Free guided tours are arranged in Rome for refugees from the war in Ukraine

The initiatives for refugees from the war in Ukraine who have arrived in Italy are multiplied. And in Rome, free guided tours of the city and museums are arranged. We’ve talking about it with a Ukrainian tour guide, Iryna Kravchenko.

There culture like instrument of solidarity and hospitality for Ukrainian women and children fleeing war in Ukraine. That’s what’s happening Rome where many tour guides arrange free guided tours for refugees, primarily guides from Ukrainian nationality who have worked in Italy for years, but also Italian tourist guides suitable for this service. He told us about it Iryna Kravchenkolike a Odessa she was a journalist and has been in Italy since 2012, where she graduated in art history and then decided to stay in Rome to live and work as a professional tour guideregistered with AGTA – Association of Qualified Tourist Guides.

“In Rome,” Kravchenko explains, “I personally know about twenty guides who organize these visits. But the number is certainly much higher. We have brought hundreds of refugees around and most are mothers between 30 and 50 with children, a little rarer are the elderly.We also try to settle for colleagues to equip them with radios so they can hear the explanation.They love Rome very much, but they can not wait to go home! They want to leave immediately as soon as “The war is over. Maybe there will be some problems for the people who lost their homes to the bombing, but everyone else will return to Ukraine as soon as possible”.

The most requested visit for refugees is byrundturand is also brought to Saint Peterto Vatican Museumsto Colosseum and al roman forum. “The trip,” Kravchenko continues, “also depends on the activities of the associations that buy tickets for refugees or the disabled, and it depends on which museums are available. They are very curious and if they could, they would go every day to discover something new. And they are the Italians very grateful for their welcome: There are many volunteers who give them a hand, much more than I do, including several doctors who arrange free medical examinations. Solidarity in Ukrainian society is great: from helping the Red Cross to receive refugees to working as translators at the Bambin Gesù Hospital in Rome for hospitalized children.

Tourists in Rome on Piazza Navona
Tourists in Rome on Piazza Navona

Iryna Kravchenko came to Italy ten years ago, and after graduating in art history, she took the tour guide exam. After obtaining the license, he began working with Ukrainian and Russian-speaking groups. “I do not spend much on myself, I live alone and I sent everything I had left to my family in Ukraine, in Odessa. My parents, my sister and my grandmother, with our ten cats and two dogs, live there still, “the guide reveals,” because they do not want to leave it, even though the Russians have bombed it heavily in the last period. And he explains that three of the missiles fired at Odessa on May 3 last year flew straight over his house. “My parents wake up almost every night from an alarm or an explosion. But thank God the Russian troops are still far away, so my people prefer to stay in Odessa as long as possible ”.

How did the idea of ​​guided tours for people fleeing war come about?? “After February 24, we all felt part of a family of 40 million people, dear relatives,” Kravchenko stressed. “Our people are all united, and in that way I can at least help and support my people. And unfortunately at the same time we have lost 95% of all Russian friends and relatives.” In fact, in Ukraine, a border country, many families with Russian relatives. “They do not call us, they do not ask how we are. If they write, they immediately start complaining that the whole world has started to hate them. But most are silent, as if nothing had happened, post very positive pictures and videos where they are cheerful, enjoying life, while the Russian military tortures, rapes and kills Ukrainian civilians ”. And the Russians in Italy, we ask, how do they see their country from here when they read the Western press? “Many Russians living in Rome believe that Putin is behaving in the right way. Honestly, this reaction was one of the worst surprises of the last two months ”.

On the frontpage of tourism it should be noted thatUN World Tourism Organization voted to suspend Russia’s accession to its invasion of Ukraine with immediate effect just a few days ago in a symbolic move, as Moscow itself had notified UNWTO of its decision to leave 48 before the vote. More than two-thirds of the 160 member states supported the resolution to suspend Russia’s accession. The vote was scheduled long before Russia announced its decision to leave the organization, initiating a process that the UNWTO says will take a year to complete. The Spanish Minister of Tourism María Reyes Maroto Illerachairing the special session of the Madrid-based body, said that the invasion of Russia “harmed the fundamental principles of the United Nations and the values ​​represented by tourism, such as peace, prosperity and universal respect,” and called for an end to the hostilities.

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