Interview with Amalfi Coast Tour Guide

  • Posted: 05.07.2021
  • Amalfi Coast Tour Guide

    1) How did you begin your career as a tour guide? and tell us about Zia Lucy?

    Being a tour guide has always been a dream. I remember when I was young, I visited Pompeii during a school trip and I was fascinated by all the history the guide was telling me. Growing up I realized that it was important for people to see my land through my eyes. Zia Lucy, I know the name sounds unusual, is a company I started about 15 years ago. The name is taken from my my grandmother’s sister who moved to the States in search of a better life but she always loved Positano. Her name was Lucia, like me, and I used to call her Zia Lucy (half way Italian. Half way English) I think roots and traditions are really important and we must preserve them in a World that is moving too fast.

    2) You have been working as a guide for over 10 years, what advice would you give to beginners?

    It’s important to be passionate about what you do. Our job is not easy and you have to interact with many people, every day, sometimes without a day off and no time schedule. Only if you are really passionate about what you do, you won’t consider it as a job but an attitude. I suggest to be professional and empathetic. It’s important to see your customers and soon understand what they need. And it’s really important to synythesize: you should know everything but you don’t have to be boring!

    3) What is important to you when you talk to people about Positano?

    Positano is a great place but many people consider my town as a place for swimming and shopping. It’s a town full of History and local traditions.

    It’s important for me to show my hometown through my eyes and my words so people can really appreciate where they are. 80% of my customers come back to Positano because they feel like at home. It’s like a big family and this makes me feel really happy.

    4) What kind of tours do you lead in Amalfi Coast?

    I am a certified guide from Regione Campania and this means that we are allowed to work in every part of our region. I do tours of Pompeii, Napoli, Positano and the Amalfi Coast. I prefer leading tours along the Amalfi Coast because it’s the place where I grew up. Here I do lots of hiking tours (Path of the Gods and Paper-mills Valley are the best sellers), cultural tours of Positano and Food Tours or walking tours of Positano which end with wine tastings. Another tour I love is the “Amalfi Coast best of”: a tour with a driver to see the best places of the Amalfi Coast, including Conca dei Marini and Furore, with stops in Amalfi and Ravello where I talk about history, traditions and our lifestyle.

    Amalfi Coast Tour Guide

    Photo: © Lucia Ferrara

    5) Being a guide means dealing with people from different cultures, countries, how difficult is it?

    I never found it difficult, I love meeting people from all over the World as it’s a great way of sharing different opinion of life. We should be careful about the subjects of our speech, I never talk about Politics or Religion for example. Lots of my customers become friends and they come back to Positano several times, I love this way of working.

    6) Please share any funny travel stories during tours :)

    I had to go to Capri with a private boat and I had a group of very fancy people. We arrived a small port close to Sorrento and there were two different areas. I went to the private area and the sailsors told me I had to move to the other side of the pier to take our boat. We walked for about 10 minutes under the sun and when we arrived on the other side, we had to take a crowded Public Ferry! I showed my reservation for the private boat and the sailors said it was a fake reservation and they were not doing private excursions. We were all shocked aboout it as the customers paid for a private luxury excursion. After 5 minutes, a young boy jumped on the boat and said that the sailors were joking and our private boat was next to the Ferry, the captain was laughing and had a bottle of prosecco into his hand, looking forward greeting us.

    7) Tell us 7 things to do in Amalfi Coast until leave :)

    • 1) Have lemon granita
    • 2) Buy linen clothes or ceramics from Positano
    • 3) Visit Villa Cimbrone in Ravello
    • 4) Hike Paper Mills Valley
    • 5) Eat totani e Patate (squids and potatoes) at La Praia Beach in Praiano
    • 6) Visit the cemetery of Amalfi (for the best view point - there’s an elevator so you can skip walking 400 steps)
    • 7) Take a small boat and enjoy the Amalfi Coast by the sea

    Amalfi Coast Tour Guide

    8) Fish in a mosaic found in Pompeii, this means the region is rich in ancient traditions and a variety of dishes. I know you came from fisherman family, so I must ask, what’s your favourite fish dishes?

    I was always fascinated by that mosaic so that I started studying food habits in Ancient Roman times. My great grandfather moved from Sorrento at the beginning of the 1900 as in Positano there were no fisherman and he created a great business. Nowadays we do not fish in the family as things have changed but our diet is mostly about fish and vegetables as we try to eat healthy and keep cooking traditions.

    My favorite dish is called totani e patate (potatoes and squids): we use to cook them together inside tomato sauce or we fry them. Totani are red squid our fishermen use to fish at night.

    Amalfi Coast Tour Guide

    Photo: © Lucia Ferrara

    9) And…gourmet question :), your favorite TOP 5 restaurants/cafes in Positano?

    • 1) La Brezza, Via Marina Grande
    • 2) Lo Guarracino, Via Positanesi D'America, 12
    • 3) Casa Mele, Via G. Marconi, 76
    • 4) Bruno, Via Cristoforo Colombo, 157
    • 5) Donna Rosa, Via Montepertuso, 97/99

    10) How has the pandemic changed the world? How has the pandemic affected tourism in Amalfi Coast and Italy? what tasks for the future?, how do you see the near future in the travel world?

    We didn’t work for 2 years and it was bad for the economy. Tourists are coming back and we’re happy about it but it seems some people didn’t understand that we should change our way of working. In 2019 Positano was overcrowded and we had lots of problems into logistics, the welcoming and our way of living. The Pandemic has been a moment of reflection but nobody has understood that in a small place like Positano we should find solution to skip the overtourism.

    Contact Lucy
    •IG: @zialucy

    It was very interesting and absolutely great, it’s a honor to have an opportunity interview with Lucy from Positano, thanks!!