Meet your local guide in Florence: Andrea!
Andrea, an art-lover and local guide, will accompany you during your discovery of Florence: the Renaissance cradle. If it’s your first time in Florence, he has some tips and advice to make your stay the most memorable one! So read on and find out what he has to say!
Name: Hi! My name’s Andrea
Nationality and City of residence: I’m Italian and I live in Florence
Name of tour you lead and where: I lead Bike, Segway and Brunelleschi tours in Florence
If you are not from the city you are based in for tours, what originally brought you there? I was born in here…And never left!
Your favorite part of the tour: The special moment in which you come out of a narrow, insignificant street and…BOOM! There you have it: the Cathedral, the Strozzi palace, Santa Maria Novella…Bright marbles and stones against the blue sky.
Favorite Local Restaurant in your city: I really love the Libreria Brac, a small and cosy restaurant in Vagellai street, in the Santa Croce area. I know, I know, it’s a vegetarian restaurant, so no Bistecca alla fiorentina…But I promise, it’s worth a meal! Their recipes are unique, and they use just genuine ingredients with seasonal vegetables; also, you can buy or read books in the meantime, so the place feeds both stomach and brain 😉
One thing visitors to my city can’t miss: The Pitti palace, of course! It houses a great collection of masterpieces from every historical period, and its backyard is just magnificent…I mean, seriously, you wanna leave without paying a visit to the Boboli garden?! Instead, if it’s summertime, I really suggest you to lay down at night in front of the palace, in Pitti square, even better if you’re in company of a good friend…Or a frozen beer!
Travel Mantra? Usually it’s a song or an entire album, directly connected to the place I’m visiting.
What’s next on your travel bucket list? Basel, Switzerland. I’m gonna pay a visit to my favorite painter ever, Arnold Bocklin! He was a great artist, whose main influence came from his stay in Tuscany.
What is your favorite Italian city to travel to? I must admit: Siena. I know, it’s a little banal as a choice, but I can’t help it! I mean, the middle age, the “contrade”, all of those fascinating coat of arms, not to mention the countryside! Somehow it reminds me of Venice, which I really love, but just like Dickens used to say: If Venice represent water element, Siena it’s pure ground. Also, my Granny was from Siena, so part of that ground runs through my veins, and being there feels like home.
What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy? Breathe, and be patient: mess, delays, people talking out loud…I know it’s a lot to bare… It’s Italy! It’s hard, but it’s worthy.
What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving? Mozzarella in carrozza, eheh. Hoping you’re not on a diet, this fried cheese sandwich is typical of family Sunday meals, but it’s also a great snack if you don’t want to waste too much time and you’re busy running from a museum to another!
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours? It was a few months ago: I had a bad day, and had to deal with my first bike tour; believe it or not, my group was the kindest ever, smiley, chatty, interested in actually “understanding” Florence. At the end of the tour everything was nicer, and I felt right for the first time in weeks. Those people, like others I had occasion to meet, made me feel good.
What do you like most about leading tours? Answering questions! Not that I’m all-knowing, but makes me feel like people are really into the mood of discovering, and if I don’t know the answer, well, it’s a good occasion for me to go home, search for it, and learn something new.
What makes your tour unique? Well, I’d say that we guides are all are different, and every tour is a unique mosaic of stories and facts…Anyway, if you’re asking what aspect I favor in mines, I’ll be honest: gossip. I love to explore the thorny and unusual facts that surround the lives of the so called “bigs”. Did Brunelleschi have a bad temper? Why Medici and Strozzi family hated each other so much? Was Michelangelo actually gay? Well, let’s jump on a segway and discover together, looking at Florence from a different point of view!
So what are you waiting for? Book now a tour with Italy Segway Tours and ask for Andrea, you won’t regret it!