Meet our team

Your friends at Arianna & Friends

Massimo

Co-founder and owner at Arianna & Friends

Massimo, born in 1976, is one of the co-founders of the company Arianna & Friends. He started working at the project back in 2006. He is an experienced Italian teacher and tour guide and he specializes in wine & food tours, vespa tours, cookery classes and Italian lessons. He is able to tour in English, German, Russian and Spanish as his bend for modern languages and learning about cultures of all the world is very strong. As a gift for his 40th birthday he received a fantastic Vespa PX of 1983 from all his friends so now he travels across his beloved Tuscany on his vespa as soon as he's got some free time.

Arianna

Founder and owner at Arianna & Friends

Arianna, born in 1975, lives in Santa Maria a Monte with her family and her funny dog Dante. She graduated in modern languages in Pisa, after spending some years in Freiburg, Germany. She has been working as a tour leader, translator and interpreter for years before founding Arianna & Friends in 2007. She specializes in cooking classes and visits to wine and olive oil farms as well as cheese and pasta factories. She likes listening to music, organizing events and arts. Her favourite dish is the wild boar with olives, a recipe she inherited from her granny.

Moira

Pisa city tour guide & and tour leader at Arianna & Friends.

Moira, born in 1976, joined Arianna & Friends in February 2014 working as a receptionist for the Tourist Information Office of Peccioli, the town where the premises of our Tour Operator are. Since September 2014 she became a licensed official Pisa city tour guide in English and French. She is a great photographer and she is endlessly knowledgeabe on local art and history. In the summer months Moira meets groups of local visitors for weekly two-hour free guided walking tours of the most spectacular towns of our area, like Chianni, Peccioli and Lajatico. She is also the best guide for our private cultural guided tours to Pisa, San Miniato and Volterra.

Luca

Tour leader and sales manager at Arianna & Friends

Luca, born in 1984, is the youngest member (for now) at Arianna & Friends'. He graduated in Modern Languages with focus on French and English and after some years as a multi task personality in the entertainment team of a famous cruiseline, he decided to settle back in Tuscany, where he originates from. He joined our company in August 2011 and since then he focused on wine & food tours, vespa tours and cookery lessons. He is able to guide in fluent English and French. He is a passionate soccer player and fond of good foods of all sorts.

Veronica

Sales manager and cooking class assistant at Arianna & Friends

Veronica has been a very talented resource at Arianna & Friends since 2012. Born in 1977, she lives in Montelupo Fiorentino, a town famous for its ceramic and pottery tradition, and she is the mother of a sweet little girl called Matilde. She attended courses of Russian and English at the University of Pisa with Massimo. After graduating, she worked in hospitality and event organization. In Autumn 2012 she joined our company and since then she plans original weddings and events and she deals with the bookings related to the yearly concerts of Andrea Bocelli in Lajatico. She is a real passionate of food and cooking, often counting on the precious advice of her aunt and the stories she remembers from her grandma.

Rita

Cooking class assistant at Arianna & Friends

Rita is an enthusiast of Tuscany who decided to move to here years ago from Portugal. She runs an organic farm in Montefoscoli, where she lives with her husband and her two young children, and where our company arranges weekly cooking classes for all visitors to the area. She cooperates with Arianna and Friends for cooking classes and olive oil tasting sessions. She also cares about the charming Temple of Minerva Medica, a unique monument located in her garden's territory.

Consuelo

Sales manager, customer care and main accountant at Arianna & Friends

Consuelo is the first friend who joined Arianna and Massimo in 2008, soon after Arianna & Friends had been founded. She lives in Peccioli in a marvellous country cottage overlooking the whole Terre di Pisa valley and she is very proud of her origins. In the company she is the general sales manager and accountant. She loves great wines and sharing good food with her many friends. In many years at Arianna & Friends she has supported the company throughout its evolution with big energy and humor.

Canotto

Mascotte and soul supporter at Arianna & Friends

Canotto, or Otto, is the super cute dog of Veronica. Every day he comes to our office and sleeps on his cushion for hours and hours. Veronica found him abandoned on the way to Peccioli and, after trying to find the old owners with no success, she decided to adopt him. Since then Canotto is the mascotte at Arianna & Friends' appearing in the social media of the company and in the good wish messages of the company at the end of the year :) .

