Posts Tagged ‘florence’

Exotic ATV Tours Around the World

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Whether you call them All Terrain Vehicles, Quads, 4-Wheelers, or Barrels of Fun, ATV Tours are the ticket to a beastly good time all over the world. The possibilities are nearly endless on ATV Tours – enjoy getting dirty and muddy on a wild off-road adventure in Maine, or stopping to snorkel in the pristine Cozumel Caribbean waters, or driving through the picturesque vineyards and olive groves of Tuscany, or adding sand-boarding or surfing to your Cape Town trek, or just relaxing as you take in a beautiful midnight sunset in Alaska. It seriously is hard to choose. But one thing you can be sure of is when you get in gear on your ATV that your day will be full of smiles! :D

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Ride ATVs through the Cozumel Jungle

Personally, I would recommend our ATV & Snorkeling Combination Tour in Cozumel Mexico. Take an exciting ATV adventure through the heart of the Cozumel jungle and then visit one of Cozumel’s beautiful beaches for some snorkeling in the pristine Caribbean waters. The ATV portion of the tour will leave from the Mayan town of El Cedral. While exploring the Cozumel jungle, you will visit a natural sinkhole, an underground cave and a small Mayan ruin, all of which are tied to the ancient Mayan civilization. Then, you will be transported to a beautiful Cozumel beach to experience a one-of-a-kind snorkeling excursion.

Drive a Quad to explore Tuscany Italy

For a more romantic ride, our Quad-ATV Tour in Tuscany from Florence offers you a unique opportunity to explore Tuscany. You will drive a professional Quad through the Chianti region featuring vineyards, woods and olive groves. After the ride you can relax with a cool drink and fresh fruit by the pool. (in the summer bring your bathing suit!) You will then be served a Tuscan meal accompanied by a selection of fine Chianti wines in the welcoming and comfortable restaurant of the Villa. On the way back, you will stop to visit a nearby 13th century castle!

Enjoy an Adventure Tour from Cape Town

To really get your adrenaline flowing, our Sandboarding or Surfing & Quad Biking Tour from Cape Town South Africa provides an opportunity to learn the basics of either Sandboarding or Surfing – plus topping off your day with a high-powered guided sand dune Quad Bike experience. If you choose the Sandboarding option, you will learn how to stand up and gain balance to cruising down the dunes at high speeds that will get your adrenaline flowing. Or, if you choose to learn the basics of Surfing, you’ll receive instruction on ocean awareness, learning how to stand up and gain balance, and cruising on a beach break wave. Either way, your adventure will include a Sand Dune Quad Bike experience where you can speed up, down and along the face of the dunes. If you’re into the active lifestyle, this tour is for YOU!

And those are just a few choices. On our Midnight Sunset ATV Tour from Denali guests drive ATV’s to two breathtaking Alaskan overlooks to view the unique and memorable midnight sun as it creates a rainbow of sunset colors. Wildlife is often sighted along the way. And on our Guided ATV Tour from Bingham Maine you’ll get to ride on one of the best ATV trail systems in the East. Located in the upper Kennebec Valley, this region contains some of the most beautiful and pristine wilderness in the US. Visit ATV Tours today to reserve your wheels and let the good times roll. Book online and save or call us toll free for assistance with reservations, group tour bookings and private charters. For now, I’ll leave you with eye candy of hundreds of miles of open terrain, incredible scenery, and awesome riding in Bingham, Maine. Happy Trails. ;)

We pick our favorite Fall tours – Pt 1.

Thursday, September 15th, 2011


FallThe first day of Fall is September 23 (it’s so close, but so far away) and with that comes different scenery, cooler temperatures, and less crowds in all of your favorite or soon-to-be-favorite cities. Take advantage everything that comes with Fall by traveling! And boy, do we have the tours for you!

I asked the office what tours would they recommend for Fall traveling.

The Boston Tour by Bus is awesome in the Fall. You get to see the Fall changing of the leaves, the scenic area of Boston, and all the wonderful history the city has to offer. We can even see the Fanueli Hall and Quincy Marketplace.” – Janice

“I loved the Savannah Foody Walking Tour which is a great tour in the fall. There is a lot of Savannah history given by your tour operator and then you get to sample some great foods from the various restaurants and eateries in the area. Some of the locations even give you samples to take home! The samples are good portions and you’re full after your done. So you get great food, history and exercise all in one!” – Theresa

“For this time of year, the New England Seacoast is the best place to be. In only the months of September & October, there are fall foliage tours from Boston to the Cape or up the New England seacoast to Kennebunkport. I always arrange private tours for my groups every year for their Boston Experience. I say the Fall Foliage tours are the best tours for the fall. My groups always love them.” – Amber

Emerald Necklace and Fall Foliage Bicycle Tour in Boston
Bear Mountain Fall Foliag Cruise from New York City

“Italy and Tuscany in particular is spectacular at this time of year…the weather is beautiful, the summer rush is over and Italy is magical in as the evening begins. There is just something that soothes your soul to watch a sunset in Tuscany.” – Carolyn

Private Tour of Pompeii, Positano, & Almalfi Coast from Naples Italy
Chianti, Tuscany Excursion from Florence, Italy
Medieval & Renaissance Walking Tour in Florence, Italy

Look for Part 2!

