My name is Sara Mammana, and I grew up in Pienza, a small, beautiful town situated in the heart of the Orcia Valley, which was proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 2004. If you watch the movie The Gladiator, with Russell Crowe, and you observe the famous scene where he brushes against the wheat, you might be surprised to discover the beautiful Tuscan landscape of the Orcia Valley, the place where I am lucky to live.
I was raised in a big family (I’m the second child of four), and I really appreciate how living in a small social community can strengthen your character. Since I was very young, I’ve loved socializing and being around people. I remember dancing, singing, and acting for my relatives, and sometimes I enjoyed doing little guided tours while my father was trying to make short movies using his new video camera. Maybe a sign of destiny?
My passion for the humanities led me to study at Liceo Classico(secondary school) in Montepulciano, where I immersed my self in Latin, ancient Greek, Italian literature, and philosophy. My cultural education prepared me to go to Siena University, where in 2012 I received my master’s degree in Art History.
During my time in Siena, I entered the official program to become a professional tourist guide. This is an intensive study of art, history, architecture, and cultural traditions, including Tuscan wines and gastronomical products. In 2009 I received my official certification for all of the Province of Siena. What a satisfaction! I started working with Italian groups, but then I realized that speaking English was so important to communicate with people from many different countries. That’s why in 2012 I decided to go to Cambridge (UK) to improve and study the English language. I spent five months there, studying at Select English School, where I passed the FCE exam. It was a very useful experience. A few months later, it was time to visit the USA by flying to New York. I’ll never forget the emotion I felt when I arrived; it seemed like being in an American movie. Amazing! I spent a month in NYC and Saratoga Springs (New York).
In 2014, I left Pienza again. My destination: Ireland. I lived for one month in the lively city of Cork, a wonderful place that is rich in music, young people, and real Irish soul. It was an experience that I will never forget. During my Irish holiday, I studied the English language at Cork English World school,but my need to travel still wasn’t finished, and so in 2015 I finally returned to the USA, to Pennsylvania, where I spent three weeks visiting friends in Punxsutawney. In America I have seen the largest city and have also experienced life in a small country town, which is why I can understand the many interesting differences between the two.
I have treasured my American experience, which made me understand how changeable and diverse the world is. Now I think about what a foreign tourist would feel when, for the first time, he or she visits Pienza and Tuscany. That is the reason why I am looking forward to meeting new people who, thanks to my profession, can spend a bit of their time having new and unique experiences. My job permits me to live my passions: art, architecture, history, Italian cooking, and meeting new friends. That’s why I consider myself very lucky. I love what I do for a living, and I try as hard as I can to help others find a way to experience what they love. My professional certification as a Guida Turistica enables me to share the wonders of Pienza, Tuscany, and Italia.
In recent years, I have been lucky to work in one of the most beautiful areas in the world and to meet extraordinary people, I have also been able to devote myself to the study and research in artistic history aimed at publishing scientific articles. In 2017 I participated in the drafting of the catalog of the exhibition The Good Century of Sienese Painting, from the Modern Manner to the Caravaggesco Light. I also edited several specialized articles published in international and local scientific journals concerning the numerous works of art present in the area of Pienza. I also dedicated part of my time to teaching at the Istituto Superiore Agnolo Poliziano in Montepulciano and since 2017 I am co-founder and vice-president of the cultural association “Biagiotti per l’Arte” for which I have curated various exhibitions related to the promotion of contemporary Italian figurative art. In 2020 the scientific volume entitled “Pienza and the design of Utopia ” was published : an in-depth study linked to the theme of the ideal city that I carried out and wrote together with Riccardo Cecchini and Gianna Gaudini.