Unqualified guiding is not permitted
by the Italian Law.
Therefore, when booking a local guide
in any Italian city, it is your right to ask for proof that he or she holds
a license before closing any deal. Under present regulations in Italy, as
in most European countries, there is no such thing as a "docent",
"lecturer", "art historian" or "cultural association"
to deal with when hiring the services of a local guide, either directly or
through travel agents.
Before showing any personal title
or degree, guides must show that they are Licensed Tourist Guides first. Licensed
Tourist Guides are the only professionals permitted to conduct tours in all
sites and museums within a city. To become a Licensed Tourist Guide in Italy
- like in most EU countries - candidates must pass an examination given by
the local public tourist authorities to assess and test their knowledge of
the city in terms of its history and geography, its art and architecture,
its museums and art galleries, churches, its environs and cultural features.
As part of the requirements, candidates
must also prove their knowledge of each of the foreign languages they applied
for with oral and written tests. Licensed Tourist Guides provide a professional
service to visitors: they act fairly in all dealings with all those who engage
their services together with their colleagues, tourist services purveyors,
local tourist boards and cultural institutions. They protect the reputation
of tourism in their own area of operation by taking all steps to ensure that
their clients treat the environment, wildlife, sites and monuments and the
local customs with respect.
Licensed Tourist Guides are ready
to share with visitors reliable up-to-date information on all aspects of the
local life that may be of any importance to them such as temporary exhibits,
food & drink tips, markets, public transport, major events, and local