Who I am

Who I am

Hi! I’m Elisa - to my friends and family Lis.

I was born in Bolzano (Bozen), in the north of Italy near the Austrian border. My dad is from the Veneto region and my mum is of Croatian origin. My family taught me to never give up, dream big and aim high. Thanks to them, I was able to become the person I am today.

I have been looking for my place in the world since forever. I graduated with a degree in Languages from the University of Verona, completed a Master's degree in Marketing in Germany (where I worked in event planning for 2 years) and lived in Australia for a year (where I learned English profoundly). I have traveled a lot, lived in Germany and Australia, but nowhere really felt “like home”. In 2019 I chose Portugal as a destination to travel and celebrate my and my sister Alessia’s birthday (yes I am a twin!). We landed in Lisbon on the evening of March 8th. We dropped our luggage at the hotel, and decided to go for a walk. It was already dark, everywhere was silent and there was an intangible and magical atmosphere. It felt timeless. A soft breeze caressed our hair, and our faces were painted with joyful smiles. By then it was almost midnight, and street lights were lit. When we reached Praça do Comércio I turned to my sister and asked her: “Is this place real? It looks too wonderful to be true!” I went to bed a short while after. I was tired from the journey, but I couldn’t get that image of Lisbon out of my mind. The day after we woke at dawn. The need to explore the city that had bewitched us at night was too strong. And there it was, Lisbon, amazing goddess of the seas, with its old trams hurtling through narrow streets, with its inviting smell of grilled fish and flamed meat and its thrilling mix of people, so passionate and reserved at once. Seeing all this, I was really moved. It felt like a dream, but when I rubbed my eyes I realized it was real, and this thing I was contemplating was pure pleasure. At the end of the holiday, my sister and I went back to Italy. But I couldn’t stop thinking about Lisbon. I realized that this city had stolen my heart - and, as people know well, the heart wants what the heart wants! I went back to work for a few weeks, but then I packed. I had made up my mind. I was going back to Lisbon. I arrived in Lisbon on May 19th, 2019. I had only two large suitcases and a couple of backpacks. I can still recall my feelings: I was happy, excited, maybe even a bit apprehensive. I quickly found a job as a waitress, even if I felt that was not exactly what I was destined for. Days were passing by, and I knew that Lisbon had something else to offer to me. It made sense the day when my boss at the restaurant called my attention and told me: Lis, you were born a tour guide! I saw you interacting with our clients, I heard you chatting with them, I have a friend, he said, and he gave me her business card. Get in touch with her, he told me.

This was the beginning. I started working as a guide soon. I realized that was what I had always been looking for. I studied night and day, and I quickly grew fond of the history of Lisbon and Portugal. I read books, articles and magazines, looked for engaging stories and lesser-known legends. I wanted to know every inch of the city that had taken my heart. The first time I stumbled by chance upon a fadista singing her heartache, I understood that Lisbon is and was always going to be my place, THE place I had been looking for. In these past years I have worked for several travel agencies, I have met a lot of people coming from all over the world. Many of them have asked me “Have you ever thought of freelancing? I’m sure you’d be very successful!” I felt pleased, but all I could usually say, was a shy “Indeed, one day I will” Time went by, but I didn't really feel ready for it, though. Three long years passed…And then, one great day, something special happened. A girl who had been on one of my tours was back in Lisbon and got in touch. She wanted to be part of one of my groups again. I recognised her as soon as she approached the meeting point. She introduced me to her mum. Smiling, she immediately asked “Are you finally freelancing?” That’s when I felt that my moment had come. It was finally time to set up my own business. Being a tourist guide for me is not only about monuments and history, but about the chance to re-tell the hidden aspects of the special people of this city, through their music, myths and legends. The major goal for me is that my tales become unforgettable memories of your Lisbon experience. I fell in love with Lisbon. You’ll fall for it, too.

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