- Kris

Italian Frescoes and why it’s best to learn

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Wine Tasting Program
As you know, we have two resident bloggers at Alcatraz Media — Lauren and me. I was reading Lauren recent post about Florence. When I saw that mentioned the Fresco Tutorial Tour in Florence.
My eyes grew wide when I found there was a workshop like this in Florence. I was in Florence, only for a day, but I would have jumped at the opportunity to learn more about frescoes.

To really enjoy art is to also have some understanding of how it was made. Many Italian Renaissance artists painted frescoes, so to enjoy Florence, especially, is to really appreciate the art of frescoes.

A real fresco is called buon fresco which is just pigment crushed into water on a thin layer of fresh lime mortar or plaster. Fresco secco, though very fun to say, is done dry plaster and uses a binding medium like egg, glue, or oil. There is also fresco secco on top of buon fresco, which is cool too if you’re into that kind of thing.

Here is just a few of my favorite frescoes, why their noteworthy to me, and where you can find them:

One of the best examples is, of course, Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. The Last Judgement may be one of the most frightening and awe-inspiring things I’ve ever seen.

He also painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling which means he covered over 5,000 square feet of frescoes, and that’s buon fresco. Michelangelo was the man.

My all time favorite is Fra Angelico’s Annunciation. It’s located in a corridor of the San Marco convent in Florence. I didn’t get a chance to see it, but would have sold my sister to. It’s perfectly located that when you look at it, the sun’s light looks like it’s in the fresco.

Massaccio’s The Trinity is located in the Santa Maria Novella in Florence. The fresco is known to be one of Massaccio’s finest work. A lovely example of chiaroscuro, the fresco brings a depth that only the best Renaissance artists can do properly.

Renaissance artists reignited the passion for the arts and curiosity in science, and to learn about frescoes or even see one of their frescoes will be understanding one of the world most important cultural revolutions.

If you’re ever in Florence, try this workshop. Knowing the artists and the medium in which they convey their messages will make your trip to Italy like you’re in a completely different world.

Firenze… che bella città!

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

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Florence (Firenze in Italian) is the capital cityof the Italian region of Tuscany, and iswell known as la bella cittá, meaning “the beautiful city.” Florence is the city to fall in love, explore the incredible art and architecture of the city, and live life to the fullest. And gelato should be involved in there somewhere too.

If you are new the the city, I would recommend the Evening Introduction walking tour to learn the layout of the city and see many popular landmarks with an expert local guide. Begin the walk in the late afternoon, when the city tends to be a bit calmer, with the potential for a gorgeous sunset during your explorations. Your guide will talk about everything from art to architecture, food to festivals, and everything in between. This Florence tour also provides the opportunity to go over any logistical questions (using the public transport system, buying stamps, etc.) and pick your Florence guide’s brain for local favorites for dining, drinking, shopping, and special events.

Next, grab a friend and hop on vintage Italian Vespa scooters for our Ice Cream & Wine Tasting Tour in Tuscany! Explore the gorgeous landscape without the restrictive itinerary of a bus or car. Your experienced guide will take you along the rolling hills and valleys of picturesque Tuscany. Enjoy tasting more than 140 different types of wine, sample tasty pork and cheese products, as well as Chianti, Grappa, Vin Santo, Olive Oil, and homemade ice cream. Delizioso!

If you’re interested in learning how some of the world’s greatest artwork was created, then it’s back to the drawing board for our Fresco Tutorial Tour in Florence Italy. This interactive workshop provides both an informative lesson in the history of fresco and a hands-on experience with the materials and techniques of fresco creation. This is a Florence travel experience not to be missed! Whatever your interests are during your visit, Florence Tours is the perfect place to make your vacation dreams a reality. Ciao for now! ;)

A Photo Tour is Worth a Thousand Words!

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Dollar Rent-a-Car, Inc.

Chances are, you have had the opportunity to take some amazing tours and see some incredible sights at some point in your life, but have you ever seen them on a photo tour? Photo tours are a fairly new trend in travel, and they can be taken in groups or on a more private basis.

