Postcards from Italy
THE BLOG OF CIU TRAVEL

Meet Our Guides: An Inside Look at Venice with Caterina

Venice is one of the most popular and extraordinary destinations in Italy, and among our favorite cities in the world. Like most travelers, we’ve had to forgo a trip to Venice this year - along with the rest of Italy - due to travel restrictions, and we have particularly missed exploring the tiny lanes and canals of La Serenissima in this year of staycationing and plotting future trips.

We couldn’t end our popular “Meet Our Guides” series of blog posts without dropping in on the Floating City and getting some background and insider intel from one of our top Venice guides, Caterina Nardin. Like all of our guides, Caterina passed the rigorous exam to become a licensed guide in Italy and now spends her days sharing the highlights and hidden gems of Venice with clients from across the globe.

Caterina - Venice

If you’re just discovering our “Meet Our Guides” series now, be sure to go back for more guide interviews and insights into cities like Florence with Elvira, Pompeii with Antonio, Bologna with Nathalie, Rome with Alessandro, Tuscany with Roberta, and Sicily with Italo. We guarantee that you’ll come away with a deeper understanding of their areas and a bit of inspiration for future trips!

But first, take a virtual trip to Venice with us this week...
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Meet Our Guides: An Inside Look at Sicily with Italo

This year has perhaps been the longest stretch of time we’ve spent away from Italy since we first fell in love with the Bel Paese decades ago. We miss the food and wine of course, as well as the dazzling views, world-class culture, and slower “la dolce vita” pace of life. What we miss most, however, are the people, including old friends and neighbors, trusted shopkeepers and restaurant owners, and our network of outstanding local guides in cities and rural villages across the country.

To feel a bit closer to Italy, we began reaching out to our favorite guides last month and sharing short interviews on our blog about their journeys to becoming licensed guides in Italy (a famously difficult profession to break into), the highlights and downsides of their cities or areas, and insights into the top things to see and taste. These conversations have uncovered delightful surprises to seek out on our next trip and moving memories of past tours - some with our own clients!

If you haven’t been following our “Meet Our Guides” series, take some time to delve in and visit destinations like Florence with Elvira, Pompeii with Antonio, Bologna with Nathalie, Rome with Alessandro, and Tuscany with Roberta. We guarantee that you’ll come away with a deeper understanding of their areas and a bit of inspiration for future trips!

Italo - Sicily Guide

This week we continue our series by heading across the Strait of Messina to the island of Sicily for an interview with Italo Giordano, one of our favorite Sicilian guides. Specialized in archaeology, Italo is our go-to local expert for unpacking the millennia of history behind many of Sicily’s most fascinating ancient sites. Here’s what he had to say about his career and island:

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Meet Our Guides: An Inside Look at Tuscany with Roberta

Over the past month, we’ve taken a virtual stroll with our top guides through some of Italy’s most important cities - both ancient and modern - but now it’s time for a turn through the Tuscan countryside!

If you’ve missed our past posts in this popular “Meet Our Guides” series, make sure you go back to visit Florence with Elvira, Pompeii with Antonio, Bologna with Nathalie, and Rome with Alessandro... all among our most beloved guides who have revealed the hidden sides of Italy with scores of our clients over the decades.

We’ve missed being able to meet up with these and other of our trusted guides this year to soak in their passion and knowledge about Italy’s historic and cultural treasures. In the meantime, however, we’ve been enjoying reading about how they chose this line of work and the pleasure they find in it and in the travelers they meet.

Roberta in Tuscany

Our featured guide this week is Roberta Marioni, who is not only a cultural guide for southern Tuscany but also leads guided hikes through the countryside and, as a certified sommelier, wine tours! In addition, she’s a passionate photographer, so be sure to admire her stunning photos posted below...

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Meet Our Guides: An Inside Look at Rome with Alessandro

We have been enjoying all the feedback we’ve been receiving from readers and clients about our new series of posts this month featuring interviews with our top Italy and Switzerland guides, including an insider’s look at Florence with Elvira, Pompeii with Antonio, and Bologna with Nathalie ...all trusted professional guides who have shared the treasures of their cities with countless of our clients over the years!

We are staying stateside for the moment and haven’t been able to reconnect with our guides as we usually do each year. These posts have been a powerful reminder of the passion and commitment that drives Italy’s licensed guides, who train for years, pass a rigorous licensing exam, and hold university degrees in everything from archaeology to art history.

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This week we stop in the Eternal City to chat with Alessandro Celani, our long-standing go-to guide in Rome. In addition to being one of the most dedicated and informed guides in Italy’s capital city, Alessandro has published a number of books and photography projects that reflect his interest in Italy’s history and culture. Read on to hear about his career as a guide and to pick up some secret tips to discovering the beauty of Rome.

Be sure to stay tuned for our next guide in the series that will take us across the border into Switzerland!

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Meet Our Guides: An Inside Look at Bologna with Nathalie

Welcome back to our special series of blog posts featuring interviews with our top guides in Italy and Switzerland. We began the series with Elvira in Florence and continued last week by highlighting our Naples and Pompeii go-to guide, Tony. These are just two of many expert guides who have given our clients an inside look into some of the most famous cities and sights in Italy in Switzerland over the years.

This year, as international tourism has been put on the back burner, many of our guides find they have extra time on their hands over what is usually a very busy summer season. We are taking advantage of this strangely quiet year by reaching out to our favorite guides to chat about their work and passions. This week takes us to Bologna to interview Nathalie, a guide in one of Italy’s most famous foodie destinations.

Nathalie Bologna

Stay tuned for more guide interviews to come!

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