All your other friends in tuscany

Orazio the Donkey

Orazio is a friendly and cute donkey in one of our farms in Tuscany. Very often an animal farm in Tuscany is also a holiday farm. If you happen to meet Orazio during your holiday you may want to not leave any more...

Mirko and Riccardo

Two brothers and excellent winemakers. Mirko is a qualified professional winemaker with international experience who is in charge of the whole excellent production of one of the most renowned wineries of Terre di Pisa. His Brother Riccardo joined him a few years ago to help and now he is one of the most important characters of the company.

Cheese makers

On the organic cheese farm of our tour some professional cheese makers are often in the process of making cheese. They are usually very busy with curdling the milk or creating the cheese wheels but they are very friendly and always available for questions and details during our visits.

Riccardo

Riccardo is one of the most renowed truffle hunters of Tuscany. Together with his wife, he runs a business of truffle trading to all the world. He welcomes truffle passionates from all the world in his little property near San Miniato for private truffle hunting sessions with truffle-based lunch.

Nebbia

Nebbia is a fantastic dog, partly a lagotto romagnolo, born in 2007. She is particularly skilled at finding even very small truffles up to 40 cms under the surface of the soil. She is the protagonist of our truffle hunting tours in the area of San Miniato with her master Riccardo.

Anna Maria

Anna Maria is one of the members of the official panel of olive oil testers of Tuscany for the district of Pisa. She runs one of the most renowned oil mills in the area of Volterra and she has a great personality. Her mission is to make products available in most supermarkets.

Luca Martelli

Luca is one of the youngest pasta makers in the family Martelli. He is a skilled technician too, so he is the one who fixes the whole machinery in the company.

Chiara and Mario

Mario and Chiara are two members of the family Martelli, a historical family from Lari who has been producing pasta in the old center of the village since 1926. They are proud of their company and family history and they are emblems of the Italian way to capitalism.

Grape harvesters

In Tuscany it is common to see grape harvesters during the "vendemmia". The harvest takes place between the end of August and mid October. The harvesters spend their whole days in the vineyards picking grapes with their hands and selecting just the best bunches.

Eva and Leonardo

Eva and Leonardo are two wise and experienced winemakers of the area of San Miniato. In their property they have ancient and very rare grapes that no other winery of Tuscany can boost. They welcome visitors to their house in a very friendly and familiar atmosphere.

Gianni

Gianni is a very friendly assistant at one of the oil mills of our tours focusing on extra virgin olive oil. He is a great chef with a fantastic personality and he welcomes visitors to the butcher's shop right next to his oil mill.

Elena and Elisa

Elena and Elisa are two very experienced and enthusiastic farmers of Sardinian origin who produce saffron, herbs, olive oil, grains and fruits in a spectacular farm in the woody hills between Volterra and San Gimignano. Their property is in one of the most panoramic locations in Tuscany, the quintessence of the Tuscan landscapes.

Luca

Luca is an expert truffle hunter who welcomes you in a charming wood near Palaia for truffle hunting sessions with the dog Giotto. He was a food passionate until he met the most famous family of truffle hunters in Tuscany and became their main assistant for truffle hunting tours. His great English make him the best character for such tours.

Giotto

Giotto is a 10-year-old curly dog famous in Tuscany for being able to find truffles easily in the best truffle woods of our tours. He is the protagonist of our truffle hunting experiences near Palaia together with Luca the truffle hunter.

Teo

Teo is a talented truffle hunter in Tuscany who runs a small agriturismo in a lovely hilly territory. He shows visitors his private truffle reserve in a stunning fully Tuscan setting and he likes sharing his passion with everybody. His lovely dogs and the passion he has for his job make the visitors' experience particularly intensive.

Aldo

Aldo is a fantastic man and very skillful chef. He lives in a cottage in the most spectacular countryside between Pisa and Volterra and he offers private pizza making classes at home for visitors to Tuscany.

Lucia

Lucia is a lively, nice and very prepared Tuscan cook who is able to prepare fantastic meals in any condition! She is a wise and knowledgeable lady with a great sense of humor. She is often leading our cooking classes or our chef services and she is keen on teaching curious people all tricks of the Tuscan cuisine.