Best of Seattle

Best of Seattle

Tours like The Waterfront Photo Tour in Boston not only give you the historical tidbits you desire, but also some very helpful tips for how to capture the best photographs on your journey.  While you may have taken a trip to Boston in the past, you have never seen the city like this before! Tours like this one are for those who want to get more out of their visit than a quick snap here and there, some of which may not come out the way you imagined they would.  This time, take home not only wonderful memories, but wonderful pictures to go along with them.

You can find similar tours in Seattle, Flagstaff, and New York as well.  The Best

Custom New York Tour

Custom New York Tour

of Seattle Photo Walking Tour, which is limited to 8 adults to optimize the learning experience, takes guests of all skill levels to famous sights like Pike Place Market – including the “Wall of Gum” just outside the Market Theater – and the waterfront.  For a more personal tour, the Central Park & New York City Neighborhoods Personal Photo Tour is an excellent choice.  This tour takes you on either a two or three-hour journey through New York with a personal tour guide and photographer who will capture your special moments for you as you explore some of the beautiful architecture and local neighborhoods that identify New York as the unique city that it is.

Other photo tours are available in cities such as Washington, DC, Lake Tahoe, and Florence, Italy.  For the most up-to-date options for your next vacation, visit

Guided Tours of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

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The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most well-known art galleries in the world.It houses such famous works as Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and Primavera as well as Leonardo da Vinci’s The Annunciation and The Adoration of the Magi. There is a large assortment of other celebrated masterpieces displayed at this gallery which is housed in the Palazzo degli Uffizi, a palace in Florence.

The Guided Tour of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence Italy takes you through the museum, which showcases a timeline of fine Italian art known throughout the world.Paintings and sculptures have been collected or commissioned by the Medici family – a very powerful and wealthy family during the 13th to 17th centuries – over the years and are now available for your viewing pleasure.With the help of multilingual guides, you will learn about the history and works of this famous museum as you explore.

This trip is more than worthwhile.  It will give you a new appreciation for art and culture and will open your eyes to the magical world created by famed artists of the past.  You will gain admission without waiting in line, but this tour books extremely quickly as you can imagine so it is essential that you book early.

You can find this and other great tours of Florence and the surrounding area by visiting

Fine Art and Architecture in Florence

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Florence, located in the heart of Tuscany, is surrounded by the Apennine Mountains and gorgeous Tuscan vineyards and olive groves.  Like the rest of Italy, it is known for bearing famous artists and stunning architecture like Santa Maria del Fiore, or ‘The Duomo.’

Perhaps one of the most well-known artists – and one-time residents of Florence – who ever lived is Michelangelo, who created the incredible marble sculpture of the David, modeled after a young and nude Israelite king David, as he decides to go to battle with Goliath.  The City Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour in Florence Italy gives you the chance to surround yourself with priceless works of art such as this one, along with Botticelli’s Venus and other famous works kept in the Galleria dell’ Accademia  and Uffizi Gallery.  It also takes a stop at the Duomo, a fine work of architecture whose dome was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1419 during a competition to win the commission.  Brunelleschi drew his inspiration from the Pantheon in Rome.  He was later buried at the Duomo and his tomb is open for public viewing to this day.

One of the stops on this tour is the Palazzo Pitti, often known in English as Pitti Palace.  It is located south of the River Arno and close to the Medieval bridge, Ponte Vecchio.  Palazzo Pitti was used as a power base for Napoleon in the 18th century and briefly served as the primary palace in Italy.  Today it is open to the public and serves as one of Florence’s largest art galleries.

This tour is worth its weight in gold, as it allows you to see in person what you may have only seen in books and in copied prints before.  For artists and those who appreciate talent and beauty in traditional and nontraditional forms, this tour is definitely for you.

Visit for details on how you can make your trip to Florence truly memorable!

Visit ‘The Old Pueblo’ for a Vacation to Remember

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Located 118 miles southeast of Phoenix is a thriving metropolis known as Tucson, Arizona.  Over 3.5 million visitors flock to Tucson each year, making tourism big business there.  Part of Tucson’s draw is the large number of hotels, resorts, and attractions in the area.  It is also the destination of many ‘snowbirds,’ who come to enjoy the mild winters and often buy second homes in the vicinity.

Tucson is home to many a festival and social gathering, with more than six major events coming to the city throughout the year.  A few to note are the All Souls Procession Weekend, the Tucson Rodeo, and the Tucson Folk Festival.  Merchants, radio stations, and local and national talent are all brought together for one common purpose; to show Tucson what they have to offer.  Since they have that opportunity, it is only fair that Tucson gets to show the world what it has to offer back.

