A family business with 40 years of experience in touring people around the most beautiful cities of Italy.
Nowadays Italy is bursting with tour operators and agencies promising to ensure unforgettable moments and life-changing experiences for the millions of people who visit the country each year, making it increasingly difficult for companies to stand out from the crowd. Despite the ever-increasing competition, family-run Miles & Miles has enjoyed constant success for almost 40 years thanks to a very simple mission; to transmit their joy, knowledge and passion for their country while simultaneously maintaining an excellent level of customer service and quality.
The company was started in Rome by Francesco Miglio’s father, Roberto, at the end of the 1970s. “My father was working as a taxi driver at the time, but he found he was better as a tour guide than a driver. He enjoyed telling stories, not only about his city but also about its people, the barber or the butcher around the corner, so tourists would ask him to pick them up again the next day”. Roberto bought his first Mercedes and Miles & Miles was born. “Dad still remembers the time that the office was our living room and my mother, between looking after the kids and cleaning the house, would answer the phone to clients. After school I would see my mother stapling faxes together and she would tell me not to touch anything!”.
Members of the Miglio family have been born and raised just next to the Vatican for generations “the Pope has been our neighbour for almost 100 years” laughs Francesco. “Dad was a born tour-guide, when he was a young boy he would sell pictures of saints to the tourists in St Peter’s Square. He has always loved this job and working with people”.
At the end of the 1990s the business really took off. While previously the only way to get clients was through word-of-mouth or the hotel concierge, the arrival of the internet was, as for many companies, a huge turning point, bringing in a wider client base. Francesco joined the business in 2000, followed by his sister Noemi. Then in 2009 Francesco’s American wife Kimberley (who hails from a small town in Wisconsin) took over the reins in the booking office, adding the international touch and insight which has helped to grow the business into what it is today.
Today Miles & Miles operates in Rome, Florence, Venice, Naples, Barcelona and this year will open in Turin and London. Every day they run private tours on foot, by minivan or by boat, and while the office staff is American, the guides and drivers are all local “because they were born and raised on those streets and those alleyways and the pride and love they feel for their town should be felt by every participant of the tour”.
Their concept is very simple, says Francesco, “Dad has always run the tours as if the clients are old friends coming to visit and we have to show-off our city. Our Italy is history, art, traditions, culture, customs, aromas, tastes and sounds so we mix all this together and serve it to our customers”. His favourite tour is the Amazing Sunrise experience in Rome which starts at 5am and takes in the major sights of the city by minivan before the crowds and chaos arrive. “It is the Rome that is just waking up, when the first light begins to caress the domes and bell-towers of the city and the deserted streets and piazzas create a magical atmosphere. We finish the tour in a small coffee bar for breakfast where the local guys chat about last night’s football match and the ladies sip their first espresso of the day. This is my Rome, the Rome I adore”.
Francesco’s pride and enthusiasm when talking about his company is palpable. “What we have been doing for 40 years is making the lifelong dreams of our clients come true. We give them the opportunity to mix with locals, we show them the city through the eyes of the people who live there, we tell them the stories and secrets of our country, we want them to leave with the desire to come back”.
And the key to their ongoing success? According to Francesco “because it is a true family-business, with an Italian heart and an American mentality. We are picky, meticulous; for us the tour begins in the office from the first contact, and we love coming to work in the morning and making our clients’ dreams come true”.
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