BestVeniceGuides and Tourism4all: Venice the city on a human scale: Sustainable, Inclusive & Accessible

 

Venice is a city constructed on a human scale – a city whose story is one of hospitality. A sea port, a trading post for the Orient where cultures have been intertwined for centuries. Venice was a Republic shaped by the needs of its citizens and of those who established commercial and diplomatic relations with it.

Our profession as expert guides for Venice entails knowing in fine detail both the history and the individual artistic jewels of the city, to grasp their essence. But it’s more – it requires an appreciation of each guest’s different needs, be they physical or in connecting with the philosophical and conceptual tides which shaped the city and its art and to present this multi-perspectival narrative in an interesting and enjoyable way for very diverse guests so that they can experience Venice with pleasure.

Professionalism is not just answering questions before they are asked and communicating knowledge in a stimulating presentation, it is gauging the specific needs of our guests. With this BestVeniceGuide’s goal is inclusivity – to support “Tourism For All”, establishing contacts and training, acquiring the professional knowledge and skills to be able to respond fully to each person’s specific needs.

When does the project start?

The European project promoted by the Veneto Region T4ALL-Tourism-for-all has stimulated the BestVeniceGuides to bring fresh eyes to what tourism is and offers: a greater awareness of the needs and the possible opportunities for personal growth, to deepen our understanding of our guests particular concerns, to provide a quality services to people with Special Needs living in the city or visiting Venice for the first time.

Partnership, planning and promotion of bespoke tours

BestVeniceGuides has established a partnership with UICVE- Unione Ciechi e Ipovedenti  (http://www.uiciveneto.it) – Venice’s Union for the Blind & Partially-Sighted which started with a training course and the subsequent design of new facilitated tours for blind and visually impaired people.

Study Day With Dr Alessandro Trovato (UICVE) and members of the Venice branch of the Union for the Blind & Partially-Sighted. Blindfolded BestVeniceGuides experience both places and perceptions of art objects during the visit. (photo: bronze reliefs by Arbit Blatas in the Campo del Ghetto Nuovo
Study Day With Dr Alessandro Trovato (UICVE) and members of the Venice branch of the Union for the Blind & Partially-Sighted. Blindfolded BestVeniceGuides experience both places and perceptions of art objects during the visit. (photo: bronze reliefs by Arbit Blatas in the Campo del Ghetto Nuovo.

Working with CERPA ITALIA, the European Center for Research and Promotion of Accessibility (www.cerpa.org) we have signed an agreement to set up training courses and the subsequent planning and implementation of itineraries/ tours for people with motor impairment and hearing disabilities and for the development of projects related to accessibility.

BestVeniceGuides have set up contacts with VILLAGE4ALL, a portal dedicated to Accessible Tourism aimed at people with limited mobility with a constantly updated catalogue of accessible tours in Venice (https://www.villageforall.net/it/visite-guidate/#venezia)

No less important is our collaboration with AGSAV Associazione Genitori Soggetti Autistici Venezia for AUT-HOLIDAY which aims to bring understanding and help for the needs of our guests with autism. Together with AGSAV we coordinate on a local level networking with a growing number of sectors in our industry which are increasing aware and receptive to the sensibilities and help families may need and have in planning their stay in Venice and receiving the services and assistance before and during their stay.

Study Day – CERPA training. With architect Stefano Maurizio.   How to plan tours which will cater for and make the travel experience more comfortable and safer: accessibility to transportation and accommodation, familiarity with the technologies used by those with Motor Disabilities, the private and public facilities available.
Study Day – CERPA training. With architect Stefano Maurizio. How to plan tours which will cater for and make the travel experience more comfortable and safer: accessibility to transportation and accommodation, familiarity with the technologies used by those with Motor Disabilities, the private and public facilities available.

BestVeniceGuides have tried to put ourselves in the shoes of those we wish to help and serve – trying to get around Venice with eye-coverings and in wheelchairs, confronting the very real issues the city poses for people with specific needs.

We work in collaboration with:

– Venice Guides for a Sustainable Tourism. BestVeniceGuides is supporting  Associazione Progetto Venezia https://www.venicesustainabletourism.com/ to promote Culture & Sustainable Tourism.

– With Greener.eu – a Green Social Entrepreneurship Startup which focuses on supply issues, we are working on synergies for Sustainable Tourism in Venice. https://www.greenereu.com/projects

– We also have projects with Venipedia.it – a platform whose mission is to promote Venetian Culture ‘for those with enquiring minds capable of imagining a better future’ – aiming to highlight lesser-known and overlooked aspects of the city which are rich in history. https://venipedia.it/en

–  We collaborate with Venice Original which promotes the Veneto territory, proposing guided tours based on Arts & Crafts, city-specific trades and Food & Wine. www.veniceoriginal.it

– Fairbnb is a booking service platform for Sustainable Tourism which finances and incentivises projects for whom we plan bespoke tours. https://fairbnb.coop/it/turismo-sostenibile-a-venezia/

We want Venice to be a sustainable city where everything is measured and delivered on an individual and human scale.

These initiatives with other previous ones undertaken by our Association aim to raise awareness and communicate the values of inclusion and participation to underline the common good of no one being excluded and everyone being richer for it.

Living Venice, day by day, the guides of BestVeniceGuides aim to understand our guests’ needs and to help them feel what we feel: that in the sublime and the beautiful there is an extreme fragility – so we can unite and protect it before we lose it forever. We believe the more people know Venice, the more they will appreciate that we are all its guardians and custodians to pass on to the future and to create a tourism which both sustains and is sustainable.

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