Tuscany tour operator and travel guide: meet our team

Your friends at Arianna & Friends


Co-founder and owner at Arianna & Friends'

Ciao a tutti! It’s Massimo here. I’m the “first one” of the friends of Arianna in order of appearance, as we first met me when we were… ehm … at the high school! Well, the first “activities” we arranged together were those many teenagers do, like going to rock concerts (long live Metallica!), barbecuing, drinking inexpensive wine, mainly with no understanding of it. In over 25 years we became more serious adults; so serious that we finished university together and we then decided to start a business from scratch, back in 2007, in an area where nothing like this existed before. I am a natural born teacher, as I’ve always liked sharing knowledge on the beauties of the world with other people. When I started sharing the wisdom of the local cuisine with visitors to Tuscany or showing them the rooted traditions behind a wheel of local pecorino cheese, I realized how fantastic my job is. In fact I discovered that being a wine & food guide is a sophisticated way of being a good teacher, so I can’t help but love it! In the A&F team I’m the multi-language guide or assistant in all activities we offer, from cooking classes, to wine & food tours, from Italian language classes to vespa tours. In the low season I deal with the website development and content management. As I am very curious, I spend all my free time travelling all over the world and of course going on learning as much as I can: over the last few years I took part in several seminaries on extra virgin olive oil, I started a three-year course to become a sommelier, I experienced a professional training to become gelato maker and I decided to never give up in learning the Arabic language. Stay connected as we will soon come up with some new great ideas for your entertainment and enjoyment of our beautiful region! Ci vediamo in Toscana!


Founder and owner at Arianna & Friends'

And that's me, Arianna. When I was a student at the univeristy together with Massimo, we had a dream. We knew already we wanted somehow to spread our culture, but we didn't know in which ways yet. And we knew we needed to first get more educated ourselves, to go deeper in what for us belonged to our everyday life, before making it avaiable to the others. We made a lot of researches, made many contacts, and we finally found a good way to become ambassadors of the Tuscan culture, taditions and lifestyle. Yes, I admit it, the power that moved everything was my passion for food! For good food, and in particular for the good food of my mamma and my nonna, hehehh! It was learning from them that I started thinking that I couldn't miss the opportunity to share all I knew with others. It couldn't be different because here where we live, food IS culture! And so we made up a name for our project, our future business, that had to give this message: spend time with us, your Tuscan friends and you'll feel like in a family and you'll experience Tuscany in a very authentic way. So the name Arianna & Friends was picked as the best choice. Personally, I love planning, making people happy, organizing, having crazy ideas .. so crazy that sometimes Massimo needs to bring me down to earth! I like making sure that people are more than satisfied when they come back home. I'm lucky to have Massimo, Consuelo, Moira, Luca with me along with all the other "boys and girls" that help us providing excellent services, all of us, always with a big smile on our faces :)


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

Ciao a tutti! My name is Moira and I'm the "foreigner" here at Arianna & Friends! In fact I come from the north west of Italy, from the town of Turin, and I moved to Tuscany in 2012, falling immediately in love with the culture, the arts and foods and of course - my favourite! - wines of this beautiful region. I started working at Arianna & Friends' back in 2013 as an assistant at the Tourist Information Office of a small hilltop village, where our office was initially located; then I got my licence as tour guide and I am today the city tour guide in the team for the main towns of Pisa, Volterra, San Miniato, but also for all our less famous tiny villages, which hide lots of secrets and such a loooong history! Last year, together with my colleague Luca, we got a licence as official truffle hunters, but I'm still mainly a truffle eater! When I'm not walking around in our amazing places talking about arts, culture and history, or discovering together with our guests the local specialties, you find me in the office, taking care of bookings and reservations. I really hope to meet you soon to show you around our beautiful land, and as I come from another region, I can also reveal some of the secrets that Tuscan people will never confess!!


Tour leader and sales manager at Arianna & Friends'

Ciao Amici!! My name is Luca. I'm in my 40s and I'm for sure the craziest guide at Arianna & Friends As all my other colleagues, I am a multi task personality in the company. I take care of bookings, I am one the content managers of our websites and I'm a tour leader. When in season, I lead almost all types of tours and cooking classes at Arianna & Friends'. My favourite ones are the truffle, olive oil and vespa tours. Riding a vespa through our wonderful hills is a must to do while in Tuscany... of course only if you know how to ride a scooter! When I started working for Arianna & Friends, back in 2011, I was only able to prepare a very simple "pasta al pomodoro" (pasta with tomato sauce). Now, after more than 10 years of cooking classes and thanks to our wonderful cooks, I am a very good chef (but please, don't tell it to my wife!). My motto is "smile you are in Tuscany". I'm happy and very proud when I see people enjoying my country and having fun in Tuscany. Join us! Join me! Let's have fun togheter!!


