Saturday, February 25, 2012

A driver guide in Tuscany and how to get the best from him.

Part 1. So you've hired a driver guide for your Chianti tour wine tasting. A great idea, you'll get closer to the people, the region, and the wine than with any other form of travel. Sure it's expensive, but you'll get you to see and do so much more.
my comfortable seven seater minivan with AC

However ensuring you get exactly what you desire, requires a little attention on your behalf too. Your driver guide guide in Tuscany wants to give you the best experience possible, and for me it's a question of pride. It's also good business practice to supply a great service; this may be your first and only visit, but next year your friends will be coming, and your guide hopes you will recommend him. So if your driver is so keen on giving a great day, why should this require extra attention on your behalf? You've paid the fee, you didn't ask for discount, it's only natural you get the best possible service…right?

Well things things aren't that obvious. When we hire a Tuscan wine tour guide, it's natural to assume he's a local, he's knowledgeable and therefore he can get things done. Well this is true, your guide does knows places and people, and he can open many doors, but a little perspective is necessary.

Your guide's biggest problem in giving you the best experience possible is that Italians are sometimes not as business minded as you'd expect. Some commercial practices seem more concerned with closing, rather than opening times. A second problem he may have is the mind staggering bureaucracy on behalf of the authorities, and anything that's state run. Things can be annoyingly illogical and sometimes impossible for your guide, even if he is a local.

Landscape photo from my Chianti wine tasting tour

Sergio Ceccherini