Postcards from Italy

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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Meet Our Guides: An Inside Look at Pompeii with Tony

Last week, we began a short series of posts highlighting our favorite guides in Italy and Switzerland. The series kicked off with Elvira, our top Florence guide and insider who knows the city’s highlights and hidden gems by heart. Elvira is just one of our carefully selected stable of professional guides whom we have entrusted with countless clients over the years.

This year, we are missing out on reconnecting with these guides as we lay low at home waiting for travel to make a comeback; our guides are also missing travelers from the US, and many have very little work this year as international tourism has bottomed out.

Antonio(Photo by CIU Travel via Flickr)

We decided to take advantage of their relatively free schedules this summer with a number of interviews that touch on what each guide loves about their jobs, their cities, and their clients. This week we talked with Antonio Somma, known affectionately as Tony, who has taken scores of our travelers through the ancient city of Pompeii at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius. In addition to being a wonderful guide, he is an avid S.S.C. Napoli football fan and has accompanied clients to San Paolo Stadium for matches. Tony and his wife Carla are excellent cooks and have hosted guests for a home-cooked lunch. On a more personal note, Tony has a lovely lemon tree in his garden that supplies the lemon peel for our annual batch of homemade limonello. He is generous with his time and passionate about where he’s from. In somma, Tony is a true Pompeiano.

Napoli Game with Tony(Photo by CIU Travel via Flickr)

Stay tuned for more guide interviews to come!

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Meet Our Guides: An Inside Look at Florence with Elvira

Of everything we miss about not traveling to Italy at the moment (the food! the wine! the food!), perhaps it’s the people that weigh heaviest in our thoughts. Over the decades, we have made dear friends, bonded with our clutch of neighbors, and are on a first-name basis with our favorite shopkeepers and restauranteurs. Though our families are in the US, we have a second family in Italy that we can’t wait to see again.

Among those we miss checking in on is our select group of professional guides, whom we have carefully cultivated over time and to whom we entrust our clients to make anything from the Colosseum to the peaks of the Dolomites come to life. One of the joys of our jaunts through the country is reconnecting with these guides and catching up on what is new and fascinating in each one’s area of expertise.

To give you an idea of how special our guides are, we’ve decided to begin a short series of posts highlighting the best of the best! Due to the restrictions in international travel, tour guides in Italy have very little work this year...we are making a bit of limoncello out of lemons by taking advantage of this rare moment of free time for a short interview with our favorite guides.

Elvira(Photo by CIU Travel via Flickr)

We are starting off with Elvira, our go-to Florence guide who has shown dozens of our clients the highlights and hidden gems of this Renaissance city. Stay tuned for more guide interviews to come!

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