Who is Benjamino..

Interview with Benjamino, the owner Invespino.

Is your real name Benjamino?

Hi! Haha, Benjamino is the Italian stage name of Benjamin. Maybe I don't look quite Dutch, but as far as I know I'm 100% Dutch. After growing up and studying in The Netherlands I decided that it is time for me to move to Italy. To enjoy the beauty of nature, people, and historical places.

Why your love for Italy?

In 2018 I was selected to study at the University of Bologna for a semester. An incredible and lively student city where all the good things of Italy came together. The food, the vibe, the people, and basically life without an agenda. From Bologna I often went out on the weekends to see new regions and cities. The first time in Tuscany is therefore a day that I will not soon forget, after 3 months in a city without greenery you suddenly end up in this incredibly green region.

  • How did you make this step to start InVespino?

    After my six months in Bologna, I also wanted to spend the summer period in Italy. Then an opportunity came up to work as a Vespa Tourguide in Tuscany, which I couldn't turn down of course. As a result, I really got to know the region and I was able to build my network here. I did this for 2 summers and in 2020 on the Amalfi Coast. After 3 years I thought the time was right to start my own tours, with more focus on undiscovered Italy. Unique places that you would not visit as a tourist with unique places to stay.

  • Sounds challenging, starting this in the middle of a pandemic. Wasn't this very risky?

    Yes it certainly was, but it certainly gave opportunities. Many accommodations suffered from cancellations, so I could stay in unique villas and hotels for a great price. For this year the accommodations have been changed to stay in even more beautiful and unique places!

  • What was your highlight of the first tours in 2021?

    Actually the first week, after months at home planning to see it suddenly become real was very special. People actually came who booked my tour and thought it was an unforgettable experience. The first guests in Tuscany even came to the Amalfi Coast for a second tour at the end of the season!

  • What is your personal favourite? Tuscany or Amalfi

    Impossible to answer, both are very different with their own charms.

  • Okay, in Tuscany, what's your favorite place there?

    Surely the Chianti region, this feels so historic with the most beautiful views!

  • I see slow tourism more often on your website, what do you mean by that?

    I want to set up a company that opposes mass tourism. Big tour buses that sometimes stop somewhere for only 30 minutes I find really horrific. This is not how tourism is meant to be. During the tour we will also stop at less popular places, in those moments you will experience the most authentic conversations. I think this really benefits the way of travelling. In addition, I like to work with family businesses that really have a passion for what they do!

  • Do you also live in Italy?

    During the summer months I stay in the villas just like the guests, but not yet in the winters for the time being. Besides Italy and Vespas, I am also a huge lover of the mountains and snow, so I can be found in Switzerland in the winter.

  • When you go on holiday yourself, where do you go?

    I am honestly not a holidaymaker, my passion is really to be able to relieve other people on holiday. Last summer I went into the pool twice when it was really 40 degrees, I think that says enough. I especially enjoy when the guests enjoy the routes and the stops that I have devised. In addition, I am constantly discovering new places, when I am not with guests.

  • Sounds intensive, do you also have free time?

    The days are indeed long, but who can say that he has been driving a Vespa through Italy all summer. In addition, I am really a social animal, I like meeting new people and getting to know the guests. I do want to know more than just the name and during an InVespino week guests really get to know each other. The first reunions are already being planned!

  • What will be different in 2022 compared to 2021.

    In 2022, 2 tours will take place simultaneously, both in Tuscany and Amalfi. Of course I can't split myself up, so an experienced tour guide will be added this summer! In addition, Tuscany will be shorter in terms of distances, I received feedback from the guests that the changeover day was really too long. So instead of 135 kilometers this will be 80 kilometers. Without having to make concessions for the beautiful days.