I come from Sicily, from a small seaside town close to the Eolian Island, and I’ve lived in Tuscany since 1993. Since I was a young girl, every weekend my parents and I used to take the ferry and cross over the sea to visit my aunt in her Eolian house. Getting off the ferry, all of us would take off our shoes and spend the days on the island on barefoot… We would only put our shoes back on again on Monday morning, once getting on the ferry back home for work. Since then, travelling is to me synonymous of freedom and light, and this is the feeling I always try to share with my clients. I have travelled across nearly all of Europe, Asia and South America. I stopped for a while (for 10 years) in Argentina, where I lived, raised my two girls, and worked. Many years ago, tourism also captured my professional life and since then, I have worked both for small companies and on my own. Five years ago I studied to become a tour guide in Florence, travelling through the history and art of these amazing part of Italy. I will be honoured to welcome you to Tuscany and to help you have an unforgettable time.
Describe the perfect day in your destination?
A perfect day would be to wake up slowly, and then enjoy the view of Tuscan hills from the swimming pool. I would then prepare breakfast for me and my family in the patio/garden, read some chapters of my holiday book and get ready to go for a drive through the countryside, heading towards some nearby medieval villages. I might look for some local markets where I can buy fresh fruit and vegetables for dinner. While there, I'd stop in a winery or osteria and have a late lunch: crispy schiacciata (focaccia bread) with pecorino cheese, fresh tomatoes, grilled zucchini, basil and olive oil. That would be accompanied with a good glass of Chianti wine, or some cold San Gimignano Vernaccia! I would then head home for a rest and enjoy the swimming pool until the sunset. After dinner, I'd read and relax in the villa, or go to a musical festival or open air concert in a local town, or even just simply walk around with ice cream and enjoying the night.
What are your top travel tips for your destination?
Hundreds of tips comes to my mind…. On a hot day, go for a slow drive through Vespa's windy roads, or the Crete road or any beautiful Tuscan landscape. If your passion is Art and History, do visit Firenze and Siena with a good private guide. Reserve an entrance at the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous museums in the world, where Renaissance artists such as Masaccio, Botticelli, Lippi, Leonardo, Raffaello, Caravaggio and many others will impress you with their amazing paintings. If you appreciate wine, delight yourself with a wine tour - you will have plenty of choice all around the region. If you come with children and you like adventure, there are plenty of small rivers where you can live for a day in “wild” nature - make sure to bring your picnic basket! Bring some mosquitos repellent, hat and sun protection.
What local cuisine would you recommend to people staying in your destination?
My recommendation is to try everything you fancy! Panzanella, Pappa al pomodoro, Pici (fresh pasta), cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) or with meat sauce, tortelli (filled fresh pasta), any kind of vegatable, pork meat, beef, tiramisù or panna cotta. Ask for antipasto toscano (cheese, olives, cold cuts), or crostone with different and tasty toppings. I love pecorino cheese - we have lots of different flavours which are all very good! We use to eat them as a starter, on their own or with honey, chutney or marmalade. Cold cuts are also very tasty: salame, finocchiona, porchetta or ham.
What experiences would you recommend to our customers in your destination?
Spend time visiting small villages in the countryside, get lost in their narrow streets, find a terrace with a good view on the hills, and wait for the sunset with a glass of good wine.