Guided tour vs self-guided tour
The question about guided tour
In the last ten-fifteen years a number of self guided tour opportunity have been lunched by many agencies. Why? We think it’s for their ability to sell a cheap kind of vacation giving the idea of freedom and auto-managed tour. This idea is often associated with logistically well organized time tables. Bicycles, maps and GPS device are given to tourists with many information and they have to search the right points of interest in a sort of treasure hunt.
Informations are given with audio-guides ore on paper-guides, or by smartphone, on video-guides.
Is this the right method to learn about the place you are visiting? Which this the best way to understand the links between nature and history, between people and natural resources? Is there a way to delight and have fun at seeing new places? We hardly think that the best solution is a guided tour by a local guide.
What we think about tours
What we think is that the original and more ancient way to understand a territory is with a local guide.
Guides exists since 3000 B.C. when travelling was dangerous. Persians, Egyptians and Assyrians used to practice explorations and travelling with guides they called “explainers” who assisted visitors. During the Middle Age religious pilgrimage needs guides working as pathfinder and protective escort. The tourism of the Renaissance was practised by rich people for cultural and educational reasons. It was quite similar to today. They expected to enhance their knowledge through journeys while being accompanied by a tourist guide, a cicerone. The “cicerone” word comes from Cicero, the most appreciated guide in the Roman Empire.
So, the tourist guide is an ancient profession and it’s the best solution to find out all the significant things of a territory, of a place, of a community, of an ecosystem.
Guided tour is the best choice
The human ability to describe with vocal words, has got the power to transmit emotions as well. A tourist guide gives to guests the possibility to ask questions, to interact with the guide together with the group. It’s a completely different way to learn, much more engaging, much more exciting. Guided tour is mentally relaxing. Self guided tour is almost stressful.
From this point of view what is the freedom of a self guided tour? There isn’t any freedom. The tour is already packed, the route is already designed and you are alone in an unknown place. What in case of difficulties? what in case of mistakes? There will be a list of telephone numbers of course, but it will not be nice, at all.
A tourist guide gives you safety. He or her knows how emergency services works locally and can rapidly make emergency calls. Unpredictable obstacle can always happen, but a local guide knows alternative routes. A tourist guide gives your a sense of tranquillity that allow you to completely dedicate your mind to enjoy your tour.
Here some link to understand better our point of view and our services.
What in particular about tours in Tuscany?
We manage, design, organize and guide tours in Tuscany. It’s our favourite activity and our loved job.
Tuscany is a complex region that gives you the possibility to have an almost complete overview of the Italian territory. In Tuscany you can visit the most famous countryside of the world, the Chianti area. We have hight mountains and natural parks like in the Alpi Apuane. Here in the Populonia territory are rocky seaside where ancient civilizations used to trade iron and wine. In Tuscany there are ancient volcanoes and geothermal areas with spas and warm water. A complex territory need a good knowledge that only a local guide can has. Many tracks, many routes, many different level of difficulties that need to be known before to leave.