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LET'S GO AND EXPLORE VIENNA,
MOST LIMITS ARE SELF IMPOSED!
"To entice you we add a personal touch to each theme - along with a wealth of experience and knowledge, of course!"
Elisabeth Wolf, Founder
Artissimi crafts professionally tailored, bespoke tours and programmes exploring the cultural themes that made Vienna a cultural melting pot down the centuries in intimate, occasionally shocking, but always thrilling detail. 
Photograph: Claudia Blake Photography courtesy Jesuitenkirche

NEW: PALACES AND COFFEE HOUSES
I’d rather take a coffee than compliments just now.
Louisa May Alcott
The delicious tradition we know and love as ‟Viennese Coffee House Culture” has been listed as part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2011. Stefan Zweig once described the Viennese Coffee House as an ‟institution of a special kind”, and Peter Altenberg even had his mail delivered to his local café.
Palaces were equally important in the past, of course. When the Habsburg Empire was at its height, every noble family had to have one, ideally very close to the Emperor’s home. One might bump into the Emperor himself, by useful accident…
Join us on a guided tour of Vienna’s old town district, and hear about the literature and music inspired by the coffee house, Apfelstrudel and melange, the origins of the Schanigarten, Punschkrapfen and more. Take a walk along the beautiful Herrengasse, where palaces and coffee houses battle for much sought-after space to this day. As you go, learn about when a women was finally allowed to ‟be” at a coffee house, and how many newspapers Café Central had in the past.
And do you know why one notable café had to have an encyclopaedia as well as the daily papers? Join us to find out!

I would rather suffer with coffee than be senseless.
Napoleon Bonaparte
Photograph: Claudia Blake Photography

SHOPPING WITH THE EMPRESS
This walk through the city takes you to former court suppliers. These outlets, where the glamour of the Austrian monarchy survives to this day, are still very much alive and kicking. One good example is the shop of former court purveyor, Wilhelm Jungmann & Neffe, whose beautiful textiles await your delectation now as they did the royal family centuries ago. Then there is the world-famous jeweller A. E. Köchert, which is managed and owned by the sixth consecutive generation of the Köchert family. Shoe manufacturer Scheer has a similarly glittering history, having been in business since 1816 and owned by the Sheer family for the past seven generations. One of our most exclusive tours: and because this is Artissimi, of course, we will even be invited inside for a look behind the scenes.
Photograph: Claudia Blake Photography courtesy of A.E. Köchert

ENCHANTING COURTYARDS
...WHAT ELSE!
Hidden Vienna at its best. Simply wow for all who love the most special view to St. Stephen's cathedral.
Photograph: Claudia Blake Photography


BAROQUE HEAVEN
In Artissimi's groundbreaking Upper Belvedere programme participants can rent a castle and enjoy a private tour in the highly exclusive company of Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka...
Photograph: Claudia Blake Photography courtesy  Belvedere



FROM ART NOUVEAU TO WIEN MODERN
The period of artistic expression and change that exploded in Vienna from 1890 to 1910 is widely viewed as one of the most culturally influential and significant in the great city's history. In two short decades, such world-changing names as Adolf Loos and Otto Wagner rose to prominence in the field of architecture, Josef Hoffmann, Kolo Moser and the Wiener Werkstätte cooperative in design, Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele in painting, Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schönberg in music, and last (but quite certainly not least), Sigmund Freud through psychoanalysis.
Depending on the weather and time available to us, we can organise a wonderful tour of Vienna, exploring this ground breaking period in intimate detail and taking in the following gems:
  • The Otto Wagner houses on Wienzeile
  • Secession, including the Beethoven Frieze by Gustav Klimt
  • The Café Museum and Palmenhaus at the Hofburg
  • Looshaus on Michaelerplatz
  • Artaria Haus on Kohlmarkt
  • The Engel Apotheke
  • The Zacherlhaus on Tuchlauben
  • Knize at Graben
Photograph: The Looshaus on Michaelerplatz, by Elisabeth Wolf

OTTO WAGNER
"SOMETHING IMPRACTICAL CANNOT BE BEAUTIFUL", Otto Wagner
By the end of the nineteenth century, Vienna was rapidly becoming the perfect backdrop to the innovative ideas of architect and urban planner Otto Wagner, born in the city in 1841. The functional and floral buildings Wagner brought to life in his projects continue to define the look and feel of Vienna to this day, and it is no exaggeration to describe the Austrian capital as a vast and timeless exhibition of the great man's achievements.
Photograph: Artissimi

GOTHIC ALTARS AND BYZANTINE PRINCESSES
The altar at the museum of the Scottish Abbey in Vienna shows the oldest view of the city in existence, one of the most impressive and valuable pieces of its time. The artist, who lived in the Middle Ages, is unknown to this day, and continues to guard his secrets well. One of the few things we do know is that he has had a huge influence on artists throughout the region and beyond. A walk through the surrounding area then enables participants to follow the trails of the Byzantine Princesses who brought art and music to Vienna during the Babenberg period. This walk is particularly enjoyable during the winter months, and can be booked as a unique Christmas treat.
Photograph: Museum Schottenstift, Vienna

