Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

How do we reveal the secrets of a territory to its people and increase their sensitivity and capacity for knowledge.

Sara Testi follows the professional route, integrating her studies of anthropology and geography with her qualifications as an environmental excursionistic and tourist guide and her strong passion for local history and “slow” tourism, respecting the places she encounters and the people she meets.

This union of training and disposition is the trademark of Sarah’s activity, that of a guide of Chianti, capable of sharing aspects tied to scenic, environmental, historic and architectural heritage while talking of legends, episodes and anecdotes of every day life and local traditions. Sara cannot help but feel the call of the sharecropper culture.

She was born iand raised in Quercegrossa and is currently a resident of Vagliagli. Sara shares memories and long chats while walking through abandoned estates.

This lends an added flavor to her job and allows her to read the landscape more accurately and to transmit the history of a past that seems far away but which still makes up the soul of Chianti.

After an international experience in Aix en Provence tied to her university studies, Sara decided to follow professional training and become an environmental guide in 2003. A

s it had happened, there was one space left in the competition promoted by the province for this position. From that moment on, she became constantly more aware that she had found what she was looking for; a job that allowed her to stay in contact with nature, to walk, to travel, to connect with and exchange opinions with different people, often from foreign nations.

Today she accompanies groups of different ages, cultures and needs with her well of competence and knowledge, flexibility, patience, and the politeness which she learned from her grandmother.

Thanks to her knowledge of French and English and her contacts with travel agencies and individuals, through her site, and Trip Advisor, in high tourist season Sara gets requests from Chianti visitors and others and prepares  trekking outings depending upon the level of the walkers, their special interests, the logistics and timing of movemen, and the safety of the itineraries.

In the winter, Sara teaches environmental education in the schools in the province of Siena. During the boom of youthful unemployment and of qualified young people escaping abroad, Sara’s message is a good omen.

She is the first one to admit that not everything is rosy; with the same frankness, however, she affirms that she feels privileged in her work, which among many benefits, gives her the possibility to walk, often in company, while knowing that she doesn’t have to stop.

Cosimo Ciampoli