Minnie’s Study Tour Part 1: History, culture and leadership in Italy

Tactile version of the Birth of Venus

Minnie recently embarked on a worldwide study tour. She started in beautiful Italy, where she stretched her curiosity around leadership and experienced possibility in action for the accessible tourism industry.

On arrival, Minnie connected with Livia Del Monaco, who runs Moveris, an accessible tourism agency in Italy. Moveris specialises in tours for people with access needs - each tour is individualised to the traveler's specific needs, providing the perfect experience and allowing them to get the most out of their time. Like Be. Accessible did in NZ, Livia recognized that there was a need in Italy to provide tours for travelers with access needs. Her approach to access tourism is a beautiful example of accessibility in action - what a wonderful opportunity for Be. Accessible to connect with a company that had this vision built into its core. Together Minnie and Livia discussed global access tourism whilst exploring Florence, and its incredible history and culture.

"The idea of the accessible tourism [company] was born from the desire to give all people the opportunity to enjoy art, landscape and food in Florence", says Livia.

"The headquarters is in Florence but our scope is the entire Italian peninsula. We'll study the perfect solution in order to meet your requests and needs. All our services are really tailor-made. There are no ready-made packages or solutions. Your Italian experience will be solely yours."

Minnie describes Livia as her "guardian angel".

"Not only did she take me through the sites of Florence, she has developed this passion for accessible tourism. It was so lovely to be met with someone who understood what I needed. She did great work at helping me orientate to my hotel, and find my lunch and dinner. She talked me through the layout of the city so I could go out and find my way around"

"In Florence there are certain things have been made tactile, like maps. There was even a tactile version of Botticelli’s Venus Rising. Some of the main paintings had a tactile version that you can feel."

After three days of exploring, Minnie went to Tuscany to be part of the Warriors for the Human Spirit Leadership Retreat run by Margaret Wheatley. Staying at Abbey di Spineto built in 1085, more than 60 global leaders explored and committed to deepening their practice as guardians of 21st Century global leadership, building a community of practice, based on gentleness, decency, and bravery.

"We are confronted by the changing nature of the world we’re living in right now, and acknowledging the collapse of systems we’re seeing ecologically, socially and economically. What form does leadership need to take at this particular time in our civilization? It was an invitation to be confronted by reality, and developing a community of leadership that is worldwide to navigate this collectively."

"I would hope that this helps, in both my professional and my personal life, to give me more tools and space to keep working on my leadership."

This set to tone for what became a three-week tour of discovery, possibility, and curiosity!