Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

Mali, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, South Africa, Senegal, Kenya, Uganda, the Philippines, North Korea, Peking, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.

These are only some of the places that Barbara Provvedi, originally from Marcialla (Barberino Val d’Elsa), has visited in her 37 years. Barbara loves India and Africa which, for her, transmit primordial sensations.

She feels at home in India and returns often because she misses it. She admires the co-existence between different religions and cultures in Africa as well as their capacity for recovery.

Now Barbara lives in Tavarnelle with her boyfriend and takes off four or five times a year in search of little known and faraway itineraries

. She prefers zones that are hot and dirty with red earth, and small villages in Asia. This is what happens when passion for travel and work coincide.

“I have always traveled,” she begins. “In 1982, my parents took me to Cuba. In 2006 I was hit by the Terzani wave. I received a degree in art history and a scholarship which allows me to visit Europe”.

“When I returned to Italy,” she tells us, “I entered the world of journalism and collaborated with newspapers and television. I then did a masters in touristic programming in Milan, which lasted a year and a half”.

“After that I did an internship at Azalai where I have been working for seven years as a tour operator. Based in Florence, it builds personalized packages for a certain cultural target, which respects nature and requires a certain level of emotion”.

“We sell the luxury of the location,” she explains. “For example, we are the first to arrive at a safari to admire the lions. With a local guide we discover destinations which are often not easily accessible: with a tight schedule but great satisfaction”.

“Tthe most beautiful experience is Mali,” she remembers, “which was also my first. For three days we went up the Niger on a canoe until we reached Timbuctu while watching the scenery and physiognomy of the people change. Thanks to the slow navigation, I was able to go faraway with my mind”.

“From the Stendhal syndrome to the Taj Mahal,” she continues. “In the same way, I love gorillas. We ran into them a few meters away, ater seven hours of trekking in our last expedition to Uganda”.

“My main inspiration is curiosity.” she adds, “The part of my profession that I prefer, is that it allows me to know many aspects of travel, not only those geographic. Even through a computer”.

“The destinations that I suggest? Countries in the developing phase, before they become uniform,” concludes Barbara. “My next trip? Here is a preview: I will be going to Tanzania in June. Back to Africa!”.

Noemi Bartalesi