Lorena

Lorena is a talended chef who lives in the town of Pontedera, near Pisa. She is very passionate and specializes in Tuscan specialties. She is the perfect cook for private cooking services in your Tuscan villa or for in-home cooking classes.

Ester

Ester is one of our best chefs in Tuscany. She works is one of the co-founders of our cooking school My Tuscan Kitchen, the first cooking school in Terre di Pisa run by Arianna & Friends since 2013. Ester has a lifelong career in the kitchen, where she started practicing as a young girl with her granny.

Licia

Licia is a granny and a fantastic chef who lives in the village of Lajatico, the birthtown of Andrea Bocelli. She lives in a very charming house in the old town and her kitchen is one of the fantastic settings of our very pleasant private cookery classes.

Andrea

The best pastry maker in Tuscany is Andrea. He runs a historical pastry shop and restaurant in the medieval village of Peccioli, in central Tuscany, and he is a great teacher and motivator for any beginner in the "art of pastry making".

Ilaria

Ilaria is one of the most experienced and valued city guides of Pisa and Lucca. She is able to teach young students as well as to make a detailled and technical guidance to expert art lovers. She cooperates with Arianna & Friends since 2009.

Isabelle

Isabelle is the most knowledgeable and experienced guide for Siena and San Gimignano. She is of French origins but she settled in Tuscany many years ago. Her anectodes and stories about the Tuscan middle ages are some of the most interesting facts of the local history.

Laura

Laura is a smiley and experienced licensed city guide for Florence and its province. She is very fond of Renaissance art and she welcomes our guests with a big smile before walking with them in town for a half or a whole day. She knows all the best places in town and can advise for any need or help.

Leopoldo

Leopoldo is an original and talented painter from a small village in Tuscany called Terricciola. He developed his very peculiar style through decades of career. In 2013 he joined Arianna & Friends to teach painting to visitors of the area. His sarcasm and attitude are also part of our painting experiences with him.

Ferruccio

Ferruccio has been working as a potter for his whole life. He lives in Montelupo Fiorentino, the main town in Tuscany for the art of pottery. He teaches at the international school of pottery and he arranges private classes with Arianna & Friends since 2010.

sondra

Sondra is a skilled artist from Tuscany who specializes in decorating furniture, tiles and pots with any kind of material to revive and renew her items. She gives private lessons of decoupage decoration to visitors of Tuscan who want to make a special and personal souvenir during their stay.

Sandra

Sandra is a renowned jeweller in Tuscany who operates in the village of Lajatico, world famous for being the birthtown of Andrea Bocelli. Sandra arranges private classes of jewel making in her small atelier just next to Andrea's mother's home. She is able to make very refined objects in gold or silver joined with any kind of precious stone.

Julie

Julie is a very experienced horse riding trainer and guide who works at a spectacular agriturismo in central Tuscany, near Volterra. Her riding ground is available for easy pony rides for children as well as for excursions in the beautiful Tuscan hills on horseback.

Simone

Simone is a renowned butcher in the medieval village of Lari, whose family has always run the butcher's shop in town. He is part of the local association of producers of mallegato, a blood sausage typical of Tuscany, which he promotes with passion and dedication. During our visits to his boutique shop we see how they prepare prosciutto, salami, finocchiona, soppressata and the mallegato itself. Simone also sells great fresh meat prepared from local cinta senese pigs or Pisan cows.

Sebastian

Sebastian is a professional photographer from Florence who arranges photo sets during weddings and events. He invites visitors to Florence to join him for fantastic walking routes in town with focus on photography. His tours specialize in monumental squares, perspectives, colors and nuances, black & white photography and a lot of other fantastic details.

Ginevra

Ginevra is a renowned winemaker, owner and manager of the wine estate Tenuta di Ghizzano, one of the most famous wineries in Terre di Pisa. She elevated the wine production of the Pisan hills to very high standards leading the growth of the whole district. She welcomes visitors in her marvellous estate in Ghizzano, where she opens the door of her majestic villa in exclusive and interesting wine tasting tours.

