Something that I really love about my job as tour guide is the almost countless ways it can be transformed, adjusted and customized according to the person, to the territory, the season and the customers I am going to deal with.
I have chosen it because I know it will always keep me moving, creating and growing.
This is what I have been trying to teach to the class of future tour leaders and tour guides I had over these past few months. Their heads are full of information, contents and dates, they are obsessed with one goal: the final exam and the license. Totally understandable: you need a solid base to start, but then you should also keep in mind that once you will jump on board of this boat, the sea will not be flat all the time… especially these days…
If you have travelled and been on several guided tours, have you ever thought why that guide or that experience was so worth it and memorable? Yes, it could be a natural talent, but it is not enough, there is a lot of backstage work which does not come hitting the history, art and archeology books.
So let me tell you what I have been doing to get ready for the new season 2017!
Unfortunately, nowadays it is rare to see artists painting frescoes live. From my studies I know the theory of the technique, but now I can say that I have learnt the practice, too. Fascinating! Even more how the colors were made in the past. I took these pictures during the class.
If you remain on a superficial level, my job can look boring. People often ask me: “Don’t you get tired of repeating the same thing every day?” or “Do you do this more than once in day?”. Yes, that’s why I attended a communication workshop in Florence by Jennifer Norton, an amazing actress to find fresh inspiration, to “steal” some of her theatrical tips, to create a new objective each time I go to perform on the tour stage.
Then I believe that there are some audiences which need a specific preparation. So I could not miss the chance to exchange views and learn successful strategies to deliver a “yawn-proof” kids tour as my mission states! I had the real pleasure to acquire new skills thanks to a couple of fellow guides from Rome that came all the way up to Lucca to share their knowledge and expertise, because patience is not enough so games, storytelling, entertainment activities and more…what do you think of my pop art version of San Michele church?
I could continue with a botanical course about the gardens of Lucca Villas, conferences in museums, the wine scouting day and wine tasting sessions with the local club, the meetings with new potential providers, an Instagram experience, but this is probably what most of you can imagine. So I would rather tell you about the last adventure I decided to step in: the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Academy. A dear friend involved me and it is all very exciting! The course is a basic introduction to the traditional and modern production, the olive varieties, to the healthy benefits, to the tasting and pairing with food and I am really enjoying it!
Maybe it is something that can not be applied into my job straight away, I am not ready to conduct an oil tasting but I would definitely like to offer this experience to my Lucca visitors!
So, who has said that the low season for a tour guide is relaxing? 🙂