Volterra fog and sea of clouds
Volterra fog and sea of clouds
Jennie Robson

Jennie is one of our most experienced Tour Managers.

She has spent most of her life in Piemonte and has accompanied tours for Andante in many countries over the years, especially in Italy.

What first sparked your passion for travel?

I remember when I was still quite young my father bringing a little mosaic brooch with a flower motif back from a conference he had attended in Stresa. I wanted to know where it had come from. He used to take us when still quite small to the Chamber Street Museum in Edinburgh on Saturday mornings. I always used to scoot up to the ethnographical section and try to imagine where the exhibits had come from.

How many languages do you speak?

I don’t really speak real English any more, the language has moved on since I left in the ‘70s, however, I still manage to communicate with our guests!

Pretty lousy Italian after nearly 40 yrs here, a bit of French. Very bad Spanish and German and elementary Turkish.

What is your favourite tour?

Probably Campania!! Ravenna and Aquileia? But places in Turkey years ago, like Hattusas, I’ll never forget them.

How many tours have you managed for Andante?

I did a sum a few years ago and had managed 28 different ITINERARIES then, over 28 years. Goodness knows how many tours!

What is the most memorable thing to happen to you on a tour?

  1. We were in Morocco years ago, having a picnic on one side of a raging torrent prior to crossing a very wobbly Berber bridge made of two poles, two pieces of wire and a few twigs, to visit the ruined mosque of Tuin Mal on the other side.  I looked up to see one of our larger and louder guests standing behind our young local guide, dressed in traditional costume, holding onto his shoulders, on our side of the bridge, about to set off across the bridge. I dashed over and grabbed the pole on our side with one hand and the belt of our guests’s trousers with the other and gently coaxed them back. They would certainly have been dashed to pieces on the boulders below us had they tried to cross.
  2. In Tunisia, the day when we were down in the desert at Douz, and I looked across to see one of our guests sliding on her saddle down below the belly of the camel and ending up on the ground. The camel was panicking and its feet were getting tangled up in the long reins. I rushed over and pushed the camel out of range before she got trampled to death! The girths had not been tightened properly. We changed camel company...The couple were very understanding and didn’t sue!!
  3. In our hotel in Soyuth Street in Valletta, in Malta, I was up in my top floor room when the fire alarm suddenly went off. I panicked, grabbed the tour cash and my binoculars and dashed out to the staircase (no lift).

    The staircase was blocked by a very elderly lady helping her husband slowly down the steps. I helped them, wondering what would become of my guests. They were not at all put out by the alarm. They were all down in the bar sipping G&T!