My father’s family has lived in Siena since time immemorial, while my mother’s family came here from Puglia. Two of my grandparents were born in the Veneto region, in northern Italy, while the other two came from Puglia, in the south. I myself am proudly Tuscan, from central Italy. My parents were born, grew up and married in Rome, and in the seventies they made what was at that time a bold and unusual choice: at a time when the centuries-old system of sharecropping had become obsolete and farmers were abandoning the countryside for the city, my parents went back to the land, keeping alive a big old farm perched on a ridge between the Val d’Orcia and the Crete Senesi, the clay hills of Siena. I can never thank them enough for having chosen this as the place where I was to cast down my roots, and now, I cannot imagine living anywhere else! I had a solitary childhood among the trees and my books, until my sisters came along. When I was just a little girl my grandmother taught me the joys of travel, taking me with her to exhibitions and theatres in the city, and passing on to me her interest in culture in all its forms, and above all art. I went to school in Pienza and in Montepulciano, Renaissance towns that provide me with a never-ending source of inspiration. I then enrolled in the faculty of arts at the University of Siena, graduating with a degree in Art History in 2001, and I have worked as a tour guide ever since. I am particularly interested in churches and abbeys, in museum, exhibitions, and painting and sculpture collections, but I also love gardens, castles, fortresses, villas and palaces, libraries, theatres, and archaeological sites. I love learning and telling the stories of families who, with great love and hard work, with pride and a sense of responsibility, continue to take care of ancient manors and the secrets they conceal. The artwork I identify with most, every time I look at it, is Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s fresco depicting The effects of Good Government (1338)), in which the city and the countryside are portrayed as closely related, equally beautiful and enjoyable to live in, occupying spaces of equal importance in the painting, just as the town of Siena and Val d’Orcia do in my heart.