Cooking class assistant at Arianna & Friends' and farm manager

Olá amigos! I am Rita, an enthusiastic collaborator of Arianna and Friends for 8 years now. I was born and raised in Porto (Portugal), but I have spent many years living in Tuscany. I got in love with Italy and especially with this region for several reasons. Many of them are the ones that make you visit it: healthy environment, good food and wine, magic sceneries...but let's be honest... I majorly got in love with a handsome Italian man! Together with my husband Aronne, pursuing our passion for nature and animals, I manage a small organic farm in the countryside of Montefoscoli, a little typical village 15 min far from Arianna and Friends' office, surprisingly full of history. At my farm I will be your guide if you book a group cooking class and we will spend a nice time together preparing traditional Tuscan food or baking some pizza in our historical wood oven. Our most important production is organic extravergine olive oil, which we use in every cooking class. You will also be enjoying some of our wine, vegetables and herbs. You can visit us not only for a cooking class, but also for an olive oil harvest and tasting, a picknick in our oakwood or just as a brief stop during your tour. Whenever you visiy ud Maria and Giona, our young children, will be welcoming you with joy! But most probably the first ones saying hello to you will be Pinto and Elsa, our very friendly dog. Together with them, you will also be surrounded by hens, chicks and roosters, a couple of donkeys, two cats and a few bee hives. You will go back in time and learn how it was back here almost 200 years ago. I am looking forward to have you here and tell you all about it. See you soon!


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

Hello dear friends and future guests. My name is Consuelo .. Spanish name, I know,... but it's just the name .. I am an authentic Tuscan woman. My work here at Arianna & Friends' is mainly in the booking department. 12 years ago I had the chance to meet Arianna & Massimo for an apprenticeship program. I was still a student when I started working here. They gave me the possibility to grow and learn a lot, starting probably just by looking at what they were doing, learning from their passion and knowledge. They gave, and they still continue to give to me and to all of us, the possibility to grow professionaly. In the meantime I've become a mother of a blond & curly angel, whose name is Marilena. I was born and raised here in the Terre di Pisa land, in Peccioli, and as a local, I love my territory and my job. My goal each day is to make sure that our guests and visitors can go back home with the same love for my land that I have... As I'm not a tour guide myself, probably you won't meet me in person, unless you come and visit us in our office; yet, for sure you can meet me virtually via email or over the phone for planning the best tours, activities and packages in Tuscany. I'm here to give support and choose with you the best things to do during your visit according to your needs. We are very much customer-oriented and the customer satisfaction is our main goal. So, when you'll start planning your next Italian trip, contact me and I'll give you all my support and share with you my best ideas.


Ciao, I'm Ester, one of the cooks of Arianna & Friends'. I've been working with them since the beginning of their adventure in 2007. I love cooking together with people from all over the world, especailly with young kids. What I prefer to cook is pasta dishes, pizza and desserts, like for example the stunning cake I made to celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary. I live, like Davide (my nephew), in the little village of Lajatico, birthplace of Andrea Bocelli and from my home I can hear his voice and see something when Teatro del Silenzio takes place in July. I live in a farm and I have chickens, rabbits, a large vegetable garden. I make my own olive oil and wine together with my family. I hope to be able to cook with many of you in the years to come and teach you a lot of our typical Tuscan food.


Ciao, I'm Silvia, one of the youngest cooks at Arianna & Friends'. Cooking is my real passion and I like to prepare any traditional dish both for visitors and for my family. I also love baking pizza as well as trying innovative food and special contemporary techniques, especially in my kitchen at home. When I started working for this company in 2018, I met an incredible team of collaborators and with them I finally feel joy and serenity in what I do. Any time I work as a cook I can breath freedom and this makes me happy. As I really love the sea, in my free time I like being at the beach. I have a passion for travelling and being in the company of my friends. I could define myself as a "free spirit" with a big attraction to ... hats !!! Looking forward to meet you all!


Hello everybody! My name is Davide, the youngest one in the team of Arianna & Friends. I joined the company in 2022, when my aunt Ester, one of the chefs in the team, introduced me to Arianna & Massimo. I am a wonderful talker and I really enjoy entertaining our guests during cooking classes and foodie tours. I also deal with bookings related to Teatro del Silenzio. Being from Lajatico, I am really happy to arrange holidays to people who will visit my hometown. I am a very ironic person who likes making life enjoyable, something that my colleagues really appreciate on a daily base. I really hope I can meet many people from all over the world thanks to my job. Ciao ciao!


