WELCOME TO FLORENCE, TRAVELERS!
Hello there! My name is Francesca Papi and I’m the founder and owner of Fantastic Florence. I was born in 1983 in this beautiful city, Florence. I have been a private tour guide of Florence since 2008 and I created Fantastic Florence in 2009. After getting my degree in Languages, Literature and Intercultural Studies at the University of Florence, I completed my studies in Spain at the Universidad de Valladolid (in the region of Castilla y Leon). I had several experiences abroad in the fields of diplomatic institutions and international trade. Eventually, I approached the tourism business, working on cruise ships. Once I decided that the time of restless traveling was over, I thought that becoming a tour guide in Florence was the best job I could choose. I love to spread my love for Florence to those who want to get to know my home town through the eyes of a local.
HOW EVERYTHING STARTED….
I remember I was in Scotland many years ago on vacation. Our tour guide, a funny guy wearing his traditional kilt and always singing to himself romantic Scottish folk ballads, relentlessly kept on saying that everything in Scotland was so fantastic. And it was by the way! Fantastic highlands, fantastic castles, fantastic whiskey, fantastic music, fantastic wool… I loved his enthusiasm for his country so much and I had a lot of fun on tour with him as our guide! So, the idea of this web site was born. I thought that there was no better name than Fantastic Florence for my new entrepreneurial project. Is Florence perhaps not a fantastic place?
MY DREAM JOB: BEING A PRIVATE TOUR GUIDE OF FLORENCE!
Working as private tour guide of Florence is my full time job, besides working as full time mom of Gabriele. My certification was issued by the Italian Government after attending Tourism School and passing a very hard examination. Every winter during the off-season, I take the time to study and update my knowledge. I always attend refresher courses to upgrade the quality of my services. The last ones were on scientific museums, Florentine baroque painters, XX century art, medieval architecture in Tuscany, and the XIX century and the period when Florence was Italy’s capital city. There’s so much to know! Have I already mentioned that I like foreign languages? I speak English, Spanish, German and Italian (of course!). And I like challenges too! I’ve just started a Hebrew language course at the Synagogue of Florence. It’s tough but I love it ! שָׁלוֹם
THIS IS ME…
I love being with people and getting to know other cultures and different customs. I am a passionate traveller. I think that traveling is always a mind-opening and enriching experience. I have a true passion for history, especially the history of my city. I believe that it is always possible to learn from the past. I am addicted to the Medici family saga, I love good wine, “croccantino” gelato (a crunchy cream…yummy!), and I am a real foodie… How could it be different living in Italy? What do I like to do in my free time? I take a book and I go to the Caffetteria delle Oblate (Oblate Public Library’s Cafe), where there’s a spectacular terrace with a view of the Duomo, and I read while savoring a good cappuccino. I go to see one of the many exhibits in town so I’m always up-to-date about what’s going on.
FLORENCE IS MY PASSION!
I live in Fiesole with my husband Lorenzo, who is a passionate beekeeper, and our son Gabriele, who was born in 2018. I love to hike on my hills, especially Monte Ceceri, where Leonardo da Vinci carried out his flight experiments. And I love to stop at Alcedo cafe in Fiesole, on the way to Gabriele’s school, and enjoy an espresso with a piece of torta della nonna (grandma’s cake). This is me, a pure Florentine girl with a passion for my hometown and the desire to share it with my travelers. With Fantastic Florence you are not a simple tourist who passively sees what he has to. We will help you live an unforgettable experience in Florence. You will go back home knowing that you will always have a friend in Florence!