This post is also available in: Italian

Oftentimes I hear someone saying: ‘I’ve already been there’.

The answer to this question – usually – is: ‘Alone or with a guide?

And nine times out of ten it comes out that yes, my interlocutor in one way has already been there, but without the help of a tour guide, a ‘flesh and bone guide’ capable of explaining what we are seeing.

I understand that in the era of knowing everything through the internet one can go to a place, which I know also at the Vatican Museums, and be convinced of having infinite knowledge based on the ideas from Wikipedia. Just take two pictures on your cellphone and put them on the internet to get a “download” from your site and an “upload” of knowledge to the other.

However, this is not true. Sorry to disappoint you! That’s not how things are. The tour guide is a person who has been formed with much study, insights and a continuous update that cannot be gained through activity on various social media, which can help but is definitely not complete.

Certainly, it would be desirable for them to have a specific university degree just to help in the selection, however, an experienced guide will always be better than a quick visit moved by curiosity rather than the desire for knowledge.

To put it in simpler terms: there are things that need to be explained.

And the skill of a guide is to build an entire story of images, visions, feelings even about the most unlikely of stones left on the ground.

A tourist guide, still, at the risk of becoming redundant, is that person capable of transforming Sunday’s visit to Trisulti, made 1000 times, into an experience made up of knowledge and peculiarities capable of fashioning something unique. Because that’s the way it is.

It is in that little detail you did not see on a wall, it’s in that little pearl of narrative experience you did not dwell on, but it is hiding the secret of a place.

Listening to a guide, looking at the often theatrical gestures, is added value to a place seen and revisited, because while you talk with the voice, your hands draw the scenario.

Add to this that the amount of time interval that the explanation is there is valuable as it stays longer and longer in one place. There is therefore a chance to better observe, to test the air, to fully live the atmosphere and energy of a place.

Certainly, there are many tourist guides and one must be able to choose, but their presence is the thing that distinguishes ViviCiociaria and Itinarrando from other similar organizations that do not offer the professional presence of a tourist guide to explain the beauties of a place.

Choosing one, in essence, is doing good and we really care about our members; many – of whom – are among those who answered “I’ve already been”, but had not had the chance to meet a guide from whom they could steal a couple of basic ideas here and there.

Be guided.

This is an important phase that we may have forgotten today.

Having the privilege of being able to follow the steps that open the door to knowledge is a magical experience that maybe the internet has taken away from many of us.

Choose a guide, enjoy the privileged venture with a tour guide, because this is the first step to really know a place where, then only then, you can return 1000 more times with the knowledge and full awareness of what you are going to see.