This blog series features Walks’ guides from around the globe. It also highlights some of the incredible people who walk with us from Rome and New York. We hope that this blog series, along with our tours from home, will bring you some travel inspiration. This is a chance to hear from Walks guests from around the globe!
Andrea Silvestri is our Rome guide. He shares his favorite artworks, his favorite place near Rome, and some other places that should be on our travel bucket lists. Andrea will take care of it.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a tour guide?
What I really missed was the opportunity to visit Rome in springtime, which is a special time and my favorite season. This time is being used to learn, so I am constantly reading books about archaeology, art, travel, etc.
Which piece of art is your favorite?
My list is long because I am an Art Historian. Museo Boncompagni Ludovisi is a hidden gem that can be found in Rome. It is located behind the American Embassy. This museum is a free-access museum that shows the evolution of Italian interior design from the unification of Italy to the end of World War II. It used to be the home of a noble family.
Which is your favorite area in Rome?
My favorite Roman neighborhood isn’t a neighborhood, but an area called the Alban hills. This area has been celebrated by Grand Tour tradition since 18th century. Lake Albano is my favorite among the two lakes. It’s an ancient volcano crater, well-known for its popes’ residence in Castel Gandolfo. My friends and I love to climb the hills when Rome is as hot as Dante’s inferno in August.
What is your favourite place to visit outside of your hometown?
Amsterdam is a place I consider my second home. I spent about a year there and visited many times. My best friend moved to Amsterdam 15 years ago. He’s a musician so I was able to experience a very artistic environment. As an art historian, the Dutch golden age art from the 17th century is my favorite. I love Rembrandt, Veermer, Hals etc. To help you with this, I recommend a book: Svetlana Apers, The Art of Describing Dutch Art in the 17th Century.
Where would your next dream vacation be?
My 2020 plan was to save some money and go on a trip I had always wanted since reading Bruce Chatwin’s book, “In Patagonia”, (another excellent non-fiction book that our readers will enjoy). My goal was to follow his footsteps and reach “the end of this world”, which is the extreme south of our planet. But not this year, I suppose! Paris is always an option. I am Roman, but I love Paris. I was on a Walks tour recently, and my colleagues in Paris were amazing.
Which city or country in the world do think is most underrated?
Granada was a city that immediately clicked with me. Alhambra’s fortress in the Alhambra is breathtaking, and the small neighborhood is intimately charming so it is a good idea to go with a friend or you might end up feeling a bit depressed. After a six-year relationship ended, my first trip to Andalusia was a bittersweet one. My second trip to Andalusia was much better. I wasn’t the only one there. I had the chance to visit Sergio Leone’s film set, which is just a few hours away from Granada.
Which city has the best food?
Easy! Fiorentina steaks are my favourite option. I love meat. There are many options in Florence. However, restaurants can be more expensive. I suggest that you explore the Tuscan countryside. I had the best steak in a Pitigliano. This medieval town is literally carved out of a high mass of tufa rocks.