STREETART IN VIENNA
FROM VANDALISM TO THE WHITE HOUSE
Walls across Vienna have been specially marked out by the city government for artists from across the world identifying them as spaces to create daring and groundbreaking street art in the Austrian Austrian capital. Elisabeth Wolf has been researching this area of art for many years now, has participated in tours in a range of different countries, and hosted a variety of workshops on street art As a result, Elisabeth now boast profound experience in the field, which has made this particular tour a huge success. This tour takes you to the most amazing walls in Vienna, to view work by local and international artists, as well as along the Donaukanal, a famous area for spraying. You will learn about the techniques, books and festivals involved, and hear the story of how the street art that made it from the streets of '80s New York to the White House then crossed the Atlantic to Europe, before returning, refreshed to North America. Taking pictures on this tour is an absolute must.
If you would like to get a feel for street art before viewing the real thing, then check out Thomas Grötschnig's highly accessible book and online guide to the subject, "Vienna Murals" or @viennamurals.
Photograph: Artissimi

RENT A CHURCH: THE VIENNA MUSIC EXPERIENCE
Are you one of the millions of passionate fans of classical music around the world who has often wondered how and why Vienna became the unmatched world capital of great musical art over the centuries? Have you heard the story of the leading composer who was an equally talented artist? Or that several members of the Austrian imperial royal family were also highly-regarded composers? 
If hearing these stories (and many others) told by friendly and knowledgeable expert guides, in the company of like-minded individuals from around the world, while making your way through the Austrian capital’s winding cobbled lanes, back alleys and quiet squares – the spaces where those sounds and techniques evolved down the centuries – sounds like a recipe for your perfect cultural and musical mix, then read on!
Our tour begins at the Vienna State Opera, one of the world’s truly great opera houses, with fascinating history (and perfect acoustics) oozing out of its every nook and cranny. The State Opera first opened its doors in 1869 with a performance of Mozart’s Don Juan(Don Giovanni). Musical sightseeing will be very much the order of the day, accompanied by myriad stories of famous (and less well-known) musicians including Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Salieri, Pietro Metastasio, Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert, Gustav Mahler, Johann Strauss and others – all of whom lived and worked in Vienna during their careers.
The Jesuit Church is widely viewed as one of the most beautiful churches in the Austrian capital. A true Baroque highlight, the building provides a breathtaking backdrop to a presentation by much-admired international organist Peter Frisée
As anyone fortunate enough to have attended one of Artissimi’s beautifully designed high-end tours over the years will tell you, there is nothing we enjoy more than to show you sides of Vienna and its rich history the untrained eye would never see – the great city’s hidden treasures. With this founding principle in mind, we will be taking the church’s old stairs up to the Organ Loft, before sitting back, closing our eyes and allowing the exhilarating organ performance to wash over us. The organ itself is a fabulous French concert organ – one of the best in use anywhere in modern Vienna. More exciting still, we will be seated high up in the Baroque heavens. Finally, to bring the day to a fitting end, we shall have the rare opportunity to attend a private organ concert inside the church. 
 
Jesuit Church, Vienna
Built between 1623 and 1627, and subsequently redecorated by Brother Andrea del Pozzo in 1703, the Jesuit Church is often cited as one of the most beautiful places of worship anywhere in the capital. Despite its simple external façade, the church’s interior is rich in allegorical ceiling frescos, many using trompe l’oeiltechniques. The Jesuit Church is a famous location for both live concerts and art presentations, and a lively part of the Viennese cultural mix; the church’s breathtaking beauty means it remains a huge favourite amongst young Viennese tying the knot.

Peter Frisée, Organist
Born in Graz, Peter Frisée studied under Ernst Triebel, Michael Kapsner and Roman Summereder. Since graduating with honours, he has complemented this training with a range of courses and master classes. Frisée has won prizes in a series of international competitions, worked as the organist at Vienna’s Erlöserkirche (Church of the Redeemer) Am Schüttel, and held the office of Choirmaster for the Deanery of the Second District of Vienna since 2004. Frisée launched Graz’s Mariatrost Organ Festival, founded the Culture at the Prater series, and began his continuing activities for the Concilium musicum Vienna and the Haydn Society of Vienna in 2008. He used to work as consultant for church music of the Archdiocese of Vienna, and has been artistic director of The Organ Festival in Vienna since 2012. Frisée’s activities are rounded off by concerts as a soloist and ensemble musician on both organ and harpsichord in Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Far East, alongside teaching work, publications and productions on recording media, television and radio. Frisée also works as a presenter for cultural trips and on Radio Klassik Stephansdom ("Orgel City Vienna”). 
 
Elisabeth Wolf, Owning Manager, Artissimi
The founder of Artissimi, Elisabeth has always been fascinated by the great city of Vienna and its beauty. She loves rediscovering new elements of her home city, and delights in creating unique programmes for her high-end clientele from all four corners of the world (as well as Austria and Vienna itself, of course). Elisabeth has many years’ experience of the international 5-star hotel scene, making her the perfect host for high-end luxury guests wishing to enjoy and discover the arts that speak to them in the company of like-minded professional lovers of the high arts. Elisabeth specialises in creating bespoke programmes, and speaks fluent English, Italian, French and German.
Photograph: Jesuit Chruch Vienna, Claudia Blake Photography