As you may already know if you have been following me for a while, last month I added a couple of new services to the site.
One is called Chiacchieriamo and it is the fastest and easiest way to practice Italian with a native speaker – who is actually me! The other one is Italy Your Own Way and it’s a customized Italy travel guide. Since I’ve been asked a bit about it lately, I decided to write a blog post to try and answer all questions and explain a bit further how the service works.
I have to admit that such service was absolutely not planned when I launched Instantly Italy. When the idea for the website first came to my mind, I wanted to focus on Italian language and culture, helping people to improve both their language skills and their knowledge of the culture of this amazing country where I am so lucky to be living.
However, ever since I launched Instantly Italy, I started receiving emails and messages on Facebook from people needing travel advice. All these people would more or less fall into the same category: independent travelers who wanted to discover Italy with the advice of a local. They needed tips, they had a certain itinerary but they were open to suggestions, they were looking for some kind of guidance to make the most of their time in Italy.
While I was answering to those emails, somehow Italy Your Own Way was coming to life.
While I was researching for restaurants in Rome or the nicest trails in Cinque Terre, asking friends about the best places to have aperitivo in Turin or checking Trenitalia schedule for the fastest way to go from Rome to Venice, I started thinking that this could have been a very useful service. Moreover, I could use a degree in tourism which I somehow never found the way to properly make use of.
But let’s stop digressing, let’s see what Italy Your Own Way exactly is.
It is an Italy travel guide tailored to the traveler’s likes and needs. Say that you finally have the opportunity to book a flight to Italy. You have been dreaming about it for a while and finally your dream comes true. You do not like guided tours because you want to take your time and enjoy the things you feel like enjoying and skip those that do not interest you. You have a general idea of what you want to see but are open to further suggestions. And most of all, you do not want to end up in a touristy restaurant and miss the great opportunity of experiencing authentic, tasty Italian food.
Italy Your Own Way gives you the opportunity of visiting Italy the way you want – without missing out the cool stuff.
Since it is a completely customized service and I want it to fit as nicely as a tailored dress, I have prepared a form to fill in for traveler’s requesting the service where I ask all kinds of questions regarding Italy, their likes and dislikes, their needs and interests, their food habits and much, much more. My only fear is to be considered a snoop…please keep in mind that it is for a good reason! I just want people visiting Italy to have the best experience possible.
But how does it work exactly?
It’s super easy! Say again that you booked that ticket to Italy. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org just saying “hey, I’m coming to Italy and I need your help” or telling me more about your trip details and all stuff you feel like sharing about it. I’ll reply and send you the questionnaire, you fill it in, send it back to me and I’ll get back to you with a quote for the service. If you are fine with the price, just allow a couple of weeks and your personalized travel guide will be all yours to print out and enjoy.
But there’s more.
Since it is always important to be prepared for a trip and know some things about the place your are visiting and the culture you’ll be experiencing, I decided to include in the service Be Italian For A Month, my 30-day email course about Italy and its lifestyle. In such way, you’ll get to Italy knowing when and where to have a cappuccino, how to order in a restaurant, what to drink for a proper Italian aperitivo and other kinds of super useful stuff.