Meet your guide in Florence: “la Vale”, she’ll lead you thru the city’s alleys to discovery Florence and Tuscany flavors.
Nationality and Hometown? I’m a genuine Florentine.
Name of tour you lead and where: I lead the Food tours of Florence, as well as Segway and Bike Tours!
Why you chose to become a touristic guide? Because I simply love Italian art and history and I want to spread my knowledge to the world.
Your favorite part of the tour: I like the fact that our tour introduces my customers also to the shop owners who participate in presenting Florence culinary traditions, making the tour an unconventional one because it isn’t only the guide who speaks. But, to tell the truth, I enjoy too much teasing Giulia at the “balsamic vinegar tasting”, I always drive her mad 🙂
Which is you favorite local restaurant: Mmm…If i have to pick one, I choose “Buca Lapi” I love it especially because is one of the historical restaurant in town. I like best of all their hand-made pasta, the Florentine steak and the great wine selection they offer. Make it a stop of your trip!!
One thing visitors to your city can’t miss: One must-do thing in Florence is to get lost and wander in the Oltrarno area, the side out of the touristic shops and attractions, where one can meet the authentic Florentine spirit and people.
Favorite Travel Quote? “Be the change you want to see in the world” which is more a life mantra, but is applicable also to travelling.
What’s next on your travel bucket list? First place on the bucket list is Mongolia, since I want it to be special, I’m taking extra time and care to plan this journey. As for next trip, it certainly is to Greece to the complex of Meteora, I just can’t wait!
What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy? Interact with the locals! Florentines are very amusing and you can learn a lot from everyone as well as having fun with them. Do’t be offended if they play you jokes all the time, it’s just the way we are.
What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving? Easy question: lampredotto! You might wrinkle your nose at hearing what’s made of, but believe me when I say you must it try before criticize! And I won’t say what it is, for you have to come here and taste it.
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours? I remember this one time I was on a Bike&Food tour of Florence with a female volleyball dutch team, who were very beautiful girls and everyone would turn their head to look at them. I convinced them to sing Holland’s national anthem while we were pedaling along the city’s boulevards, by the end of it even ambulances and police drives were honking at us for appreciation!! It was hilarious!
What do you like most about leading tours? I take satisfaction at interacting everyday with people from allover the world, who teach me new facts about their country while I stand as a channel between their culture and mine.
When you’re coming to Florence, book your tour and ask for Valentina if you want a tasty introduction to the city and a good laugh!