Over the years working in adventure travel and guiding I have learned what guests value most on a tour: excellent local guides.
            
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Over the years working in adventure travel and guiding I have learned what guests value most on a tour: excellent local guides. 

At Tourissimo, we work with only the best guides.  And since it’s my business, I have the luxury of working only with people I like. Can you say the same? Yes, I am lucky!

Giuseppe Di Giorgio is Tourissimo’s Sicilian contact and a good friend of mine. Here’s a little biography of him: 

Giuseppe is a native of Palermo and he is in love with his region. He holds a PhD in Agriculture, but his knowledge and interests span from history to gastronomy. He enjoys using his expertise and passion to help people understand the complexity of Sicily. Giuseppe is a science teacher who works with disabled children and he is also very active as a volunteer at an NGO in Tanzania where he had a leading role in the Tulime Baiskeli project.

He produces organic olive oil and cherries at his family’s country place. The biggest reward he gets from his work is seeing people happy and enjoying their time the Sicilian way.

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Giuseppe, Federica, and I are just back from our scouting trip in Western Sicily. I’d like to let Giuseppe introduce himself with the help of some questions that I sent him. 

Do you have a favorite place in Palermo or a place you like to take your friends to?

Yes I do! I usually go with my friends wandering through the historical center, especially to the open-air markets Ballarò, Capo and Vuccirìa. When lunch is approaching, we’ll go eat in a Trattorìa or we go for some of Palermo's well-known street food!

You told me that you saw (as a kid) a different Sicily than now. What made you want to come back (he lived in Turin and studied in Australia) and how is the Sicily of today different from the one of the 1980's when it was obvious that mafia was in charge in many ways.

When we were traveling around Sicily to scout Magnifica Sicily, we visited the town of Corleone to meet the boys and girls at the Center for Legality co-op. I clearly remember that, as a kid, on our way from Palermo to my father’s village in Chiusa Sclafani we had to pass through Corleone. But, I didn’t think much about it until I realized that that Corleone (no more than a village of farmers) was the Corleone that was in the mafia news and I started looking at things under a different light. I started to understand behaviors and to pick up signs. 

Judge Paolo Borsellino (a martyr of mafia, killed by a car bomb in Palermo in 1992) used to say: “Talk about mafia. Talk about it on the radio, on the television, in the newspapers. It’s important that you talk about it…the ones that leave in fear die every morning, the ones that do not leave in fear only die once”. 

I decided to come back to Sicily because this land needs its best sons and daughters to explain it, to decrypt it, to love it. 

What do you look forward to the most on the upcoming Magnifica biking tour?

To ride from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, passing through the heart of Sicily.

One of my favorite quotes of yours is "cannolo and coffee are culture; it's how we socialize". Do you have another one to share?

The Mediterranean style of life: good weather, good food and a lot of time to stay together!

Favorite dialect word?

Amunì (from French “amener”) that means let’s go!

Cristarèddu (Jesus Christ) or cazzicavèntu (kite) that means kestrel

Favorite Sicilian dish?

All Sicilian food, sorry, but you’ll understand me after “Magnifica tour”!

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If you missed my first email about Sicily you can find it here

Ciao,

Beppe

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