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Postcard - Time with Peter Kilby

Kim Riemann (Kim)

There are always debates, to hire a guide or to visit (or tour) a city on your own? I’m not talking about organized tours that arrange everything from where you sleep, to eat even ... well I won’t get into that here. I'm talking about someone who lives at your destination, who’s knowledgeable about the history, the art, the food, even the people. Someone who can perhaps show you the place you're visiting with a little more depth and insight than you could gleam from a tour book. I guess from reading this, you know into which camp I fall. While I like to do my "due diligence" and research the history, food and customs of a place before I visit, I also like to have someone who lives there show me and teach me the things I would surely miss on my own.

With that in mind, my husband and I both consider ourselves extremely lucky to have spent time touring with Peter Kilby.

We met Peter after getting his name from someone on the now defunct AOL Travel Boards before our first trip to Italy in 1999. Wanting to make sure we stayed awake our first afternoon in Rome, we contracted with Peter to take us about Rome and it was the best decision we made on that trip. That first afternoon we spent in depth time in the Pantheon, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva and the then, not oft visited, Church of San Clemente. Peter regaled us with stories behind each building, each ruin and so much artwork we were entertained and educated for hours. We finished up that afternoon with a snack at a pizza place on via Prefetti to which we’ve returned time and time again. That afternoon, we also arranged to meet with Peter again, two days later, to tour the Coliseum and Forum.

Since that first trip, we’ve spent at least half a dozen days with Peter in both Rome (visiting many off the beaten path places in addition to the Vatican), and Tuscany, his home turf (visiting wineries, dining in amazing restaurants, road-side truck stops, picnics, walking through ancient ruins, small towns, remote monasteries and more!). I like to think that now we’re to the point that we’re returning to spend time with an old friend.

The only problem ... Peter is in Rome and Tuscany. In Sicily, we wished Peter was with us. In Venice, we wished Peter was with us, even on a recent trip to Israel we thought what a hoot he would be – probably telling us stories of the apostles and prophets that no one ever knew.

Peter, being an industrious bloke, has just about solved that problem. In addition to conducting tours in Rome and Tuscany, Peter has created the Perfect Traveller from which you can download audio tours (aka podcasts) for various destinations including, Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Venice or access the recordings by topic (e.g., archeology, art, food, etc.). I'm visiting Venice soon, and having already listened to his recordings, I can't wait to do so again, on the spot.

You can still hire Peter though for private half-day and full day tours in English (he's Australian relocated to Tuscany many years ago) though he does speak Italian. You'll need to contact him for a quote as I'm not sure what he currently charges or you can take a piece of Peter with you via The Perfect Traveller.

Peter Kilby, Katy, Chris & Kim Riemann

Katy, Peter, Chris & Kim in Castiglione del Lago

If you'd like to read more details about our adventures with Peter, visit my member page, and the trip reports, you'll find him mentioned there.

Resources

www.perfectraveller.com: Podcast tours of Italy

www.peterkilby-touradvisor.com.au: Peter Kilby Tour Advisor

Kim's Member Page: links to trip reports detailing her time with Peter


Kim Riemann has been a member of and contributor to SlowTrav since its inception. Several years ago she took over as site and forum administrator. When Kim is not working on SlowTrav, you can find her leading small, group tours to Europe through her company, GrapeHops or writing on her blog, What I Really Think.

© Kim Riemann 2010

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