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Duomo in Siena
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Tours in Siena

A good guidebook and road atlas are pretty much all most people need to travel independently in Italy.

But if you are looking to discover the hidden secrets of Tuscany, to travel the back roads in search of new discoveries, a local guide is the way to go. Of course there are many Tuscans who offer guide services in this incredible corner of Italy. But not everyone has the knowledge or inclination to spend the time to show you the unseen corners of Italy. What you need is someone who is passionate about his craft, who understands the Tuscan heart and knows where to find the Tuscan soul.

Roberto Bechi is just such a person.

I first met Roberto Bechi and his American-born wife Patti in 2001. My wife and I and two other family members were spending a couple of weeks just outside of Sinalunga, about 40kms from Siena. I had seen Roberto on one of Rick Steves’ PBS travel shows featuring Tuscany and had subsequently corresponded with Patti – at that time she was helping him manage the tour company.

view from Roberto's house (photo: view from Roberto and Patti's house near Asciano)

Anyway, we had arranged to meet that June and they generously provided an incredible dinner at their home in Asciano. Since that time we’ve shared many an email and I’ve often turned to Patti and Roberto for help in answering questions that come through this website.

We’ve also had the pleasure of taking a couple of Roberto’s tours, one focusing on wine and another on his Etruscan heritage. And I have to say I have never learned so much in such a short amount of time. Roberto’s passion for his country and the stories that lay both above and below the soil is obvious – and infectious.

Roberto and I subsequently worked on a series of videos in 2005, interviewing a dozen Tuscan men and women who were more than willing to share their thoughts on what it’s like to live and work in Tuscany; what it means to be a Tuscan. Several of these interviews have been uploaded as podcasts and are available for free download on iTunes, and the interview with “Romano” of Firenze is available on YouTub:


Go to Tuscany. And go now.

La vita e breve - life is short.”