About Friend in Florence
Ann Reavis and Francesca Maria Boni created Friend In Florence to provide visitors to Florence and Tuscany rich, in-depth, experiences, which may include walking and driving tours, cooking classes, market visits, self-guided adventures, and immersion in the life and culture of Italy's most evocative Renaissance city and a region of excellent wineries, historic Tuscan hill towns and unique festivals.
Five years seemed to be Ann Reavis's attention span for any career until she got to Italy in 1998. She's been a lawyer, a nurse, a presidential appointee in a federal agency, and a freelance writer. She lived in New Mexico, Texas, California (San Francisco Bay Area), Michigan and Washington, DC. For the last twelve years she has been traveling to and from Florence, finally happy to focus on a city and region in her writing for her website: www.TuscanTraveler.com
Ann joined Francesca Boni to create rewarding experiences for visitors to Florence and Tuscany. Ann communicates extensively with each of Friend In Florence's clients to develop a unique plan for tours of Florence and the surrounding countryside, museum visits, cooking classes, catered meals, winery visits, and more. She helps her clients focus their interests: art, history, food, wine, artisans, cooking, shopping, and more. Then she works with the client to create a package of adventures, both in Florence and in Tuscany.
Ann solves her attention span problem by delving into the history of Tuscany from the Middle Ages to World War II. Francesca provides insight into modern Italian politics and culture. Ann knows the details of the lives of the artists that made Florence famous. Francesca knows the restaurants that serve authentic Florentine cuisine and have the best wine lists. Both of them know the shopkeepers, markets, and artisans that make Florence special.
Francesca is an engaging, enthusiastic Florentine cook, who brings to the kitchen the accrued knowledge and creativity of three generations of Tuscan cooks. She started off studying literature and languages – she is fluent in four – then became a Professor of languages and Italian Culture and Cinema. She traveled the world learning to cook the local cuisines and sharing her love of the simple healthy dishes served at her grandmother's table. She returned to Florence with a renewed desire to share her philosophy that fresh and local ingredients, treated with respect, are the keys to creating flavorful Tuscan dishes. Francesca teaches that the less the ingredients are manipulated, the greater the flavor: "Less is more."
Francesca also conducts Friend In Florence market tours and shopping adventures. She not only knows Florentine artisans and shops that sell the best in Italian arts, crafts and products, she also knows how to find the best deals at the luxury outlet stores and malls.