Job Digital Lab with ING Italia: Giulia narrates Siena with photos
We set out with what we knew best, our city, and our common passion, photography. We live in an open-air museum. We wanted to promote it in a different, less conventional way … and turn “Polaroad” into an exportable experience.
Giulia Valacchi, a young entrepreneur from Siena, participated in the Job Digital Lab event held in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce Arezzo-Siena, to prove with her story that there always is the time and a way to get back into action! [see news: Job Digital Lab in Arezzo].
With the help of Nicoletta Vulpetti, a true lover of identity stories, the second edition of Job Digital Lab, the educational programme developed with ING Italia, presents the stories of the protagonists of personal and community change.
At 18, after graduating, I wanted to run away from Siena. So, I arrived in Rome, earned a degree in Economics and then set off again. I was away from Italy for 10 years.
In Geneva, I worked as an economic statistician for WIPO, the UN agency safeguarding intellectual privacy. It was a fun and well-paid job, perfect for what I had studied.
At 30, after having seen the world, I decided I wanted to go back home. I felt that I couldn’t think about a long-term future in Switzerland.
Siena was where all the people whom I had grown up with were, but also all the theatre of my first eighteen years of life. It resounded with a background vibration that made me feel part of something. So, I decided to return to Siena. It was not easy, not at all. In fact, at the beginning, some thought I was crazy, but I didn’t budge. This is my life.
Together with two friends we created Polaroad: We set out with what we knew best, our city, and our common passion, photography We live in an open-air museum. We wanted to promote it in a different, less conventional way. That’s how our alternative guide service began – 3 for children and 2 for adults – in which we merged photographic treasure hunts with traditional (and less know) stories, that were part of our family memories.
In May 2019, we opened our first shop, where we rent cameras, sell our guides and souvenirs of Siena. Unfortunately, the pandemic was just around the corner. We used the lockdown to ramp up our e-commerce service.
Now, the shop is open again, but our objective is to make Polaroad an exportable experience. Why not think of a network of young men and women who can promote their towns from an internal point of view?
To those who ask me if I regret my choice, I answer a thousand times no. At night, I go to bed happy, and, in the morning, I wake up looking forward to the day. Our generation grew up with the imperative of fluidity, we have had to adapt to new working conditions.
So, we learned to be flexible and exploit it to our advantage. And who knows what may happen in the future. If in three or four years, I were to want to change everything, I would. I learned to ski at 25, although they tell you that you have to learn as a kid. I’m a great skier.
You can’t live for others. You have to defend your wellbeing. And there’s always time to do it. It will only be too late if you’re dead.