Italy

Italy Tours Overview

Flea Markets and Ferragamo await in Florence on The Antiques Diva® & Co Italian Tours – as you fill your days in Florence exploring the best antique shopping the city has to offer, before venturing to the Tuscan countryside to explore Sienna and the famed flea market of Arezzo.  On The Antiques Diva ® & Co Italian Tours we offer everything from Half Day to Multi-Day Tours where you’re guaranteed to enjoy La Dolce Diva as we share not just antiques but Italian lifestyle

Read more about our Italian Tours in Belle Inspiration magazine in a Special Feature with Antiques Diva Italy Guide Susan P sharing essential tips for antique shopping in Italy!

Available Tours include (see detailed descriptions below):
 - Florence – Santa Croce to Beccaria
 - Florence – Oltrarno
 - Florence – The Historic Heart
 - Siena
 - Arezzo
 - Lucca
 - Custom-Made & Multi-Day Tuscan Tours (Client Favorite!)

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Florence Santa Croce to Beccaria

Available Tuesday through Sunday
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Special visits to the Flea Market available on Last Sunday of the Month

Rarely do tourists venture beyond Santa Croce’s narrow alleyways into the shaded streets lined with noble residences where the mail is delivered to some of the most prominent Florentines.  Let us introduce you to a few of our Florentine friends, proprietors of lesser-known businesses, boutiques and studios as we visit antichità and artisans located in ateliers tucked tightly out of sight.  Some of these businesses carry the names of their fore-fathers as they carry on family traditions.   We’ll visit gilders and wood carvers, framers and print-makers, shops carrying antique prints and etchings alongside vendors with Florentine paper you won’t find on the Ponte Vecchio. From Renaissance antiques to Art Deco baubles, from vintage to the fleas, this tour is for an explorer at heart – one who wishes to leave the shadow of the Uffizi and discover the real Florence. Plan your timing right and we’ll visit one of the few auction houses in Italy or we might just join the bargain hunters on the last Sunday of the month when the local flea market at the Piazza Ciompi swells and spills into the surrounding streets, decorating these ancient alley with crystal chandeliers, books, furniture and decorative arts.

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Florence – Oltarno “The Other Side of the Arno”

Available Tuesday through Sunday
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Special visits to Flea Market on the 2nd Sunday of the Month

Join us as we step to “The Other Side of the Arno” as we visit one of the most interesting and lively parts  of Florence, a curious mix of class and culture. Initially the poorest quarters of Florence, it was gentrified when the Medici’s moved into the Pitti Palace building.  A lively area to explore full of colour, movement and inspiration. Here we get a true taste of Florence with two very stark contrasts between the noble palaces around the Palazzo Pitti and the neighbouring elegant and prestigious antiquarians to the hustle and bustle of San Jacopo, Santo Spirito, and San Frediano where you can see the furniture restorers at work, cruise the quirky antique shops whilst rubbing shoulders with up and coming artists. A real Florentine experience. We’ll escape to the quieter area of San Niccolo with its specialist stores and artisan workshops and while a visit to the Via Maggio is a must, we’ll go deeper poking around the narrower surrounding streets where surprises unfold. Everything from period antique furniture, quirky collector’s pieces to silversmiths, restorers and guilders to custom made frames, lampshades.  When the day is done, we’ll be right on time for doing a wine & olive oil tasting in a favourite enoteca.

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The Historic Heart of Florence

Available Tuesday through Saturday
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Special visits to Flea Market the 3rd Weekend of the Month

The historic heart of Florence lies around its famed cathedral and the Palazzo Vecchio, the old home of the Medici’s. Almost every street and alley has a story to tell with wonderful names, so called after the trades, the main street via Calzaiuoli was originally dedicated to the shoe makers, Pellicceria to the leather tanners, while other streets, such as Tornabuoni and Strozzi were named after the influential Florentine families. The historic centre of Florence contains elegant squares, Renaissance palaces, convents and monasteries some of the most worlds important museums, art galleries and ateliers.  To match its reputation shopping here is a grand affair – we’ll visit Santa Maria Novella with its beautiful pharmacy, Via dei Fossi with its fine furniture and decorative arts salons, pop into Diva-worthy tailors and high-end glove makers then ohh and ahh over fine Florentine paper supplies, famous fashion designers and luxurious interiors designers.  From the high-end, we’ll move to the fun and funky vintage stores and eclectic concept store, searching out the “tongue in cheek” shops stuck serendipitously here and there.

