this tour was well worth the money and I would strongly recommend it to anyone visiting Venice

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