OUR HIKING GUIDES
Why do we offer guided walking or hiking tours in Switzerland, Italy and the Alps? Very simple!
Safety – Our hiking guides in Switzerland and Italy are professional, with years of guiding experience, an in-depth understanding of mountain hiking and safety procedures, and caring personalities. They know the territory and how to read topographical maps. They can identify dangers and weather patterns.
Knowledge – They are extremely well versed on the history, culture, traditions, flora and fauna of the areas you visit. They complement their knowledge with stories handed down to them by their parents and grandparents.
Anna Bezzola, founder and director of Alps and Beyond, grew up between northern Italy and Switzerland, and her playground, since childhood, were the Alps. Anna lived in California for several years, where she worked at a leading adventure travel company, learning the tools of the trade necessary to start her own company. She has organized and guided walking and hiking tours for the last eighteen years. Anna is multilingual, has a keen sense of curiosity, and loves to study the history and culture of the most disparate places. She lives in Ticino, Switzerland, where she is an official guide for two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: [Monte San Giorgio] and [The Castles of Bellinzona]. She is a member of Associazione Guide Svizzere Italiane (guides association), and Associazione Franca, which promotes children’s rights. Amongst other places, her travels have taken her to Patagonia, Uruguay, Bhutan, Alaska, the Arctic and the Antarctic. Anna guides most of Alps and Beyond’s trips.
Stefano Barbieri was born and raised in Bologna, Emilia Romagna, Italy. However, having lived and worked in France, Great Britain and USA, he considers himself a true citizen of the world. He is a multilingual, licensed hiking guide in Emilia Romagna, the place he knows best and loves the most, and an expert in the region’s natural environment, culture and traditions. His love for travel, for discovering new places and cultures started very early in life. In fact, at 17 years old, he straddled his Vespa and left for a 3000 km journey through France. After college, he decided that holiday trips were not enough, so he sought jobs that would allow him to travel year-round. As an export manager, photographer, or guide, he has visited 57 countries in four different continents, fulfilling his early passion and gaining a priceless experience. Now, if you are ready for the “wow effect”, as he calls it, you can follow him on our [Emilia Romagna | Secrets & Flavours] tour.
Mario Casella lives near Lugano, Switzerland. He is a licensed UIAGM/IFMGA mountain guide and a journalist, and has taught climbing and ski mountaineering. He was a correspondent for the Swiss-Italian TV (TSI) in Washington DC, for whom he still works in Lugano, but part-time, because he is too busy guiding, ski mountaineering and climbing mountains the world over. He is a free-lance documentary director and producer, and has done research, among other things, on the fall of the Berlin wall, Croatia, Bosnia. Worth of mention is [“Siachen: A War for Ice”], the first film, ever, to document the 20-year war between India and Pakistan over the control of the Siachen Glacier, in the Himalayas. The documentary has won several awards and nominations. Mario guides our [Haute Route of the Bernese Alps] tour, a memorable trek immersed in the glacieted world of UNESCO Aletsch-Jungfrau, and a crossing of the largest glacier in Eurasia.
Furio Sabatini was born in Trieste, Italy. He continued his studies in Genova and eventually moved to Milan where he worked for many years in a multinational environment, in close contact with Americans and their culture. Furio’s experience in the mountains is endless: he is a Certified hiking guide (a member of the Mountain Guides’ Association), a Certified Nordic Walking Instructor, and a licensed Tour Leader. He has been hiking since he was a boy, and he has a heartfelt passion for the mountains and nature in general. His hiking forays have taken him to Greece, England, Scotland, the Italian Riviera, Tuscany, and the Alps, from the Dolomites to the Maritime Alps, in France. Valle d’Aosta, where he has a second home, is one of his favourite stomping grounds. Furio is also a rock climber and a mountain biker, and he is multilingual. Furio guides our [Valle d'Aosta | Gran Paradiso National Park] and [Hiking in Northern Piemonte] tours.
Eugenio Testa is an industrial surveyor by trade, but the mountains are his blood. He works for the Environmental Protection Agency, taking snow measurements and writing avalanche bullettins, and he is an istructor and active member of mountain search and rescue by helicopter. Eugenio has opened new climbing routes on Mont Blanc and Monviso and has been on expeditions to K2, Pakistan, Ama Dablam in Nepal and Yosemite, USA. He is a mountaineering guide and instructor, as well as a climbing guide on Monviso. Eugenio guides our [Hiking Tour of Monviso] and, needless to say, in his hands you are completely safe.
Hansueli Weber lives on a working farm in Emmental, Switzerland, and he guides our programs and activities with mules. A trekking and canoe guide, and a ski instructor, he started working with mules during his military service. He studied agriculture, apprenticed on lama treks, and has been working with families for several years. His patience with children and passion for what he does make him the perfect teacher. He is multilingual and he has spent time in Australia and Ecuador. Hansueli guides our family trip [Emmental Hiking with Mules], and he is the responsible person for the animals.