Starting in the Center
The tour starts and ends in Siena.
The best way to reach Siena from Florence is with the SITA bus line. The SITA bus line leaves the bus depot on Via Santa Caterina di Siena, just a block southwest from the front of Santa Maria Novella station at least once an hour on weekdays, starting at 6:45, with the last bus leaving at 8:15pm. The ride is about 75 minutes, and costs 6.50 euro, one-way. Taking the train to Siena is discouraged- the bus stop is in middle of Siena, while the train will leave you on the outskirts, forcing you to get a taxi.
Stella has a background in art history, anthropology, enology and is passionate about the traditions of Tuscany. Based in Siena, she has been traveling since a young age, an interest started during her studies of foreign art and cultures. She graduated in English and South American Literature from the University of Siena and holds a Masters degree in Business and Tourism from Bocconi University in Milan. She received grants from University of Siena University to study in Germany and Ecuador. She became a licensed guide in 1999 for Siena, San Gimignano, Montalcino and Montepulciano. She loves Context family tours and she enjoys sharing the hidden treasures of Siena with her clients. She especially loves exploring farms and vineyards in Tuscany in order to share her passion for Brunello di Montalcino or Nobile di Montepulciano and Chianti wines along with the impressive Tuscan landscape.
- I’m a graduate of the University of Siena, with a degree in Art History. I did my post-graduate work in Art History at the Scuola di Specializzazione, under the tutelage of Professor Enrico Crispolti. I lecture in public and private forums on the artistic and cultural history of the province of Siena, and lead tours of Siena and other parts of Tuscany. I love to travel and to steep myself in the cultural details of other countries. From childhood, I have loved the art, the traditions, the grand cuisine and the unique lifestyle of Italy. For these reasons, when I work in my own city of Siena, I pay close attention to the most authentic aspects of local traditions – for example, to the famous horse-race, the Palio in Siena; to the seventeen competing “Contradas” into which the city is divided to provide horses and riders for the race; and to the complex rituals of the holiday in which my family, as well as every Sienese family, lives daily.
Viviana was born in Como, the famous lake located North of Italy. She attended Political Sciences at the State University of Milan and had been working in Como for an American publisher as well as at an advertising workshop in Como. Then she came to Tuscany and had been living in San Gimignano, the many towered town, for 10 years. There she had a public competition to become a qualified tourist guide: she won it and a few years later she got it for the Province of Siena. What's more, she wrote a guide book on San Gimignano which she considers her second home, although today she lives in the countryside in a small fortified village named Monteriggioni. Currently she's working with small groups and families all over her area with a special key to reading to the anthropological point of view and to the wine making world.
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