Buongiorno a tutti! My name is Anna from San Miniato, a historical town in Tuscany famous also for its delicious white truffles. I met Arianna and Massimo in the early 2000s, when we were all working at a local agriturismo: I was at the reception while they were starting their career as event organizers and food tour operators. As their company was expanding we had several occasions for cooperating until I finally joined the team more stably in 2022. I now deal with accountancy and coordination of all the chefs for the many services a day that we arrange. I spend most of my free time at sea as I now live in Livorno, a beautiful harbor town.


Hi everybody! I am Paola, a talented cook who is never tired. I have been cooking all my life both privately and in the kitchens of a series of restaurants in the area I live in, near the central town of Empoli. I joined Arianna & Friends in early 2022 as the whole world was recovering from the difficult years of the pandemic and as the company was quickly restarting its operativity. I was very glad that I could join such a dynamic and friendly team and share with them all my knowledge and passion. I deal with cooking classes and chef services in all the region together with the various story-tellers and chef assistants who participate in the service. In my free time I enjoy cycling in the spectacular Tuscan hills that surround my home town. I can't wait to cook for you an unforgettable meal!


Mi chiamo Carlo, the only "boy" among the chefs of Arianna & Friends. I am a cousin of Lorena, who has worked with the company for long now and who introduced me to them back in 2022. I live in Pontedera, home of Vespa, and I have been cooking all my life, since preparing delicious food has always been my great passion. In my working age I was an operator for an insurance company, so I know plenty of local people and I am very friendly and talkative. I then retired and decided to dedicate myself to the things I like the most: cooking and joining friends. I have limited Enlish but miraculously all our guests can easily understand me through my body language and face expressions. I will be waiting for you for great barbecue dinners and traditional dishes of all kinds!


Maria Grazia, in our team called MG, is a very positive thinking lady who works as a sous-chefs at Arianna & Friends, when she is not busy helping children get born. In fact she is also a professional ostetrician! A nice irony in her character, combined with an intrinsic calm when working, create an incredible effect during the services provided.


Eccomi! My name is Margherita, mother of 2, who lives in Santa Croce sull'Arno. I was born and raised in the fantastic wine region of Fiano, Greco and Taurasi, namely some the best wines from the South of Italy. I have been living in Tuscany for decades and I have always cooked both for my families and for several restaurants. My very mild and sweet personality is able to create a very relaxed working ambience and my guests really appreciate this atmosphere. I am a curious person who likes learning and I am ready to share my knowledge with all visitors who take on a cooking class or a chef service. Grazie a tutti!


Hi everybody, ciao a tutti. I am Elisabetta and I am the youngest one among the chefs of Arianna & Friends. I have been working with the company for several years, initially just as a sous-chef and eventually as a proper chef. I have accumulated many years of experience while learning from all my other colleague chefs, but I also added my personal taste and knowledge to the whole. I am really happy to be part of this team and to be able to meet people from all over the world. In my free time I enjoy the company of my lovely puppy for long walks or just hanging around for shopping. Ciao a presto!

All your other friends in tuscany

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.


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 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.


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 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.


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 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.


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 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 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 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 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 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 is a very fascinating middle-aged man with plenty of interests and a great knowledge on botanics and farming. He has been cooperating with Arianna & Friends as a sous-chef in cooking classes and chef services. A great professionalism and care for the quality of service make him one of the most beloved members of all the team.


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 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 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.


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.


Claudia and her father Genuino are the winemakers of a stunning family run winery in the hills surrounding Volterra with an outstanding production of typically Tuscan reds


Antonio is an experienced biker who has been travelling the whole world on board his powerful quad bike. After visiting unnumbered locations he settled in central Tuscany and opened a rental company of quad bikes. He assists at any rental and selected incredibly fascinating routes in the rural Tuscany.


Good morning everyone! I'm the cook Lorena. I started working with Arianna & Friends a few years ago when I retired, because someone set me up. You must know that Arianna is a good friend of my daughter Martina and they had this brilliant idea of asking me to cook for Arianna's tourists. Well, I coulnd't say no! Arianna tried my food for the first time when she was still at school with my daughter and she knows that I can cook very well!! ahahah The food I prepare is purely Tuscan: I don't use and butter or lard, but just EV olive oil, from Tuscany of course. People say my meat ragu is excellent, but also my Cacciucco - Livornese style fish soup - is simply fantastic. I make preserves and the best lasagne ever! I live in Pontedera, the town of the vespa. I'm in my early 70s and last year I got married for the second time! I like music from 40s 50s and 60s like Glenn Miller, King Cole, Frank Sinatra etc. etc. I cannot speak English, even if I tried to attend some English classes in these last few years... I ended up chatting about food with the other students! But no problem, when I'm with some guests in their holiday home preparing a meal, I always have my little dictionary with me that helps a lot in the conversation. I look forward meeting you all again soon!