Welcome to Florence

A global greeting

Helen Farrell
December 4, 2014

In 1992, the international Global Greeter Network movement was started in New York as a way to debunk the myth of a dangerous and chaotic Big Apple. Volunteers escort visitors around their city for free, sharing their insight as well as hidden aspects and everyday life.

 

Now Florence has its own Greeters, thanks to two Florence residents who were welcomed by an Italian-American retiree during their trip to Chicago. Impressed by the insight they gained and moved by the experience, the pair decided to introduce the idea when they returned home.

 

Florence Greeters is the third Italian city to join the network after Turin and Naples, and the program has the backing of the City of Florence.

 

Giovanni Bettarini, city councillor for tourism, commented at the recent press conference announcing Florence Greeters, ‘We immediately welcomed this idea … These love Florence and want to introduce it to visitors, making more open and welcoming.’

 

To be assigned a greeter, visitors complete a form online with the dates of their stay, preferred language and interests. The network chooses the most appropriate greeter and the tour is arranged. Each tour is tailor-made to the visitor.

 

Anyone over age 18 can become a greeter: the only requirements are loving Florence and being willing to make the commitment. Language skills are, of course, a plus. To date, all applications have come from Florence’s international community.

 

For more information, see http://florence.greeters.info.

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