Luciana

Luciana is a friendly guide of the wine estate Tenuta di Ghizzano. She shows guests the beautiful premises of the noble villa and the park before leading into the wine cellar for great wine sampling sessions. Luciana is also an old friend of Massimo, as they went to school together in the village of Peccioli.

Alessio

Alessio is the president of the association of truffle hunters of Volterra. He owns a beautiful farm with accommodation and his land includes an extensive truffle growing reserve. He arranges private truffle hunting adventures in his natural reserve, an authentic wood where only a few people are allowed to enter and where the growth of real truffles is favored.

Giuseppe

Giuseppe is the owner of the farm Fibbiano, one of the most important wineries in the wine district of the Pisan Hills called Terre di Pisa. Giuseppe turned an old farmhouse into an elegant agriturismo and started producing excellent Chianti and other unique wines before promoting them in the whole world together with his two sons.

Marco

Marco is the owner of a small but famous liquor factory in the rural Tuscany whose focus is making delicious traditional and innovative grappas and liquors. Along with his brother and father, Marco creates an endless series of delicious liquors with infusions of fruits, berries, coffee or chocolate as well as very original scents and flavors. Marco and his family welcome you to visit their factory in the Terre di Pisa district.

Nicola

Nicola is the most important personality in the world of extra virgin olive oil in the area of the Pisan mountains. He runs a historical oil mill and an organic farm in Vicopisano where he produces the most refined and authentic extra virgin olive oil as well as other delicious products.

Diego

Diego is the most punctual, elegant and professional driver in the whole Tuscany. He runs a family business in transportation by luxury cars, minivans and one minibus for 19 passengers. His life-long experience made him the perfect chauffeur for any transfer, shore excursion or tour with top class and unique reliability. He works mainly in Tuscany and all Northern Italy.

Tuscan drivers

The best drivers' company in Tuscany. Diego, Enzo and Andrea are skilled, reliable and experienced drivers in Tuscany who meet you during our tours and shore excursions. They speak good English and can cope with any logistic problem in the whole Tuscan territory. Their year-long experience is fundamental to study the best solutions and take any backroad in case traffic is slowing down our programs.

Umberto

Umberto is the most experienced guide of the Cinque Terre park. Very friendly, professional and passionate, he is the best way to experience the beauty of the park. Whether by trekking along the trails, taking trains or comfortable boats, he will show you the most picturesque corners of the area while telling you about the fascinating history of the community living there.

Marco

Marco is an experienced helicopter pilot who works for a company that serves all northern Italy. He specializes in helicopter taxi services from and to Florence connecting all Italian major airports. He cooperates with Arianna & Friends for private and small group helictoper tours of all the rural Tuscany.

Elisa

Elisa is a passionate of children. She is a teacher and educator in some elementary and middle schools in central Tuscany and an intructor of Hatha Yoga. In many years she has got a long teaching experience with children of all ages. She works with Arianna & Friends for private baby sitting services and private yoga classes.

Daniela

Daniela is an experienced cook who represents the most typical way of cooking in Italian homes. She has been working many years as main chef for receptions at weddings, food festivals and large events before joining Arianna & Friends. She is really fond of wild mushrooms, especially porcini and galletti, which she gathers in long walks in the woods in her free time.

Roberta

Roberta is a friendly and energic food passionate who helps our chefs during cooking classes and chef services. She joined Arianna & Friends in 2015 and added her enthusiasm and knowledge on local foods - especially when making cakes - making the services even nicer. She is a student of magistracy and she lives in a stunning panoramic villa with her family and two super sweet dogs.

Natalia

Natalia is a smart assistant at many of our cooking classes and chef services. Since 2014 she started helping our granny chefs in case of large groups. She is passionate and very precise and always ready to solve an issue with a big smile. Natalia grew up with the lovely Ukrainian recipes of her granny, which she likes sharing with all her Tuscan friends.

Laura

Laura is a very friendly granny who loves Tuscan food just because it is what her granmother passed her! She lives in a fantastic cottage very close to Montecastello and she enjoys nature and music. She is ready to cook for chef services in any villa in Tuscany and she is able to adapt to any condition always with the aim of preparing the most delicious delicacies for her guests.