Bella Balbec! Italian touch to walking tours in Limerick town

Áine Fitzgerald

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Áine Fitzgerald

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aine.fitzgerald@limerickleader.ie

Bella Balbec! Italian touch to walking tours in Limerick town

The Italian job: Giuseppe Giordano pictured this week at the Dominican Priory, known locally as The Abbey, in Kilmallock.

HE comes from a region forming the heel of Italy’s “boot,” and Giuseppe Giordano is preparing to kickstart a programme of guided walking tours in his adopted hometown.

A multilingual guide, travel consultant and destination specialist from Puglia, Italy, Giuseppe, who is currently living in Kilmallock, has more than 15 years experience in the tourism industry.

During the lockdown, Giuseppe created several videos with the aim of bringing Italy and his home region Puglia, to Ireland, through a programme called "Where Ireland Meets Puglia".

His next step is to start guided walking tours in the town of Kilmallock. He is currently putting the finishing touches to another video about promoting Kilmallock to attract visitors to the area.

“I came to Kilmallock for the first time, for a visit in 2015 while living in London with my partner Louisa Deady from Kilmallock who I met at a friend's wedding in Calabria, Italy in 2014. She was part of the bridal party. Her cousin from Cork married an Italian friend and colleague of mine from Calabria. I knew this colleague from when I worked in Cork from 2001 to 2003,” Giuseppe explained.

And his opinion of Kilmallock?

“It’s an historical town. There is a lot of history around but it is not so well promoted - there are not a lot of people coming here. There is a lot of history to discover in the area. The abbey is my favourite spot and I like to walk in Dromin, it is nice and quiet and there is a nice graveyard with an older church there.”

Giuseppe is a member of ATGI (Approved Tourist Guides of Ireland) and Councillor of Federagit Terra di Bari, The Association of Tour Guides and Escorts of Puglia, in Italy.

Last December he graduated from Tralee ETB as a National Tour Guide, approved by Failte Ireland.

The tour of Kilmallock will start at the car park near King’s Castle and take in a number of key sites in the town. 

“We will cross the road to the cross to commemorate the three men who died during the Fenian Uprising and then from there to the Abbey, the Collegiate Church, the courthouse and then back to the car park.

“Depending on the speed of people it will take a couple of hours,” said Giuseppe who has created his own policy for Covid-19 as there is nothing specific for tourist guides.

“There was only something for hotels, restaurants and historical sites, nothing for walking tours. As I’m also a councillor in Italy in my area for the tourist guides’ association, I have used some of the guidelines we have used there and the ones implemented by the Irish government to create my own rules.”

The price of the tour will be in the region of €8 to €10.

“They will have to book online because of Covid-19. It will not be possible to have cash handling so they will have to pay online or by card when they arrive.” 

For more details see Giuseppe’s website.