I was born in England but came to Florence as a young art student in 1986, fresh from a degree in Fine Art. I felt literally drawn to this magical city like a magnet, the mecca of so many artists, writers and culture-hungry travelers who have touched base here at some time or made it their permanent home like myself.
I chose to become a guide because Art is my life. I am a painter and make sculptural ceramics. All my inspiration comes from the stunning nature and breathtaking scenery that surrounds me in this beautiful region of Tuscany, not to mention the impact of all the masterpieces which literally jostle with each other to grab my attention! My own love of the beauty of Florence comes across because it is genuine and heartfelt. Being a guide is being myself, spontaneous and easy going, entertaining and knowledgeable.
I like to feel as if I'm showing friends around the city I love. Of course, after more than 30 years I can safely say I've become a local. My lifestyle has become "Florentine" my friends and family are Italian, but I must admit that every now and again I still have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming!
I'd Just like to say to all families traveling with small or not so small children that I have plenty of hands-on experience, firstly as a mum myself with two grown-up sons! and secondly in my parallel career as an English teacher, where I have over 30 years experience teaching English to children and adults from the ages of 1 to 70! Summer camps, Schools, businesses and private lessons. I have created a vast amount of didactic material to ensure my students have fun while they're learning. Much the same premise for all those who choose me as their guide! Talking of which here's part of a review I received recently from two lovely Canadian ladies:
" Virginia even includes funny historical anecdotes as a clever and fun way to learn as much as you can about Florence! We wish the other cities we visited could have offered such an amazing experience !"
Comments like this make my job so rewarding and I warmly thank all my previous guests for the wonderful moments we have spent together and look forward to meeting the next adventurers!
I'm totally flexible about whatever you'd like to see and do, I'm open to all suggestions to extra activities like cooking classes, learning to paint an affresco, hands-on experience in an artisan's studio etc. , and I can accommodate all ages and tastes. Please feel free to get in touch and we can tailor make your Tuscan Tour!
A Recent Review of this guide
Virginia is wonderful! We had 3 tours with her over 3 days, so I feel like I'm repeating myself when I say that she is so incredibly knowledgable and yet shares that information in a way that is casual and easy to absorb. She was so patient and easy going with our family, which ranged in age from 12 to 73. I felt like we'd lost a member of the family when we moved to the next city. Thank you, Virginia!
Louzana D Kaku
- Fully licensed Tourist Guide IDI INFORMATICA FLORENCE / Tecnico Qualificato Guida Turistica Regione Toscana 2017
Fully licensed Tour leader in Tuscany 2008
- Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fine Art Brighton University 1986
- Tefl Certification (Teaching English as a foreign language) Pilgrims Training Courses University of Kent at Canterbury 1986.
I am not a driver. I can accompany you in your vehicle or I can arrange for a separate car and driver.
I am licensed to guide in English and Italian