Each local guide brings his or her own wealth of knowledge, friends and sense of fun to a trip. Each departure is its own delightful adventure; and each is unique!
Carlo’s been exploring Puglia’s pathways for years. His good-hearted guidance and commentary have enriched Piccolina tours since 2010. He seems to know everyone along the route, dives like a champ, and, with watermelon and frizzante in hand, sure knows how to throw a break! A born traveler, Carlo’s stories com in French, Spanish, English, Italian, and, of course, Pugliese dialect. A journalist and amateur filmmaker, in 2008 he directed a documentary La Via delle Fiche about a bicycle journey to re-discover dozens of lost fig varieties in orchards throughout southern Puglia.
Adriana’s laughter and antics have colored Piccolina trips since 2008. She began as an unofficial guide, joining the tour the night before departure. Then pleasantly surprised all the guests by taking them to Mom’s house for lunch! She sings, and plays guitar, harmonica, mandolin, pots & pans or just about anything else that makes noise in two traditional southern Italian folk bands. When she’s not singing or exploring Puglia, Adriana teaches music to children.
Raffaele joined by simply asking “Can I come?” Turns out he could navigate like a satellite and research like a professor! A graduate of the Amibike Guiding school, Raffaele helps put together unique itineraries through the countryside, vineyards and national parks of his homeland in Sicily. He knows the best farms, the friendliest winemakers and the back road to the cheesemaker’s. If left unchecked, he’d “ride through vineyards all day every day, they’re that beautiful.” Raffaele seems to get a special satisfaction watching his guests enjoy Sicily’s local delicacies and will go many extra miles to ensure they taste it all!
Speleologist, Mapmaker, Orienteer, Hiker and Puglia native, Piero guides a fascinating walking tour through it’s most beautiful places. An official Environmental Tour Guide for the Region of Puglia, Piero leads hikes through its national parks, organizes elementary school field trips, instructs speleology & karstology, and conducts seminars in environmental education. He knows the caves, ravines and cliffs of Puglia better than those who live there. He predicts every puddle and natural bridge along Monopolì’s coast, and can find the only cave with Byzantine frescoes on an entire hillside in the dark. He has a weakness for chocolate ice cream, and point you to the best.
Francesca grew up riding the Madonie Mountains southeast of Palermo. Her passion for Sicily and her desire to share it’s unusual beauty inspired a fantastic collaboration and brought several Sicily tours, on both road and mountain bike, to life. She is affectionately known as “Francesca Bicycle” in her hometown and rides its cobblestoned staircases and narrow alleyways at every opportunity. Her mother makes excellent cannoli, her father enjoys sharing their homemade wine. He wants to show his guests that Sicily isn’t all Mafia, but full of good-hearted, friendly and generous folk. Thier family is certainly among them. When she’s not sharing Sicily with cyclists, Francesca studies PoliSci/Film in Bologna and recently launched a Mountain-Biking School & Touring Club, Natural Bikers. She is also an excellent photographer.
Piero is a recent addition to the Piccolina crowd whose stellar van-driving and indefatigable biking legs won him a spot in everyone’s heart. Piero grew up biking the Madonie mountains and, together with Francesca, is starting a Mountain-Bike School and Club called Natural Bikers. The few moment’s he’s not on his bike, Piero is helping his father make wine in Castellana or spinning at nightclubs throughout Sicily.