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The Locals

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Linda | Rome + Surrounding Countryside

Linda and her husband Steve are Americans (now also naturalized Italian citizens) who moved to Rome in 1999 with a dream, two cats and a Swiss Army knife to create their hostel, The Beehive. At their hostel, they focus on providing an engaging community for both visitors and locals alike. With 20 years and counting of hospitality experience in Rome, Linda is an expert at recommending things to see, do and eat in the city (including vegetarian & organic dining). Now living just outside of Rome in the beautiful hill town of Orvieto, Linda is also well-versed in ideas for exploring small-town life in Italy.

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Abbie | Rome 

After a whirlwind semester abroad, Abbie fell in love with Rome and a native Roman along with it. She moved back in 2015 and got a crash course in the Italian language, food and culture by living with her fiancé’s family and traveling to various regions throughout the country. Through her role as the manager for a food tour company and the creator of her food and travel blog, Abbie has discovered the best local hot spots for grabbing caffè, the city’s best gelato, a mouthwatering Roman pizza or a traditional plate of pasta. She loves sharing her off-the-beaten-path tips for visitors to see the authentic side of Rome without the crowds or tourist traps and planning trips that strike the perfect balance between personal growth, entertainment and developing a deep appreciate for the Italian culture.

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Tanya | Rome 

Completely bilingual, Tanya was born in Canada but has lived most of her life in Italy. She spent her childhood between Mantova and Bologna, and after graduating with a BA in Art History from the University of Toronto, accomplished her dream of moving to Florence. She has been working in study-abroad and tourism for the past twenty years acting as a cultural bridge between North America and Italy. 

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Mary | Florence

Mary is a writer and journalist who caught the Italy bug during undergraduate studies in Florence. She taught English, studied Italian and had many misadventures in Rome before boomeranging back to Florence, where she has now been based for six years and counting. Before recently going freelance, she had a five-year run as the Events & Associate Editor at English language news magazine The Florentine and can recite the city calendar and venue addresses from memory. A co-author of the 2017 Time Out guidebook to Florence and a Middlebury M.A. graduate in Italian Studies, she loves exploring local literary history, is highly partial to the Oltrarno neighborhood, and is always suspicious of any trattoria whose waiters aren’t a little bit gruff.

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Sally | Florence

Sally was born and raised in North Carolina but has called Florence home since 2014, when she moved to Italy to finish her master’s research in Renaissance art history. She now works as a lecturer and private guide, sharing her passion for Italian history and culture with others. Sally also loves to travel and seeks to uncover the unique spirit of each new city that she visits. She hopes to give visitors to Florence the same opportunity to discover the city’s truly special character by sharing some of its better kept secrets while providing the kind of practical tips and advice that can help make a trip both enjoyable and rewarding.