|"Our 'accidental' tour guide, Simone, delighted us with a surprise castle tour."|
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Serendipity and Our 'Accidental' Tour Guide
In June 2006 I was with 9 of my cousins on my mother's side for a reunion to visit the town where that side of our family originated — Vallo della Lucania in Campania. As we were walking around and looking for the cathedral, one of my cousins stopped three young men to ask directions. One of them, Simone, volunteered to take us there. His two companions said "buona fortuna" and went on. We found out that they were high school students on their way home for lunch. Luckily for us Simone was an English major so we had no trouble communicating, as not much English is spoken in that area.
Simone took us to the cathedral, stayed with us, and got a priest to show us around. Then he went into the main office, as we found out that Vallo della Luncania is the seat of the diocese for the area, and got one of the seminarians to give us a private tour (all in Italian) of the very lovely little museum there. It wasn't even supposed to be open that day.
He then took us to his favorite restaurant for lunch down a little alley off the piazza that we never would have found ourselves. One of my cousins mentioned a place where they had eaten the night before, but he said "no, no, this is better." He ordered for us, as I said, not much English spoken there. We invited him to have lunch with us, but he said Mamma was waiting for him.
But it didn't end there! He came back as we were finishing lunch and asked if we wanted a tour of a castle. He explained that his mother was in the travel business and he could get the keys to a local castle. He took us to meet Mamma and off we went to the castle for another private tour. It was wonderful serendipity, and we have kept in touch with him by email ever since.
— Rosemary in New Rochelle, NY
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