Vette and Baite & Jonio Wild: Two Creators of Transformative Experiences tell their stories - PART 1
Vette and Baite & Jonio Wild, two creators who participated in the third edition of the Pilot Program, interviewed each other during one of the Pilots in Talk events. Paul, Riccardo, Cataldo and Nunzio met live on Apical’s FB Community to compare and talk about their projects. In this first part of the interview, the boys talk about the birth of their projects, values in common, challenges and difficulties.
Do you want to know what questions, concerns, and solutions Creators like you have that offer Transformative Experiences?
Read the first part of the interview!
P.s. Keep following us to hear about Vette and Baite & Jonio Wild’s experiences with safety and insurance, regulatory references and training courses, future prospects and collaborations.
What is Jonio Wild?
Nunzio: We are a collective. I like this definition that you also give. Our reality began 10 years ago with the establishment of a local association in which we were doing political initiatives. We have always been interested in the problems of the area. At one point, a water partition happens; we found ourselves fighting against the birth of a landfill. From this experience onward we tried to bring out the peculiarities of the area and the fact that we could imagine a different future. […] From there, the battle begins on the one hand, and on the other hand, we begin to become passionate about a world that until then had been relegated only to memories of when we went to the countryside as children. We were so passionate about it, incorporating paths of history, culture, environment, trekking and canyoning, that we said “perhaps this really can be the future, not only for the area but also for us. To create a base“.
The message we wanted to give, at least among ourselves, is that you can stay in this land, Calabria, with all its pros and cons.
Richard: It’s cool as a project! I have been fortunate enough to tour so much of Italy and much of the world, but what is in the south is invaluable and should be valued. In my opinion, the time is ripe for there to be this new trend. Previously, a discourse prevailed that was relegated to the industrial revolution and thus to the need to move toward corporations, the big frabrics. Now, work has changed, we talk about smart work, digital nomads, and it is only fair that those who can tell the story of the area do so.
[…] We empathized with Jonio Wild both because we are all from somewhat mixed backgrounds […] and because of this thing of staying in the land and enhancing it. For years we have been paddling in another direction: more progressive in industrial terms, now (Covid has also helped a lot) there is a great interest in environmental and experience. The trend is changing, there is a need for outdoor experiences, and we welcome territorial experiences. There is a new way of doing tourism that can create many collaborations.
What is Vette e Baite?
Paul: We are wayfarers through the woods making good coffee at the summit! […] We are a collective of environmental hiking guides and athletic trainers; our main goal is to bring people to enjoy hiking in a knowledgeable and equipped (not mountaineering!) way, and we try to bring people into the mountains and into nature by guiding them through experiences that seem normal, but in truth we always give that extra touch of professionalism and especially enthusiasm, living moments mainly in the mountains in the Apennines, but not only. In the last year and a half we have become a larger collective that has gathered other figures. Now we are also in Tuscany and Lombardy. We move to other areas ourselves, trying to bring people to all the wonderful nature locations our country has to offer. This is what we try to do, we don’t always get it right but we are honing our weapons.
Nicola: What, then, is the value proposition that distinguishes you from other environmental hiking guides?
Richard: The vision of Vette e Baite is to tie together environmental guides and athletic trainers. There are 9 guides in our collective; 5 of us also have expertise in sports. Therefore, our value proposition that is different from what the market offers is to convey to people that hiking most of the time is also doing sports activities. Unfortunately, we often read about accidents and unpleasant situations in the mountains because we underestimate what the mountains are all about. The outdoor & wild world can be beautiful to discover, but one must approach it with the right respect and preparation. We try to give the tools to those who participate in our initiatives, but also to those who do not participate. We talk about skills to be able to approach the mountain world in a more conscious way: from athletic preparation for doing long walks to what to eat.
How was jonio wild born?
Cataldo: We are born in 2008. […] Learning about what we have, both on the sea side and behind us, on the hill side, with all our Sila giants, our little canyons, we decided to jump into this adventure and see what comes out of it. As Nunzio said, we both lived as emigrants and then returned to Italy. I would like to set an example for other young people who are tired of emigrating and making sacrifices; I tell them to come back here and enhance our area from history to culture, traditions, cuisine and everything else; because each of us here has a piece of land, each of us has a home.
Nuncio: Apical taught us a sense of sharing experiences and how to stand out. Thanks to Apical, in just a few months, we learned things we didn’t even think about before. We used to go raw doing things. Apical gave us a method. There is a lot of work behind a simple hike. The work is more behind a computer, 60/70%, than in the hike itself.
To conclude, Richard tells us about Obstacles and challenges in reference to his experience in licensing professional guides: “Obviously, as in all new and growing industries, there is a lot of hatred. There is a lot of careerism and a wanting to put a spoke in the wheels of the realities that are starting out. Maybe because they work well and go much faster than others who have the experience behind them but less capacity.”
Part two of the interview coming soon!!!