A blog by Gregory Wittouck, doing his internship at the tour operator 'We Like Tuscany'
Hey Tuscany lovers!
I am Gregory. I am a last year student in the formation ‘Tourism and recreation management’ in Belgium. At this moment I am in Florence. I came here because I am doing my internship at the incoming tour operator We Like Tuscany in Florence. This company sells several kind of tours. You can do bike tours, wine and food tours, Fiat 500 tours, Vespa tours and hiking tours.
When I arrived in Florence I was a little bit afraid, afraid for the unknown. I was in a foreign country and I didn’t know what was coming on me. I didn’t know anyone here and was whole alone, what made it even scarier.
The first days in Florence I walked around through the city and I quickly realised that this actually is a beautiful city. The city has plenty of beautiful building and thing to see, like: the Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti, the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, … Not only the must sees are a reason to visit Florence. The weather is great this time of the year and the food is amazing. I really am a lover of the Italian kitchen.
On my first day at my internship at We Like Tuscany I was shocked about how the work life in Italy is totally different than in Belgium. In Belgium there is a constant pressure on your shoulders and here is everything relaxed.
My colleagues are really friendly people. On my first day I immediately felt as a part of the team. They introduced me to the company and explained me what they exactly do.
During my time here I have already learned a lot and done a lot. I have made a newsletter, helped with the new website, contacted hotels to ask for availability, attended tours. Attending the tours was by far the greatest thing I have done at the company. I have already participated the Taste of Tuscany Half Day bike tour and the Italian Quickie. These tours brought me outside Florence and showed me the beautiful landscapes.
The Taste of Tuscany Half Day bike tour is a tour outside the city of Florence. The meeting point is in the city centre, but we immediately drove into the Tuscan hills. We started with a 2 km climb on the first hill of the tour. Personally I had a little struggle with climbing this hill, because I am really out of shape, but I made it.
Once we were on the hill our tour guide gave us an interesting explanation about the university on top of the hill that belonged to the Medici family. After that, we went around the back of the university to see the huge garden of the university and the beautiful Tuscan landscapes.
Then we had to climb the second hill. This hill was a lot easier than the first one. After we climbed the second hill, we stopped at a wine cellar. We got a tour at the wine cellar. The tour guide told us that the cellars were already a few decades old and that there are some rare brands of wine were lying in the cellar. In the wine cellar we got a delicious tasting of local products and wine. I enjoyed tasting the olive oil, bread, cheese, ham and wine.
Immediately after that we proceeded our bike ride and climbed the third and fourth hill. We reached the top of the last hill and now we could just relax and drive down back to the city. On our way down we stopped at ‘Piazzale Michelangelo’. The view from this place is amazing. You can see the whole city and the big mountains surrounding the city.
After enjoying the beautiful view we drove back into the city and stopped at the most famous gelateria in Florence, namely La Carraia. I was happy because I love the Italian ice cream but I was also sad that the tour was already over. We drove back to the office and said goodbye to each other.
The second tour that I joined was the Italian Quickie Fiat 500 tour. After we were introduced to our cars, we immediately drove out the city centre into the Tuscan hills. We drove along vineyards, olive groves, medieval castles, … Along the road we stopped a few times to listen to an explanation of our guide and enjoy the panoramic views. We also stopped for an Italian breakfast, which means coffee and croissant. We drove back to the office and said goodbye to each other.
At this moment I am already here for five weeks and I still enjoy the beautiful city every day. The time flies when you are having fun!
Intern at the tour operator 'We Like Tuscany'
Via Romana 41/43 RED Florence