My name is Loredana, a very Italian name, because my father loved Italy and carried with him the memory of his grandfather who died in this country in the First World War. At that time, Transylvania was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a region that was annexed to Romania only on the 1st of December 1918. My great-grandfather had Hungarian citizenship, as my father, but, sadly, I grew up without ever speaking that language. To sum up, I come from an Eastern European culture, a Romanian citizen resident in Italy for the past 20 years.
Why am I here? Due to the Italian emigration after the fall of the Berlin Wall? Due to the Revolution of 22 December 1989 in Romania, after having participated, not yet 18 years old, at the revolutionary event in my hometown Brasov, like I said, in Transylvania? Didn’t this historic event, a first-time experience for the Romanian people, give rise to the phenomenon of mass emigration? Because back then they found themselves in a situation where they had to run away from their country for obvious needs? Because the peoples in general, by their nature, tend to break free from the constraints, in order to improve their lives? No! In these chaotic historical events, I found myself as a white fly or one of the few white flies at the time, 1996. I loved art since I was a child and I had a deep fondness towards goldsmithing, so there was my destiny: the arrival in Italy, first in Sansepolcro (Tuscany) and then in Città di Castello (Umbria). I enrolled at the Art Institute of Sansepolcro and I embarked on a then experimental course of study: the Michelangelo project, which did not include more than one state examination after the three-year professional qualification, but rather a final state examination after five years, considering the institution an art school with one qualification degree; so I have earned the title of "Goldsmith in applied arts and restoration." During my schooling my classmates, ten years younger than me, liked to play tricks on me, sometimes not funny at all, like for instance joking about my poor Italian skills or sticking chewing gum on my chair. I did not get angry, or actually yes, I did get a little bit angry, but then I ended up laughing together with them. I realized that in order to blend in a completely new environment, not only in cultural and linguistic terms, but to continue to study with them, I had to be like them ... to reason and accept their age. I chose this long journey because I essentially wanted more! I wanted to get to learn the Italian culture in all its facets and then embark on my university studies. I finished high school already very well labeled by my companions -I was, along with my desk mate, the "nerd" of the class that mostly never spoke during the lessons, except once when the Italian teacher had drawn our attention by saying: "Elisa and Loredana, be quiet!" The roar of the class and then the applause! There, even these small things are part of my (a little personal, a little professional) life.
While at university, even if I had a scholarship up the end of the fifth year, I worked part – time in order to support myself, initially doing everything from cleaning, school meals, theater mask, custody in various places; then I entered the cultural area run by a cooperative, working in the various museums of Città di Castello at the reception, at the information desk, in the ticket office, in the bookshop, as a tour guide, in the educational activities and events. I enjoyed being around people and providing information of all kinds and I was most satisfied when they all went away happy and satisfied. I have a beautiful gift and I'm proud of it, as it is the merit of nature, of my parents: I smile a lot and I’m always friendly. It's my strong point/highlight and I do not even make such a big effort to be like that. Think of it, I smile even when I'm sad; it's good for me, not only for the people I meet.
Technology has always fascinated me, to such an extent that in 2001 I bought a Compaq computer (one of the best!) and spent 3 million of the old Italian Lire, since I also bought a scanner and a printer. In those days/Back then I was super-technological and it cost me an installment payment that never ended! But I liked to do my summaries and to write my notes directly on the computer - I liked the idea of writing and editing without scribbling, until one day when my "personal computer" went on tilt and I lost some of my data, because I could not always save everything on CDs. Although I was really upset, I immediately cheered up with the purchase of a new up to date and cutting-edge computer. To be honest, I've never been tightfisted when it came to tools that I thought useful, and I rather gave up to other things in order to have them. In fact, the blessed day arrived when I found via the web a contest for the admission to a course of qualification organized by of the Umbria region and that was my first venture into the world of tourism as an "expert in the field of tourism products innovation", qualification that now allows me to not only be able to create tourist packages, but also to appraise the territory for tourism purposes. The web then became my world and I liked to investigate and discover the worlds near and far, and so one day I noticed a website that advertised a course for becoming a tour guide of Florence and its province. Oh, yeah! It is no longer a novelty! The virtual world is now available to everyone, and even the clumsiest people with computers can create a Facebook account today. Like it or not, we live in a completely different world and the change in the professional field was remarkable for me. In a relatively short time, my goals were achieved: I obtained a degree in history of art, going to my graduation with a seventh-month baby bump; I ventured on a 300 kilometers round trip three times a week in order to qualify as a tour guide in Florence; it took me a little more time compared to my colleagues due to my commitments as the mother of a little girl and because of my job ; then came the examination of qualification as a tour guide in Umbria region; and then the examination of qualification as Technical Director for Travel and Tourism Agencies.
I accompanied my studies with conferences and specialization courses and even won a scholarship at the Fondazione Piero della Francesca (Piero della Francesca Foundation) and, as if not enough, I also did an internship at the exhibition by Piero della Francesca in the APT (Tourist Board) of Arezzo, an activity that allowed me to become more familiar with both art and the world of tourism.
In these twenty years that I lived in Italy, I have traveled a lot by myself, just because I felt that the time spent to look at things is very subjective; this gave me the cultural richness that Italy has and I have met people, living in the most remote villages, ready to provide not only hospitality, but who were also kind enough to provide any information in regard to their tradition, their faith, their art.
My father worked in tourism and took me with him everywhere since childhood, he passed me on this passion and now I feel this need: to be among people who are curious and willing to explore with me places, traditions, arts and food that make Italy one of the most attractive and popular countries all over the world. Through my tours I would like to convey not only information about it, but also to feel and transmit them the same passion for the Italian culture.