AIGAE – The Italian Association for Professional Nature and Interpretive Guides
Welcome to AIGAE – the professional association of nature and interpretive guides for those leading in Nature in Italy and from Italy to the world.
In 1992 the AIGAE was formed as an autonomous body to develop and enhance the training, skills and reputation of the increasing number of skilled Nature and Interpretive Guides, as well as Walking Leaders who wished to qualify and follow this profession in the world’s paths.
The award of Nature and interpretive Guide demands the highest standards of skill and professionalism in all aspects of guiding.
The AIGAE today
Today the AIGAE, Italian Association of Nature, Walking and Interpretive Guides is officially recognized by the Italian Ministry of Economy and has over 3000 members with Nature Guides, Hiking Guides and Interpretive Guides.
We have close links with the Italian Federation of National Parks and Protected Areas (Federparchi), with several Bodies of Italian National Parks, with Interpret Europe and with the Italian Association of the Professional Societies (COLAP). Many of our members are also qualified Instructors and are expertly equipped for all levels of instruction and advisory/consultancy work in walking, hiking, and interpretation.
The Scope of Guiding
In any year the range of Nature activities offered by AIGAE members is staggering. Italian Nature and Interpretive Guides safely and successfully lead groups to the best and most impressive wilderness on earth. Some Guides specialise in hillwalking guiding whilst others work mainly with young people, senior climbers or schools. Guides are able to provide group instruction and personal guiding at every level from easy trails, walks and treks to the most demanding hiking at home and abroad all year round. Guides also offer instruction and guiding in mountain bike, canoa, donkey-hike, and other specialities.
AIGAE Interpretive Guides are able to work at all levels making sure that the walking party will receive the best care and exclusive attention.
The AIGAE is the professional body which represents the increasing number of Italian Interpretive Guides and Walking Leaders who work in the nature, hills and mountains of their home country, the European regions and further afield.
AIGAE keeps a register of members who are fully qualified Nature Interpretive Guides and Walking Leaders (GAE). Like all professional bodies we expect our members to be undertaking continuous professional development, and to meet certain professional standards. Assessment is often organized by AIGAE. AIGAE members, professionals wearing the badges and carrying the carnets of the organisation, have been trained and assessed to the demanding requirements of the internationally recognised qualification that they hold.
Guides and Interpreters are increasingly involved in equipment design, development and testing, others act as consultants or assist in writing and filming. Many offer lectures, write on nature related matters and give technical advice.
Nature Guiding and Interpreting is not only a profession but is also a vocation. Our members are united by their love of the environment and their common aim. This is to assist others, their clients, to realise their nature dreams and to find the exuberant joy, the wonderful unforgettable days which are so inseparable from the game of walking at whatever level we wish to play.
Guides cannot remove all danger from an activity but with their great depth of knowledge and continually updated training they can certainly ensure that any normal risks are contained, so that their companions can freely savour the full scope of the experience offered.
Current AIGAE members can log-in to find lots of additional resources, update their membership details and check on the latest news from the Association.
Visitors can receive the Newsletter and have limited access to the website.
Looking for a Nature Interpretive Guide? Use the “Cercaguide”
Looking for a qualified leader for your trek, your hike? With over 3000 fully qualified nature & Walking Leaders who have experience from the Arctic to the Andes.
AIGAE is your obvious first point of contact when looking for a person properly qualified to lead your journey in the nature of Italy and abroad. You can browse a list of properly qualified Italian Nature Interpretive Guides and Walking Leaders who are available for work by following this link, or you can contact us through this other link, letting us know your requirements, and we will contact our members by email, who will then contact you directly.
How to become a member (link to membership pages – only in Italian)
Membership is reserved for:
a) Those holding a professional Walking and Nature Guide Licence, or Interpretive Guide, released by the official bodies recognized by the Italian Government and/or the European Union.
b) Professionals who have passed the admission test held by AIGAE.
c) Those who have attended a professional course held or recognized by AIGAE.
There are different levels of AIGAE membership, according to the insurance you want to buy
The Full Members who have have completed the training and assessment process may use the title GAE, wear the badge and use the Association name or logo on promotional material subject to the AIGAE rules for the use of badge and logo.
Full Membership Benefits
Full membership of AIGAE offers a host of professional services:
– Professional status with other professionals in Europe
– Professional body to represent you within the tourist and walking industry
– Carnet and badge which identifies your qualifications and status
– Professional indemnity insurance
– Discounts with major mountaineering equipment manufacturers
– Regular journal (Ambiente InFormazione, available to non-mebers by buying a subscription), e-Newsletters and a website to keep you informed of events and developments
– updating courses, meeting, conferences, seminaries.
– Ability for you to have a voice through the discussion groups on the meeting yearly organized through Italy.