Living Naples With Paola Falci

Paola Falci is a Neapolitan tour operator. She has tremendous pride in her city and wants to share its treasures with the world.

Paola Falci
Paola Falci in her Trinus Company office. Photo courtesy of Paola Falci.

Paola Falci is a true Neapolitan woman. She has tremendous pride in her city, loves everything about her birthplace, and wants to share its treasures with the whole world. This passionate woman parlayed this love into Trinus Company. Paola channels her extensive knowledge of Naples and the Campania Region into memorable holidays and business excursions.

In 2018, 63.2 million tourists visited Italy making it the 5h most visited country with international tourists. There is a myriad of things to do and see here. Each region of the country has its own unique cuisine and culture. Tour operators, shopkeepers, restauranters and resorts were thriving, and the industry was highly profitable.

Then all the prosperity came to a halt. The coronavirus made its way worldwide working from east to west. The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the travel and tourism industry. Italy has indeed suffered from this greatly, being the first country in Europe that set a nationwide lockdown in March 2020.

Paola has a unique perspective since her company promotes and hosts tours in one of Italy’s most underrated cities. I asked Paola a few questions about the founding of Trinus Company and how she is coping with the current lockdown conditions in Naples.

What is the mission of Trinus Company, and what is your perspective of the city of Naples as a lifelong resident?

I don’t know where my life path will lead me from today to a very distant future, but I am certain that if I stay for a lifetime in my beloved Naples, I will continue to promote it as a destination of excellence, enjoyable all year round and by any type of tourist. Moreover, I would strengthen the constant dialogue with the city and regional institutions to improve Naples not only as a mere tourism destination, but as a more and more livable city. Today I am carrying on my company, Trinus Company Srl, with some projects correlated to it: creation of some new and interesting tour programs and itineraries, advantageous commercial agreements with hotels, luxury B&B, holiday homes for all budgets. My purpose is to give a service ‘tailored’ on every tourist’s need and ‘customized’ to their economic possibilities. My work does not end with the sale of a tour or a stay or a travel package. but mainly focuses on monitoring clients who rely on me throughout their stay. This includes giving them all the information they need, advice aimed at making them fully enjoy their holiday, as well as being always in contact with me and my team available in all circumstances.

More than a trip, with us, tourists will have a sensory and peculiar experience, not the classic or traditional holiday. We have only one intention: transforming the journey into a persistent memory of it. We provide qualified professionals, selected hotels and licensed tour guides, and we are able to fulfill all unusual and special requests to ‘build’ and propose a ‘bespoke tourism schedule’. Our project includes, among other things, a tourism offer that is both thematic and experiential so as to live the trip as a full immersion in the territory, to have a holiday that remains imprinted in the tourist’s heart and mind, giving birth to the desire of returning and discover many other aspects. The objective is to transform the occasional tourist into a customary ones and create a relationship of loyalty that comes out only through a constant listening to his desires. We develop the incoming tourism in a very special way.

What made you decide to start Trinus Company and have it specifically focus on Naples and the surrounding region?

When I still was an adolescent, attending junior high school, I realized to be fond of studying foreign European languages and I was very fascinated by travels and everything around them. After a long educational path and challenging job experiences, three years ago I had the opportunity to meet two Neapolitan entrepreneurs during an international travel fair with whom I achieved my dream job. The meeting was amazing because we suddenly understood to share the same enthusiasm and passion for our city and origins. Our common goal was to enhance the potential of Naples, its surroundings and our beautiful region.

Do you feel the city of Naples has been underrated in respect to its contributions to Italy’s history and culture?

I believe that the consideration that the world had of Naples until 15 years ago was totally negative; Naples’ reputation resonated with images of violence, organized crime, dirt, danger: very little tourists, including Italians, would ever think of putting Naples on their bucket list. Unfortunately the main reason was — I think — the perceived fragmentation between the North and the South of Italy (of which Naples is the main city) because of the problems caused by a very deep gap between them, above all in terms of economic development and non-participation in the labour market. But things have changed.

Today Naples is just as safe as any other large European city, and actually safer than many US big towns. Policemen and even soldiers are present and visible in all touristic sites, and there’s generally a lot of people around, even at night. Few cities in Italy stand out for being a rarity in art and culture, for its natural beauties or for its food and wine specialties, and in the South of this magnificent geographic boot which is Italy, there is a city that stands out among all: Naples. Extraordinarily beautiful, Naples is more than a city: it’s a feeling. It is the city that absolutely possesses the ancient charm of Rome, the high aesthetics of Florence, the suggestiveness of Venice, the leisure of Milan; it is to be considered the largest container of, history, culture, architecture, natural beauty and gastronomic specialties.

It’s hard to write about Naples because you have to explain in words the beauty of a feeling. The city is perhaps the only one which still allows the opportunity to enjoy scenes that elsewhere remain only in the memories of the past, because everything in Naples is permeated by myths, legends, folk stories and tales of ancient tradition. It’s a city that conveys passion, fantasy and humanity, with the weight of centuries of greatness and splendor. It’s a special city, which has made not only its natives fall in love with it, but also those who were just passing through.

Naples is actually an open-air museum and this is testified by its very ancient origins. Its history begins as one of the first Greek colonies of the Hellenic world out of the borders of Greece, and it is even older than Rome. It can be considered, quite rightly, the first cradle of civilization in the Italian peninsula; actually, its founding goes back to the 9th-8th century BC. In the 18th century it was the most important city of Europe, overcoming even Paris in culture, economic prosperity, population density (that stands for wellness) and artistic and literary production.

Thanks to my work, in these last few years I had the opportunity to travel enough in Europe and around the world, and I realized that Naples catalyzes in itself all the main qualities that a city is supposed to have to be considered livable, unlike what the public sees.

You seem to have a passion for your city. How do you manage to incorporate that into your business?

My passion is something really deep and warm which has its roots in my origins. I have always thought it is not possible to know the world without having seen and understood who we are and where we come from. So, I constantly connect my business to the entire receptive tourist supply chain of my city with constant commitment, training and upgrading.

How have you been keeping your head above water during these last ten months of the pandemic?

From a mere economic point of view, I have to say with a deep disappointment that my support came from my family. Here in Italy the government has practically abandoned all of us (both entrepreneurs and employees) with few welfare measures and support policies. From an emotional point of view, I managed my worries with the determination I have always had in my life to pursue my aims.

What is the day-to-day life been like in Naples since the lockdown started last March?

At the moment, the liveliness and the brilliant colors that this city takes with itself along the centuries, seem to be clouded. Naples is moving forward between fear, hope and courage that the Neapolitan and Campania people have never lacked as evidenced by centuries of history.

What plans have you made both professionally and personally when the lockdown comes to an end?

Surely this pandemic has been like a natural selection that has been acted both on a psychological and on moral level; those who are stronger, who don’t let themselves be broken and don’t give up, are also those who win. I believe that I am part of these people, because I have never desisted both in my personal and in my working life. The lockdown of business and the general circumstances has put me under pressure and put a strain on, but have also given a stop to the hectic rhythms of my everyday life, allowing me to organize my future work and plan my personal goals with the highest concentration.

I believe that, with a minimum of optimism, we can also see the good side of what negative happens to us in our life. I am positive and confident of what will happen in the near future. After a great crisis, there is always an equally powerful rebirth. One of the most appealing things about Italy is the people. It is a country where strangers can become lifelong friends over the course of a delicious meal. When the coronavirus is a thing of the past, let’s remember the resilience of Italy and its people. The tourism industry will bounce back in time. When the borders reopen Italians will be ready to once again welcome visitors from all over the world.

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