Part of what makes any cooking vacation with The International Kitchen so fun are the excursions. But the places our clients visit are only as fun as the guide taking them there. We’re starting a new series on our blog in which we introduce some of our other collaborators, the tour and driver guides. These are largely unsung heroes, but a good guide makes all the difference when exploring a foreign culture on culinary tour of Italy.
We’ll start the series off with one of our favorites, Riccardo Teresi, one of our most popular guides in Tuscany!
1. When did you become a tour guide? Why did you decide to work in the tourism industry?
I became an official tour guide in 2000, but I was always doing some kind of guiding for many of my foreign friends and family members when they were visiting from the US. I guess it was in my DNA.
2. How did you learn about the history and sites of Tuscany?
My college education in Political Science with a history major, classical high school background and lots of curiosity into knowing more about the amazing area I come from, were a good head-start.
3. How do you get people interested in the places they see and visit?
I like to stimulate their curiosity before getting to the sites, and I involve my clients, which I like to consider like friends for a day and sometimes longer, asking questions and interacting with them
4. Where is your favorite place to bring guests, and why?
The places that bring a smile on the face of my customers for which they still call me, like yesterday, after 15 years, and want me to take them around once more. I do think that the Chianti is a great area and a great tour to take. The beauty, the food and, of course, the amazing wines from that area are reminding me how lucky I am to live in Tuscany, a region, someone quoted, God must have felt like painting when he conceived it!
5. Why should people choose your tour/vacation over other trips to Tuscany?
For all the reasons I quoted before…My mom was from the US and I think that I have a natural empathy that makes people feel at ease with me.
By Peg Kern
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