Ambra tour guide

Ambra Tour Guide

Ciao and welcome to my website!

I am Ambra Sargentoni, born in 1992, born and raised in Milan by
an almost entirely Sienese family: an authentic half blood.
I obtained an art school diploma and a degree in tourism in the
Lombard capital and then moved to Siena where I embarked on
my journey to become a tour guide.

Who I am

Ciao my name is Ambra!

I chose to obtain several licenses to try to have a greater
awareness of my field, with the most complete instruction
possible, in order to offer informative visit experiences, but
always dynamic and enjoyable.
Initially, I became a Siena tour guide, then added an
accreditation for Florence. After that, I obtained a tour companion qualification and finally, I completed my professional skills with an environmental guide qualification. Last but not least, following my main passion, I also became a Sommelier.

Why did I become a tour guide?

I undertook this profession because it makes me feel like an ambassador of the “tricolore”, a proud standard-bearer of my beautiful Italy, which I am hopelessly in love with. Every time that I accompany visitors to the discovery of a wine, a dish, a work of art, or a path, I feel like I am contributing, in my own small way, to pay tribute to my country and to our history.
The tour guide is always able to give something more to your trip.
It’s important for me to debunk the myth of the “boring tour guide”; we’re used to thinking of a boring person, more similar in features and attitudes to a witch than to a human being.
My goal is not to hold history lessons or art history, even less so to indoctrinate my travelers with religious dogma. My aspiration is to give a pleasurable memory to those who adventure through my lands. To be able to excite and entertain those who invest their free time in my company.
There are many interesting aspects to investigate by visiting Italy and Tuscany, among these, my favorites are without a doubt food and wine, folklore and local trad tions. I love all of Italy’s wine, all of Italy’s food, all of Italy’s traditions and all of Italy’s
history, but I “specialized” In Tuscan and Sienese traditions. To choose me as a guide for your tour in Tuscany, means to choose a passionate and enthusiastic person.
Whoever treats him/herself to a visit to of the numerous and marvelous wineries of the province, a walk in nature or a guided visit of Sienese monuments, can be assured that I will do my best to make your time with me interesting, enjoyable and fun.

Tour di Siena

The Palio of Siena

An Enduring Tradition

Departure: Piazza del Campo

Arrival: Piazza del Duomo

Duration: 2.5 hours

Siena is known worldwide for the for the ancient tradition of the Palio, a celebration with medieval origins for which we have documentation since 1239. Two times a year – July 2 and August 16, the city transforms itself and the quiet reality of the province becomes the theatre of a race that involves everyone, from the residents of the contrade (neighborhoods) to the business people to the tourists. Surely, if you have come to town during the Palio, you’ve asked a lot of questions: How many contrade are there? Is the jockey from Siena? Is there one Palio more important than the other? How does one become part of a contrada? Does one bet on the horses? What does one win? If you have asked at least one of these questions, or are interested in investigating this unusual tradition, here is the perfect tour for you. It is possible, by request, to also visit one of the 17 contrada museums, where the unique and unparalleled artifacts, special costumes and banners are kept.

Siena for everyone!

The first republic

Departure: Basilica of San Domenico (Basilica Cateriniana)

Arrival: Piazza del Campo

Duration: 3 hours

Siena is a medieval city located in the heart of Tuscany, a Unesco heritage site since 1995 for its alleys, its buildings and its traditions. Therefore, not only Palio, but also history, culture and legends unfold across the ancient streets of the city. A tour focused on the history, facts and characters that made Siena great during the Middle Ages and beyond. It seems incredible that a city exists that still retains its original face, as if time had passed by here, but barely touching the buildings and streets. Visiting Siena, you have the impression of walking through time, of taking part in a unique movie set. To take an indepth look at this ancient realty, there are several options: we could simply walk together through the well-known streets and the lesser known characteristic alleys, or we could dedicate an hour of our tour to visit the Cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, the undisputed jewel of the Middle Ages and of the Italian Renaissance.