The Tucson City Tour presents Tucson both from a historical and an artistic point of view.  On this tour you will visit El Tiradito Shrine, Old Town, El Presido, Snob Hollow, the Arizona Historical Society, and many other local sights.  You will learn about the establishment of the area by the Spanish Conquistadors and view the city from the top of “A” Mountain.

For a tour that is rooted in adventure, you can explore Box Canyon from inside an ATV.  This trip can originate either in Tucson or Phoenix.  This is a great way to get an up close and personal view of Arizona’s mountains and canyons where you are in control of the journey.  Experts, novices, and young drivers are all welcome to get into the driver’s seat as the tour takes you 50 miles north of Tucson towards Florence.  The terrain is varied and will run the gamut from ten foot wide “slot” canyons to sand river bottoms.  This tour cannot be missed for those with an appetite for excitement and adventure.

Over 200 live animals and 400 plant species are on display at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which is one of Tucson’s most popular attractions.  Spend the day with the cougars, rattlesnakes, and Gila Monsters and learn about their lives and history in the Sonoran Desert.  Dubbed by the New York Times as ‘the most distinctive zoo in the United States,’ this museum is truly a location to be treasured.

Check out all that Tucson has to offer and visit for details on how to make your trip to the area the best yet.

Glide Through the ‘City of Canals’

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Nestled in the region of Veneto in Northern Italy you will find a gorgeous and picturesque city called Venice.  Appropriately known as the ‘City of Canals,’ Venice has become a favorite vacation spot for travelers coming from all over the world.  Looking around the city, you will quickly understand why.  One of the best ways to see the city is on the Hidden Venice Walking Tour.  While tours utilizing bus or train transportation will certainly get you around the area the fastest, there is nothing quite like the experience of really soaking up the vibe of a city as you explore it on foot.

This particular tour takes you through the lively market areas like the Rialto while also showing you the wide spectrum of lifestyles that all coexist in the area.  You will walk through the red light district, passing under the bridge known as ‘Ponte delle Tette’ as you make your way through the narrow passageways leading to artisans’ quarters.  Along the way you will also take a glimpse at some of the oldest houses in Venice as well as some of the most beautiful bridges and palaces you will ever get the chance to see.

If your trip happens to originate in Florence, you can easily get to Venice via the Venice City Bus Tour from Florence Italy.  This guided tour of Venice begins by visiting the Tronchetto di Venezia, an island in the city of Venice, and then travels by steamboat to Piazza San Marco, commonly referred to in English as St. Mark’s Square.  Piazza San Marco was once called ‘the drawing room of Europe’ and was used as the focal point for many of Venice’s festivals.  Today it stands as the central landmark and meeting place in the city.

Other stops on this 14-hour tour include the Basilica di San Marco, the most famous church in Venice andone of the best known works of Byzantine architecture.  It has been the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice since 1807.  The large marble columns beautifully complement the rest of the structure, which is lined with the Horses of Saint Mark and a statue representing the four co-emperors during the Roman Empire.  Lunch in a typical Venetian restaurant and afternoon of free time are included in this tour of gorgeous Venice.  You will return to Florence in the evening.

For those who have only seen the gondolas and architecture of Venice depicted in movies, you will want to make time for one of these tours.  However, we have barely begun to scratch the surface where tours of the area are concerned.  There is much to do and see and you will not want to miss out on taking a guided tour while you are in the area.  For more options for how to spend your time in the area, visit and check out the variety of activities at your disposal.

Help is On the Way from Reserve123

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Reserve 123 is your one-stop shop for all of your destination travel needs worldwide.  With over 10,000 activities to choose from you will never be stuck with nothing to do.  Tickets can be secured online or you can call and book over the phone with a courteous and knowledgeable reservations agent.  You can book a tour in San Francisco one week and Florence the next.  It is that easy with Reserve123.

There is a wealth of opportunity whether you are interested in getting tickets to Alcatraz or a 21-day trip around New Zealand.  Some tours also offer the added flexibility to create your own itinerary, stopping only at the places you deem important.  And, of course, you will receive guidance from professional tour guides throughout your trip. 

If you are interested in bringing a group along on your journey, you can contact the Charter department to help you coordinate tours, sporting events, transportation to and from the airport, and day excursions whether you are a group of friends getting together or a corporation planning a convention.  My experience with Reserve 123 was phenomenal.  I was able to get every activity I wanted, including my From the North to the South Tour in New Zealand, because I booked early and the staff was so helpful that I never felt like I was planning alone.  I would highly recommend using Reserve 123 for all of your tour and activity related requirements.  You will undoubtedly receive exemplary service and unbeatable value.

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