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Discover Malta from a professional guide’s perpective

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I have written time and again about the beauty and historical legacy that Malta can offer to visitors to our islands, or even to locals who want to re-discover our local treasures. But my perspective is that of an aficionado and a fan of the archipelago I call home. This time round I wanted to bring you the perspective of a true professional, someone who can be considered an authority on Malta’s beauty spots and historical pedigree.

We spoke to Ana De Barro, a qualified, licensed tour guide, to get a real feel for the passion that even a seasoned professional has for The Maltese Islands. It’s important to note that the profession in Malta is highly regulated and becoming a guide is a true act of dedication involving hard work and study.

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AC : How long have you been introducing people to Malta’s highlights and what made you choose this profession?

ADB : I got my license in 1995 and became a full time guide in 2000. I was always  interested and involved in tourism from the age of 18. My first real summer job was in a Travel agency and that seemed to give me the traveller’s bug. So much so that a few months later I set off travelling and working on yachts until the age of 20. I then decided to head to America where I attended University and continued studying languages and history. I later ran a group of companies in the tourism sector and that gave me the inspiration to study to become a guide and to learn more about out our fascinating history. I didn’t think at the time that I would work full time as a guide, but after having my first child I decided that I would pursue this as a career and I haven’t stopped since. It’s been 16 years now and I am so luck that it creates the opportunity for me to meet so many interesting people, from VIPs to politicians, Professors to journalists and so many more. It’s varied and that is why I love being a guide. I get to share my knowledge and love of my island but I also learn so much.

AC :  Where is your favourite place to take visitors and why?

ADB :  There isn’t one that I could say is my favourite place as we have so many interesting sights. The must see in Malta  would have to be St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta. It houses the only signed Caravaggio painting in the world! An accolade to really be proud of.

AC : Which are the top 3 places that get the best reactions and generate the most questions from people?

ADB : Undoubtedly Valletta, St.John’s Co-Cathedral and the Mnajdra Temples.

AC :  How do you manage to still appreciate the beauty of local landmarks after visiting them so many times?

ADB : It’s really not difficult. Some places have such a magical energy about them like the Temples. Others keep you enthralled for their artistic beauty and wealth. Every visit draws my eye to something new.

AC : Tell us about some hidden gems that are not on the usual tourist trail.

ADB : The lovely winding roads of Hal- Lija with their picturesque house façades, the coastal scenery on the cliff walks on the Island of Gozo… trail blazing on the Island of Comino…. I know so many, but I won’t share them all with just anyone :)

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AC : What are the best reasons to take a private guided tour of Malta?

ADB : Today, you can search for many things on the internet and find all the history and blogs you want, but nothing beats meeting a local guide who really tells you what makes a place tick. A good guide always keeps studying as new insights and old incidents are discovered all the time and that information is not always readily available. Private guided tours can take you to see places off the beaten track that you may not necessarily find alone …they also know the ins and outs of the place as they are local, and can portray the very essence of what makes the Maltese Islands this diverse and richly cultural ‘rock’, as we fondly refer to it. Let me be your guide and I will show you.

The team at Colours of Malta can organise your own bespoke private tour of Malta and Gozo.  If you would like to be shown around our islands by Ana or one of her equally professional and passionate colleagues, the Concierge Services offered by Colours of Malta are equipped to make it happen.

View their partner profile here and contact the team to organise your private itinerary.

2 Comments

  1. Professional tourist guides do missionary work. They generate love for what they love they which is an act of love towards those who want to listen to them. Ana de Barro is of good guiding technique stock. Keep up the good work Ana. Well done! – cheers
    narcy

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