Anecdotes and Legends

A city where legend becomes myth

Departure: Piazza Tolomei

Arrival: Piazza del Campo

Duration: 2 hours

Do you know Siena very well? Have you already visited it? Do you think that there is nothing that can surprise you about its history? Do you have young children with you and are afraid that they will get bored? Challenge accepted! A tour dedicated to the most unusual curiosities, the extraordinary anecdotes and the mysterious city legends! From the mysterious creatures to the invisible underground river, from the secrets of Piazza del Campo to the fearless preachers, we will walk the streets crossing the ancient legends. Sometimes, a different look can change our mind: a 2-hour tour, dynamic, different and unusual, to appreciate an unusual side of the city. Every moment we live is history, but what happens to all those moments that don’t find space in the textbooks? Sometimes, history becomes legend and legend becomes myth.

The Unrivaled Piazza del Campo with its Palazzo
Comunale

the heart of Siena

Departure: Piazza del Campo

Arrival: Piazza del Campo

Duration: 2 hours

In the heart of Siena, near the point where the three hills meet on which the city is built, rises Piazza del Campo, on which the Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) stands out. Before 1287, the year of the beginning of construction, this place looked completely different, even the square as we know it today didn’t exist; it was the “Government of the Nine”, a “just” government, made up of nine members of the “middle class” that commissioned the square and hall, in order to better operate the justice of the city. Our tour departs right from the square, where we will discover together the history and the curiosities of the elements that characterize it, such as “Fonte Gaia”, the “Chapel of the Square” and the shape of the place itself, that has little or nothing to do with the Palio race. After having admired the beauty of the square, it’s time to cross the entrance of the building and go up to the wing of the building used as the Civic Museum. The different historic eras and painting styles that permeate the gothic spaces of this place have made it unique and unparalleled. From the Risorgimental frescoes to the stories of Pope Alexander III, from the “Chapel of the Nine” to the “Hall of the Consistory (ecclesiastical) Court”, we will analyze all of the halls of this marvelous building, focusing primarily on the two undisputed masterpieces kept here: Simone Martini’s “The Majesty” and Amborgio Lorenzetti’s “The Good and Bad Government and its effects in the city and in the countryside” (currently under restoration). Two incomparable symbols of the glorious Republic of Siena, founded on three great concepts: Beauty, Justice and Common Good, ideals that characterized these lands for centuries and that have been indelibly frescoed on the walls of the Town Hall.

Of Crimes and Siena

a tour to rediscover the assassinations of the republic sense

Departure: Piazza del Campo

Arrival: via di Pantaneto

Duration: 1.5 hours

A historical tour that retraces the lesser known moments of the glorious Republic of Siena, through some of the assassinations that followed in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. We will start from the great turmoil that pervaded the Republic in the 14th Century, when the just “Government of the Nine” was overthrown, nobles rebelled, taxes rose, work conditions soured and, last but not least, the terrible “Black Plague” arrived which hit several times since 1348 and which led to the disappearance of 60% of the European population. In that context, it is therefore easy to imagine the state of unrest into which the population poured in the second half of the 1300’s. With rapid steps, we will cross the centuries between alliances, misfortunes, submissions and conquests, in search of the murders that shocked the quiet Sienese reality. If you like, at the end of this tour, a visit is planned to the historic Sienese cutlery, where Mateo, one of the owners, will introduce us to the history of the knife, from the possible shapes, to the uses, to the regulations as a weapon.

Tour around Siena

San Gimignano

Saffron and Vernaccia Wine

Departure: Porta San Giovanni

Arrival: Church of Sant’Agostino

Duration: 2 hours minimum

San Gimignano is a place of noteworthy beauty; immersed in the Chianti region, halfway between Siena and Florence, it offers unique views and breathtaking panoramas. Not even the multitudes of tourists manage to ruin its fascination and it’s always a pleasure to lose oneself among its alleys. Via Francigena, tower houses, Sienese influence, Florentine submission and family rivalries are certainly key subjects of the guided tour. One can opt for a city walk of about an hour, leaving from Porta San Giovanni and going up to the Church of Sant’Agostino, passing by the Duomo and central square, or, if you like, one could also investigate the lesser known sides of San Gimignano, but nonetheless of fundamental importance: saffron and Vernaccia wine.

