Andrea Vitali World's Greatest Guides
A true citizen of the world, Andrea Vitali was born in Rome to a Milanese father and a Pennsylvanian mother. Thanks to his parents’ work as missionaries, he had a peripatetic childhood, living in various places in Italy – Sicily, Naples, Rome, Verona – as well as in numerous other countries, including Romania, Ukraine, South Africa, Mexico, Uganda, Botswana, and Mozambique. Andrea eventually settled in a small hilltop Tuscan village near Volterra, where time passes slowly and people still gather outside their houses in the cool summer evenings to play cards, tell stories, and share a glass of wine.
When Andrea was 14, his parents bought a bicycle for him to share with his brother. Not surprisingly, Andrea ended up using the bike much more than his brother! He began working as a bike tour guide in 2010 and joined Ciclismo in 2013. He loves Ciclismo’s distinctly Italian character, as well as “the combination of good riding, charismatic and unique guides, and a great feeling of camaraderie and just plain old fun.” Passionate about music, Andrea loves to share it on tour. He also enjoys introducing guests to the history, culture, and wine of the regions they are visiting.
Apart from cycling, his passions include trekking with his kids (and being a dad in general), reading history and art, photography, and playing his guitar.Although very focused about his work, Andrea has a wonderful sense of fun – a spirit that has led him to volunteer as a clown for more than 10 years in different countries! He currently volunteers as a clown doctor in a children’s hospital, as well as volunteering in more serious situations as an EMT for a local ambulance service.
Although he says the world is too big to choose a favorite place to ride, his favorite rides include the Crete Senesi and the great passes of the Dolomites. “As long as the road goes uphill, I’m happy!”
In His Own Words
“Italy is an amazing country of many contrasts, with such rich history, and so many variations in food, landscape, and dialects. I never get bored of riding here in Tuscany, with the endless small and quiet roads, the uphills and downhills, and the small villages nestled like gems on top of steep hills. Nature calls from the sides of the road, and I have had a wild boar nonchalantly cross the road a few feet from me more than once. In this communion with the past and with nature I can dream on two wheels.”
“I think being a guide is the best job in the world and a real opportunity to welcome others and share the hidden treasures of my wonderful country. It’s like having a group of friends over and taking them to the coolest places you know. It’s giving others the experience of a lifetime and being enriched at the same time. It’s not a duty, it’s a pleasure.The world is more beautifully seen on a bike!”
“Personally, I always hope guests will leave with a deeper understanding and love for my country’s food, wine, music, history, and culture. I always hope they will have felt both challenged, supported, and encouraged to become a better cyclist. And if I can bring a smile to their face and get them to laugh, or who knows maybe even dance a bit, I know it’s been a success.”