The Basilica of San Pietro

Our Tour Director and driver

Photos and information about Marco and Antonio.

The Tour Director -- Marco Vuoli

Marco Vuoli on the bus Marco Vuoli on the bus

The photo on the left was taken on the bus during the ride from the hotel to the evening optional excursion on our second day in Rome.

This is Marco again on the bus, this time I think it was on the way from Pisa to Florence. Most of the time on the bus, this is how we would see Marco. He would give his commentary to those of us awake even when most of the people on the bus were sleeping.
(It was unusual to see Marco in shirtsleeves, without his jacket, however.)

Marco Vuoli on the bus Marco Vuoli on the bus

Marco Vuoli A detail from the group photo taken in Florence

One member of our group had the following comments in a message that was sent to me:

We also thought Marco was a good guide although our guide on the Trafalgar Best of England, Scotland and Wales Tour was better.
I had a slight problem with some of Marco's pronunciation. I've taught English as a second language to immigrants and spent much time with speakers of languages other than English and am used to English with a "foreign" accent, but had more trouble understanding his than any I've encountered. Perhaps it's because I haven't studied French and he had a very French accent on his English. I did eventually figure out what he was saying most of the time but a few times it took me awhile. Maybe I was just the "slow" one.
I did hear several others say that they had trouble understanding his accent and that he was "snippy" when they asked questions.
On the whole Marco did an excellent job. I really don't know how he keeps up the pace like that from March til November. I know it must be very difficult to keep a good disposition at all times. I've tried to photo myself doing that kind of tour week in and week out for nine months. It's tough on the tourist for just two weeks and we don't have the responsibility of seeing that everything goes as planned or having plan B in case plan A doesn't work out. And also just keeping 48 tourist happy at all times is next to impossible. That's an awesome responsibility and he certainly did a pretty good job at that.

Here are Randy and Lynda's comments:

As to Marco's accent - we thought he spoke clearly and had no problem understanding him after a day of learning to listen more carefully. We enjoyed his accent and general demeanor. I think Lloyd was irritating him some in the beginning, but Marco seemed to have a better appreciation for him after he jumped in and helped with the portage problem we had upon arriving at the Ramada Inn in Venice.

My thoughts on the subject:

Personally, I had no problems understanding Marco.
I thought he did a great job, especially with the rescheduling that was necessary several times during the tour.
I have never taken an escorted tour before, so I have no other tour directors to compare him with.


The Bus Driver -- Antonio

Our bus driver's name was Antonio, and his nickname was Tonino. But we knew him as "Schumacher!" (The reigning Formula 1 auto racing champion) because of his exquisite driving skills. We saw him make maneuvers with the bus that would have been difficult to make with a car!

Antonio driving Antonio driving

As you can see from the photos above, we were sitting up high in the bus, and you could not see the driver. It was as if the bus was driving itself. But we all knew otherwise. On the right is the view we had of Tonino as we were riding along.

Antonio A detail from the group photo taken in Florence

Of course, almost every woman on the tour had to have her photo taken with Antonio. (I just don't see the attraction.) Anyway, here is a photo of Karen with Tonino.

Antonio and Karen Antonio and Karen


Go To Project Gutenberg

Contents © Copyright 2001 Author: Lee Briggs except where noted. All rights reserved.