Saffron Known as one of the most expensive spices that there is, it’s actually nothing more than part of a flower. You already know why it is so expensive that it deserves the nickname of “red gold”.

Vernaccia wine Another prince of these lands is Vernaccia wine, surely, among all the wines of the province of Siena, it is the least known, even though it was the first vine denomination of the white grape variety to receive, in 1993, the DOCG designation. Depending on the type chosen, it can be tasted both as an aperitif and in combination with more structured dishes, in any case, it will be savory and harmonious, satisfying every palate. Whether you have your own car or need a driver, this tour is a good proposition to spend a different day, among history, art and food and wine culture.

San Galgano

and the Montesiepi Hermitage

Departure: Parking area of San Galgano

Arrival: Montesiepi Hermitage

Duration: 2.5 hours

San Galgano is a magical place immersed in the Merse Valley. The site is composed of two buildings: the Cistine Abbey and the Montesiepi Hermitage. Between these, only the Hermitage is linked to the story of San Galgano, and it’s the place where the saint lived the last year of his life. Galgano was a very peculiar character, fatherless in his youth, he first followed the paternal path becoming a knight, but following a dream in his thirties, he drastically changed direction. Known for jabbing the sword in the stone, a gesture that brings him closer to the Nordic characters of the Arthurian eras, he decides to lead a hermetic life. However, as it often happens to great personalities who choose a solitary life, Galgano attracts to himself multiple curious people, not all, unfortunately, moved by the best intentions. We will see what happens to the person, to the sword and to the place that hosts him until his death, when the envious try to take revenge for his success. The Abbey is found at the base of the small promontory of Montesiepi and was constructed after the death of San Galgano. Being one of the first Cistene abbeys of Tuscany, it is here that we see, introduced for the first time, Gothic forms, still linked to the austere function of the building. Also, thanks to the roof that, alas, is no longer present today, the church is “scented beyond the Alps”, and despite being completely bare, it recalls surroundings of solemn celebrations. Today, the convent, leaned against the church, is only partially open for visits. From the ticket desk, we will proceed across the chapter room, and once past the portico, we will be right in the center of the abbey. After having admired the construction phases, the materials utilized and the lifestyle of the monks, we will climb the small hill up to the Hermitage to learn more about the life of the saint that gives the name to the whole site. A tour focused on the life of Galgano and on the history of the Abbey to fully comprehend the events of this wonderful place.

Castello Poggiarello

Tradition and Innovation

Departure: Castello Poggiarello

Arrival: Castello Poggiarello

Duration: 2.5 hours

Chianti Classico, Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montepulciano, they are all renowned wines of the province of Siena common to the same vine, although in different proportions: Sangiovese. DOCG wines of excellent quality and well-defined personality, without a doubt. If you already know them or simply want to try something different and closer to Siena, why not visit a winery situated at the gates to the Valley of Merse, 20 minutes from the historic center of the capital? Unique to this winery, not only the area that is decidedly not famous for its wine production, but also the bold choice of the vines planted here at the beginning of the century: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. It is Castello Poggiarello, a castle of the glorious Republic of Siena which stands on one of the branches of the Via Francigena. Since its foundation in the 12th century, Poggiarello changed owners, but it never changed the architectural soul, despite the best efforts of the famous architect Baldassarre Peruzzi between the 15th and 16th centuries. During the visit, we will be able to admire many of his interventions, like the chapel, still consecrated – by the northern lines, the orchard-garden still in use, and the entrance garden to the castle. To follow, after having visited the castle in depth, we will taste the wonderful wines produced here, from the pure Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, to wine produced only and exclusively in terracotta amphorae, to aged cabernet in French oak barrels. A decidedly unmissable experience for whoever enjoys wine and history and is curious to try new horizons.