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Siena

Available Tuesday through Saturday
+ Special visits to Flea Markets on the 3rd Weekend of the Month (excluding July & August)

Diva Clients are in for a treat when they book a day in the lovely medieval city Siena. Small and intimate, with its steep alleys and uneven pitted stone paving, tall towers loom whilst elegant palazzos and the unique town square, the ‘Piazza del Campo’ embraces you as if welcoming you to the heart of Tuscany.  Siena has a refined air of arrogance about it, harking back to its heritage as a city built on the wool and textile trade with its landmark status as having the first bank in the world.  On this tour we’ll roam the city,  noose in the hidden piazzas to find the fine antique shops, peruse the narrow alleys to admire the linens, visit the beautiful haberdashery stores with their wonderful array of tassels, ties and bobbled borders and find delicate hand embroidered cloths and curtains. Tuscany is well known for its beautiful wrought iron work which you see not only adorning the imposing stone buildings in the form of ancient torch holders, palio banner stills, door knockers and horse rings but also in the flea market and the hardware stores.  These same medieval pieces are still an important feature in today’s décor.  In the old market square protected by the shadows of the towering town hall, the third weekend of the month hosts a small antiques market featuring various collectables.

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Arezzo

Available the First Sunday of the Month (and the preceding Saturday)

The ancient Tuscan city of Arezzo, with its Roman ruins, medieval walls and Renaissance architecture has always been a magnet for art lovers.  And the first weekend of the month the town center is transformed as a huge flea market with over 500 vendors taking over the Piazza Grande and the streets surrounding San Francesco.  Browse the Italian Flea Market stalls on the arm of a local who will take time to chat with the vendors, introducing you to the quirky cast of characters who’ll fill your ear with elaborate stories about their treasures.  In Arezzo, you’ll pause to remember that indeed “Life is Beautiful” as you sip Italian wine whilst discovering antique and vintage furniture, jewelry, paintings, religious articles, crockery, glass, kitchen and cooking items, silver, glass, ceramics and books. From serious antiques to fun collectibles; the weird and the wonderful make it practically impossible to leave Italy’s best flea market empty handed. After visiting the main flea market, you’ll venture off the main arteries, enjoying a gallery of small antique shops, lampshade makers and the great Italian hardware stores.  And for an additional dose of culture we’ll end the tour by popping into the nearby church of San Francesco to see Piero della Francesca’s magnificent frescoes.  All in all, a positively perfect day in Arezzo.

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Lucca

Available the 3rd weekend of every month (enquire for specific 2012 dates)

Lucca is definitely one of the jewels in the shining crown of Tuscany and has retained its elegance, story and splendor.  Its maze of little streets and alleyways brings many surprises from the wonderful artisan shops, galleries and stores to stunning architectural marvels such as the lively piazza San Michele, the old Roman forum and the heart of Lucca, where children play and the men of Lucca discussing soccer and Italian politics.  The gorgeous church of San Michele, with its elegant façade rich in marble inlays, exudes a mysterious Arabian aura.  Stunning features are the ancient ramparts that ring the old town and the Torre Guinigi, the 130 ft. tower that has an ancient oak tree on top.   Lucca was also home to one of Italy’s greatest composers: Giacomo Puccini, creator of operas such as “Madama Butterfly” and “La Bohème”.

Of course no tour would be complete without a stroll down Via del Battistero – this quarter of the city is known for its antique furniture shops and is a message of elegance and style from the voice of our past. Plan your trip to Lucca at the right time of year – the third weekend of the month – and rain or shine you’ll find the monthly antiques flea market with over 250 stalls to peruse.   We will spend the afternoon meandering through the stalls to find treasures for you to bring back home!  Enquire for specific dates.

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Custom-Made and Multi-Day Tuscan Tours

Available Upon Request

Antique Dealers and mere shopping mortals with serious lists of treasures that they’re searching for should consider our Custom-Made Diva Tours whereby we create customized itineraries for one-day and multi-day antique shopping tours based upon your shopping list and diva-desires.   Searching for religious relics, a particular period of furniture, or certain style of pottery or linens? Then let us cull our resources and create an itinerary, which we pre-shop and pre-source a slew of options fit for a diva.  You give us your shopping list, plus a list of your hobbies and interests and we choreograph a tour suited to your taste buds!  Speaking of which, on multi-day tours why not let us coordinate a cooking class and share with you some of our secret diva sources for wine and olive oil!  Multi-Day Tours allow us the opportunity to share with you a slew of secret sources.  You’ll dine in Italian getaways, and mamma mia, let’s not forget about all that antique shopping.  It’s full flea market fun – when you book trips to travel on fair dates and we take you to the best flea markets in Italy! Join us for a 1-day, fast and furious Custom Made Tour or better yet, try your luck with a Multi-Day Diva Extravaganza as we take you by the hand for a whirlwind couple of days shopping in Florence, Sienna, Arezzo, Pistoia, Lucca and more… and let’s not forget Cortona, after all, if you’re like me, you want to buy everything “Under the Tuscan Sun!”