In Rome to work as a Tourist Guide you need a certification.
This means basically that in order to guide tourists inside and outside sites (yes, even outside):
1. we must pass an examination
2. we must respect specific rules in our daily activity.
3. If we misbehave, we can be reported and lose the qualification.
4. We are asked to display the badge while touring, so it's easy to recognize us guiding around Rome.
Despite this rule, I see daily companies offering tours provided by unqualified guide, self-appointend "local friend" or "experts".
I'm tired and bored to complain or to report them. None cares. It's business.
I do not want to bother you repeating AGAIN to hire only qualified and professional guides, for your safety.
If you want to hire online an American student who doesnt' know a word of Italian, and has in program to spend in my city just 6 months, please go on! but...you'll get what you've paid for!
As a professionist and local I feel insulted by those people, living in Rome with NO respect for the city, often making fun of the Romans (I heard them often insulting qualified guides during their tours). They are tax evadors too.
They protest: "only in Italy we need to have a licence!" Why we have different rules? Because guiding in Italy in an Art
we have the biggest number of Unesco sites of the world, and this rich heritage deserves a group of high quality guides.
The level of the knowledge of my colleague is impressive: historians, archaeologists, many of them are authors of books and articles about art or science. We're experts with a career that abroad can be related to a PhD scholar.
They protest: "Examinations are in Italian!" But to be a guide you MUST speak the local language!!
Let's see what is the definition of "Tourist Guide" adopted by World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations
Tourist Guide: A person who guides visitors in the language of their choice and interprets the cultural and natural heritage of an area which person normally possesses an area-specific qualification usually issued and/or recognised by the appropriate authority.
So guiding is not only walking around, repeating concepts taken from a book.
A qualified guide is an educator, a local expert, an historian, a cultural-linguistic mediator, and mostly a friend ready to help guests in ANY possible way (even translating a menu in a pizzeria, or assisting in a small problem with a cab driver).
In this moment of "smart tourism",with so many self-appointed guides, I do not want to be confused with those cheaters.
Thanks God, I have my clients Here a message sent from a client, few days ago
"Thanks Marisa for the amazing tour! You're the best. You must be proud to be a qualified guide"