Your guide : a ciceroni

     Ciceroni ?  That’s - a rather uncommon term derived from Italian. It refers to the first guides of Rome, who commentated thoroughly and lavishly on the marvels of the Eternal City in a manner that was very... ciceronian.

     I am myself an heir of these Ciceroni, this line of people who can't help talking. So let me present myself. In effect, you are ready to entrust yourself to a guide for a few hours; so it's as well that you know to whom you are going to do this...

     My name is Romain Garcia. I am a child of the Republic, educated by dedicated teachers of the republic. One can't be more typical... but I was also a child of the streets. Not that I want to create an image of a difficult childhood. Far from it: I never lived in the Bronx and my parents never beat me. It's just that my adolescence was marked by interminable rounds of football, basketball and tennis on the streets of my village. So this life in the open air became a large part of my personality, of my freedom of style.
 
     Indeed, in parallel with my sporting aptitude, very early on I developed a taste for history. Proof of this is that when I was ten years old, I refused to use my Christmas money to buy a video game for my Sega Master System ! By chance I had fallen on a new edition of the comic-book History of France (Larousse) and a bolt of lightning struck me: I avoided a future as a computer geek. My brother was furious, but that is the price to pay for a vocation. This passion for history has never left me since that time.

    After my secondary schooling, I spent a year in Politique Science preparation. Logically I then continued with studying history at the University of Lille III. It's there that I gained a large part of my culture. I cant help but express my gratitude to my teachers at Lille III. All people who not only passed on history but also awakened consciousness!

 

 During my years of study, I specialised in religious history. Nothing about that was predestined really (if that's not, who says, predestination), as I came from a rather anti-clerical family. What was it then that made this my passion, and engaged me more and more, and eventually led to a Master's Thesis on Le Vatican II Council (1962-1965) and its reception in Spain. My research was done in Cordoba and in Andalusia during an ERASMUS year, which allowed me to perfect the Spanish that I already had some mastery of (being half Spanish from my father).

  After this enormously enriching experience in Spain, I came back to France to pass the history and geography teaching qualification, which I obtained in 2006. I taught for the following five years at different colleges and schools in the Paris region. Until one day I decided to halt my career. Why did I quit a profession that has so many advantages?

 I never really felt at ease in that role. I like teaching and I appreciate children, but I didn't appreciate so much the confined atmosphere of the establishments, the extended programmes, and like every teacher will tell you - the interminable marking! I was stagnating. I needed to get myself a profession that I could do in the fresh air! I have tried for many years writing and the visual arts but even though these activities agree completely with me, they are time-consuming and don't pay well...

 The profession of interpretive guide was therefore very quickly thrust upon me. To pass on history directly in front of the works changes everything, it's that that I understood when I regularly took my pupils on study trips. I therefore crossed over the Rubicon, leaving a stable job to live in a more financially precarious situation for a year to undertake training during the day as a Guide Interprète National at the University of Marne-la-Vallée. This was a comprehensive training in English and Spanish that allowed me to discover the finest details of Paris, of architecture and the history of art. In short, to learn my profession.

 So that's me, and I am launching myself as an independent guide in a distinctive style. Visits that will be, for sure, a product of this history...