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Florence tourist guide

Hi Elena, why don’t you introduce yourself? How long have you been a Florence tourist guide and why did you decide to start?

I’ve been working as a Florence tourist guide since July 2009 and that choice depended on my two main passions: art and foreign languages. Beyond these, of course, there’s my natural inclination for socialization. In such a job, I found the opportunity of sharing my love for Florence and its culture and my personal way of participating to my own country’s future. I’m deeply convinced that knowing and appreciating our cultural heritage means defending it: those who know, love and those who love, preserve.

Which aspects make your job as a tourist guide in Florence so interesting ?

Florence gives everybody what they’re looking for; and even more.
Those staying just one day will appreciate amazing sights which go far beyond the most poetic ideas. Those who will stay longer will have the chance to see Florence softly unveiling its mostly hidden secrets.
Florence always fascinates and never betrays. I like receiving the visitors’ appreciations for the kindness and friendliness of the people of Florence; for the city’s richness, culture, history, fashion, and… good cooking!!!

What do tourists usually search for in Florence and what are they mostly struck by?

All those coming to Florence have in their eyes the masterpieces the city is known for: the Ponte Vecchio (old Bridge), the Signoria Palace, the cathedral with its dome, and Michelangelo’s David, of course. Anyway, as soon as they have come out from the shock of really seeing all those wonders they had imagined for a long time, they start appreciating all the rest. They realize that Florence, beyond art, offers an incredible life style.

For this reason they often ask to visit the less-known museums and churches, love observing craftsmen’s ability, or taste our delicious dishes. Leaving, they carry with them a much more mature and less stereotyped image of the city in which, beside monuments, all the other peculiarities find room.

Would you please tell us an anecdote that you remember with pleasure?

Last summer I had the pleasure of meeting a nice elderly American couple. I went and picked them up at the their hotel and they preferred to reach the Uffizi Gallery (which they wanted to visit) by taxi instead of on foot, even if the hotel was quite close to the city centre. As we got out of the taxi, the husband asked me how long our visit would have lasted; I answered that I supposed it would have lasted two hours: at my word he gently prayed me to shorten it a little bit. I replied that I would have followed their wishes.
Finally our visit lasted three hours, with my visitors ever so interested, absolutely not tired or bored. We went back to the hotel walking, because they wished to see the churches and the palaces those paintings that we had seen in the museum had been made for.