This week, TLTB founder Susie Marquis is speaking to Francis of Chianti Pro Driver, sharing unique experiences he offers to TLTB members and what he enjoys most about his day to day in Tuscany.
I met Francis in November when he drove us from Florence airport to one of our beautiful Florence rental properties, in Via Bellosguardo. The villa sits in a unique and very peaceful location on a hillside with magnificent views over Florence, yet is just a 10 – 15 minute walk down through the heart of the authentic Oltrarno area, with its charming piazzas, artisan and antique shops, and small family restaurants, to the Piazza Pitti and the Ponte Vecchio.
Francis was recommended to me by the villa manager, and he offered such a nice friendly, and efficient service, we are now recommending him to all our clients needing an airport transfer and/or a personal guided tour in Tuscany.
During our talk, Francis told me about his interesting background: “After four years of experience in two different transportation companies in Florence and Siena, I felt ready to start something on my own. I had always been appreciated by customers who had requested me as their private driving guide … and often I was required for VIP special services. Inspired by the great passion I have for this kind of work, I wanted to create something different and more challenging, encompassing both Florence, and the lovely Chianti area where I am lucky enough to live.
So, I created Chianti Pro Driver two years ago.”With all the knowledge he has attained, as well as his love of Florence and the Chianti region, Francis feels confident about creating specific itineraries for customers, depending on their wishes, and suggesting ideas which they may have overlooked. As a graduate, and having a passion for art and history, he offers customers a mix of fun, culture and tradition, as well as enjoying local products and tastings.
When I asked what makes his company different from other people doing similar tours, he replied:”Probably, what makes my company different from others is my depth of knowledge about Chianti and its hidden gems, unknown to other tours.”Francis goes on to share what he enjoys most about his business in addition to meeting new and returning customers are the memories created. “The best and most pleasant part of my work is to feel that I have given my customers a unique experience, which they might want to repeat again soon, or recommend me to family and friends.”
His days are never the same, even if he is driving similar routes, there is always something new to discover along the way.
In these difficult times, Francis is looking forward to the time when he can introduce more visitors to the beauty of Chianti. We highly recommend him as a driver/guide to both business and holiday travellers to Florence, and to anyone wanting to explore the Chianti hill towns, visit a vineyard or just a tour of the stunning Chianti countryside.
Stay tuned for more thoughtful TLTB community features and travel with us on Instagram for inspiring post-lockdown destinations.