Monte Oliveto Maggiore

The abbey in the Crete

Monte Oliveto Maggiore is an abbey situated in the Sienese Crete, about 30 km from the capital. The foundation of this complex dates back to the 14th century, but its current appearance is the fruit of renovation works carried out at the end of the 15th century. It’s one of the few monastic Italian properties to have continuously maintained a community of Benedictine Olivetan monks, since its foundation until present day. To tell you the story of the fascinating place, we will start from May 10, 1272, the day on which Giovanni de’Tolomei was born, son of Mino di Cristofero and Fulvia Tancredi, founders of the Olivetan congregation. We will visit, among others, the renowned quadangular cloister, completed in the 1440’s, and decorated by 35 frescoes of the Life of San Benedetto da Norcia, created by two of the greatest artists of the Tuscan Renaissance: Luca Signorelli and Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, called Sodom. Together we will see the history of these frescoes, the lives of the artists that accomplished them and the curiosity linked to their creation. The last stage of our journey will be the abbey church, a structure with a single Latin cross nave, constructed in Gothic- Romanesque style between 1400 and 1417, which preserves some valuable artworks, such as the wooden inlaid choir from the aforementioned Fra’ Giovanni da Verona.

For lovers of good wine

“Are you a lover of good wine? Would you like to immerse yourself in the magnificent world of wine cellars? You are not very familiar with Tuscan wine production? Have you already tasted the most famous labels and would like to try something unreleased? Write to me and tell me what you would like to visit, and I will find the best solution for you”.

For lovers of good food

“Are you a lover of cuisine and always in search of new recipes? Write to me and tell me what you would like to taste or what recipe you would like to learn, so that I can organize a particular cooking lesson for you or simply recommend the best restaurant for you”.

Viandarte

ViandArte is an adventure created, invented, loved and protected by Ambra, Irene and Michele. Friends, hiking and environmental guides who organize trips on foot, between the countryside and the city, for lovers of backpacking but also of art, culture and encounters along the way.

how to prepare for the tours

How to prepare for a tour with me

Here are all the essential information to be able to make the most of one of my tours! for any doubt do not hesitate to contact me!

01

Siena is built on three hills, and for as much as I try to avoid the slopes, there will always be ascents and descents to deal with.

Because of that, I recommend comfortable shoes and practical clothing!

02

Whether one walks along secondary alleys or whether one opts for the main routes, there are numerous glimpses and details to capture, so bring a camera or charged phone with you.

03

Unfortunately, Siena does not provide free public bathrooms, but if you like, there are pay toilets at various strategic points, I, however, prefer to always enjoy a good coffee – and help the local economy a little – taking advantage of the hygienic services of the bar.

04

Among all of my recommendations, I have left the most important for last: I am not an instructor, there will be no exams to endure at the end of the tour, and you are on vacation … a smile and the desire to have some good times will suffice.

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Some review about me

Guida molto preparata, ma soprattutto molto simpatica e solare

★★★★★

Guida molto preparata sulla bellissima città che è Siena, ma soprattutto molto simpatica e solare. Ci ha raccontato di Siena in ogni suo particolare coinvolgendo tutta la famiglia. Esperienza fantastica da rifare sia per la bellezza di Siena sia per la bravura di Ambra.

Ottimo ottimo

★★★★★

Ottima conoscenza dell’argomento e capacità di saper incuriosire gli interlocutori. Vivamente
consigliata per i neofiti e anche per i più esigenti.

Tour top Siena

★★★★★

Guida preparatissima, simpatica, appassionata della sua città; e in grado di tenere viva la
vostra attenzione persino dopo un pranzo luculliano.il palio non avrà; più segreti per voi!
consigliatissima 😉

Ambra

Tour Guide

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