Private Tourist Florence Siena Guide
A Private tourist Florence and Siena Guide
My name is Michele and I am a licensed Private tourist and Nature Guide of the provinces of Florence and Siena, in Italian, Spanish and English language.
I was born in a village in the Province of Salerno called Campagna, one of the most interesting historical centres in southern Italy. The fact that I grew up in this town particularly rich in history and, above all, having had the good fortune of having empathetic grandparents who transmitted me to me a deep sense of safeguarding traditions, meant that I had, from an early age, a great passion for history and art. Just as my beloved grandparents did with me, I soon felt the desire to want to pass on the others my excitement in looking at a painting or in telling the story of an important man or woman.
My university education and volunteering
I studied Art History first at the University of Salerno, then at the University of Siena; in the latter, I graduated with a thesis on the evolution of imperial iconography from the Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages. I must confess that I have always been fascinated by the symbolism concealed within a work, an inclination of mine that I also share with the tourists I accompany to visit, making them notice a detail that can be seen in the painting of a gallery or in the capital of a parish church which many times enable to reveal an unpublished story, which at a superficial glance would have remained unnoticed.
Before becoming a professional guide, I volunteered as a cultural popularizer for schoolchildren who came to visit my native village. Every time they arrived, the challenge I was facing – and which I have always willingly accepted – was to arouse the curiosity of young people, as you know, unwilling to put up with yet another ‘history lesson’. This is why I have always imagined guided tours as an interactive experience with people before me, rather than unilateral action.
During my first university career in Salerno, an event was a truly dazzling experience for me: a study trip to Florence. The possibility that I had of seeing for the first time those works of art I only had seen upon books gave me back the real dimension of the masterpieces and the context in which they had been made. At the end of that trip, something told me that I would soon seen Florence again.
My Studies abroad
Thanks to the Erasmus program, I lived a year in Spain where, at the University of Salamanca, I improved my Spanish language skills. After finishing the career in Salerno, I arrived in Siena for my post-degree; I would call intoxicating the feeling I had of walking every day through the streets of this wonderful city and being able to ‘breathe history‘. Thanks to an internship at the Briganti Photo Library, I had a significant experience for the knowledge of the works of art, since cataloguing allowed me to deepen the conservative history of the wonderful cultural heritage present in Tuscany.
Finally, thanks to a study stay in Bristol, England, I have gotten a good command of the English language.
A great passion: travelling
At the end of the studies, I decided not to go away from this wonderful land, where I felt warmly welcomed from the first day; I then decided to obtain the qualification as a guide first in Siena, then in Florence, passing the exams for their respective territorial competence. The preparation of the exams was a really intense experience, but, in the end, I managed to realize my dream: becoming a tourist guide and to let visitors discover the beauty of Tuscany through Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, and Siena, with its enchanting historic centre and its breathtaking countryside, admired by visitors from all over the world.
Today I permanently live in the Chianti countryside, halfway between the two cities. Aware of being lucky to live in a magical, unspoiled and rich in history place. At the same time, what I also feel is a great responsibility towards tourists who often come from the other side of the world, and the only thing who legitimately they wish, when visiting Tuscany, is to chill and live a quality experience. That’s why I’ve always felt the need to constantly improve my grounding.
The travels I make in my free time, in other Italian regions as well as abroad, always have the goal of expanding my knowledge and, above all, discovering the habits and traditions of the different cultures, aware that this can also be useful in my job, when I meet people from countries visited by me.
The challenges of the tourist guide today
After a few years since I have become a tourist guide in Florence and Siena, I see the sphere of my profession threatened by increasingly ruthless competition, moved by tour operators that, in order to gain cheap customers, sell off the guide services, neglecting to offer the public two basic requirements to me: passion and training. Compared to this recent trend – in which many people, even from other work fields, play the guide because they are shamelessly seeking easy earnings –, I have decided to oppose the general trend. Persevering on the path of study and specialization, I remain convinced that quality always makes the difference, especially for the tourist who is not satisfied with ‘being told something’, rather wants to experience it personally, being guided in the discovery of a place and its peculiarities from someone addressing to him with empathy and competence.
Quality makes the difference
The enthusiasm I had when I was very young, volunteering in my native village with guided tours, it is the same enthusiasm I have today in showing visitors a beautiful painting, a breathtaking landscape, or telling the unexpected story that lies behind the curious name of a street or a square; in enthusiasm I find the drive to constantly improve myself and to look at the land where today I live and work always with curious eyes. The great Stephen Hawking said that one must be curious to make sense of what we see. Tuscany is for me a neverending discovery; being here as a guide is certainly demanding, but for me it is not an effort at all, as simply I like it.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”
When you are ready to live an authentic and unforgettable experience, I wait for you on your journey to discover Tuscany.
Further information about the guide
Michele Busillo, Private Florence and Siena tourist guide. For information about the tours, please consult the Menu.
The guide is not a tourist agency, therefore he cannot book external services (e.g. lunches, tastings or transfers) but only provide the customer with contacts for external services that may interest him.
The guide does not provide transportation service.
To get further information about the museums’ tickets, to book a tour, to get the contact of a licensed driver providing private transfer service, to customize your itinerary – inserting routes described in different tours that I propose –, or if you want to visit a place in Tuscany that you have heard of, but you cannot find in the tours that I propose, please, write to: