Hello everybody, I am here today to tell you about my new project. First of all, I am writing in English, which is already some news. As you might know, if you follow my blog and social media, I live in beautiful Copenhagen and I own A Spasso con Elena Tour Agency (A Spasso con Elena stands for “Strolling with Elena”), for which I also work as certified tourist guide. I landed in Copenhagen in October 2012 for the first time. Together with my better half I came to Denmark to check it out since he was offered an interesting position in his field of work and he would have had all the reason to wish to stay there for a while. At that time, I was attending my Master Degree’s last year in “Contemporary Art History” after having gone through a Bachelor in “Languages and Cultures”. Exactly by the time my boyfriend (who is my husband now) moved to Copenhagen, I was looking for a museum where to accomplish the internship hours, necessary to submit my request to graduate. Of course, my university didn’t have any cooperation with Denmark, so I had to find myself an institution to start the exchange with. After several applications, I happened to know that the National Museum, more precisely their related Open Air department (Frilandsmuseet), was in need of an assistant for their theatrical production of “Pelle Erobreren” (Pelle The Conqueror). That was fantastic! That was my opportunity to both finish up my Master, reach my love as well as experience a new country. That’s how my very first statement to my husband “Just go, I will maybe reach you” turned out to be “I’m cooooming”, barely four months after he moved. Therefore, my journey to Denmark started officially in February 2013. It was not at all love at first sight! I struggled for many reasons. My internship that had to be approved, my dissertation to be done, a new language to learn, a cold weather to get used to, new friends to make, a new doctor to talk to, a tiny apartment to live in. Well, if you have moved even just once in your life, you can imagine what I am talking about. However, all the challenges that I have just mentioned are, at the same time, strengths and improvements that you collect in the big luggage that is your life! That’s why, still not happy to be in Copenhagen only for an internship, I decided to write my thesis there and to start building up a professional career, because, of course, I could not live there on savings - you know how expensive life is in Denmark, at least compared to Italy!
Italy, yes, I have not mentioned it before because my new project is actually focused on it, on my roots, and I will tell you more, but, let me just finish the story of my moving.
As I have already said, I did not fall in love with Copenhagen as I set foot in it. There were too many things which I thought I could not get used to, and I missed my family so much. I went through some hard times during which the uncertainty of staying or going back was really overwhelming. All this was probably related to the anxiety of defending my dissertation. After that, I initiated a long process of construction of my professional path and I began to feel in love with Copenhagen everyday more and more (read also: The reasons why I love Copenhagen so much). I have been studying languages since I was six years old and I have always conferred them the importance to speak them fluently. At the same time, I have always been devoted to the interest in art and art history. The two coincided when, after having taken my Master’s Degree, I decided to sign up to the Tourist Guide Program. I finally knew I wanted to be a guide, an ambassadress of Denmark for foreigners living there and for travellers (coming from all over the world). Eventually, I achieved the goal in a year of hard work. But again, still not happy, I decided that I wanted to develop my own tours, to continue building and protecting a high quality niche tourism focused on art, architecture, design and alternative routes. That’s how I began to consider starting my own business, which is running today under the name A Spasso con Elena and it is one year old now (officially opened in January, 2017). I love working with people, and helping them to discover the local culture by having at the same time a unique and authentic stay. I also write a blog in Italian, where I post about Copenhagen’s events, art exhibitions, the Danish style, culture and traditions in order to provide even those who are not planning to come out on a tour with me with precious information and recommendations. You find it here.
Besides my everyday-stronger-relationship with Denmark, I am still very close to my country of origin, Italy. After having shared a more than detailed presentation - there was a need, though, for expanding my short “about me” section - I am finally reaching the part where I will tell you about my new project. Italy is deeply rooted within me, in my memories. My whole family lives there as well as many close friends. My husband is Italian too so we speak Italian home. 50% of my heart is still there and it will always be, no matter what the politics and economics will turn out to be. Italy has a huge heritage, which needs to be (re)discovered day by day and probably one lifetime is not enough. Its beauty and spontaneity are some of the reasons why so many fall in love with it, and, yes, in most cases it deals with love at first sight. The people, the sun, the nature, the streets, they all smile at you. Its diversity makes me feel rich, when talking about art, culture and traditions. I was born in Treviso and there I lived twenty-four years, well, maybe a little less if I remove the time spent in cultural exchanges, Erasmus projects and other travels. Treviso is my charming city, located in Veneto region. It is the land where many famous products come from. You might even make use of them in your everyday life, without knowing they come from there, among others, Prosecco wine and Tiramisù. When I moved to Denmark and any time I travel, I meet not many people who have heard of Treviso. The Danish travel agencies and tour operators offer many departures to Costiera Amalfitana, Rome, Sicily, Toscana, Venice and Verona. Not including Treviso and its surroundings, the Marca, on their journey, I think travellers are missing so much. That is why I will try to tell you more about it. I will carry out my mission of ambassadress in cooperation with other active actors in the promotion of Treviso and Veneto region. In particular, my blog will be enriched thanks to Valentina Facchin (blog editor and owner at Around&About Treviso). She is fond of this territory just the way I am, or even more!