My name is Giovanni Guida (aka Joe Banana) and I am the owner of Joe Banana Limos & Travel. We have more than two decades of experience in this business and we are committed to continuing it. Neither a virus nor a recession will stop us from doing what we love more than anything.
Let me start by telling you about my nickname, the inspiration for the name of my company. Nicknames are really popular in the southern part of Italy, basically every family has a one, and I was given this nickname when I was 9 years old. My Grandad used to sell fruits using a three wheel minivan, and I used to sit on the back trailer as he drove street by street through my little village. One day I was eating a banana while riding on the back of my grandad’s trailer when a few of my school friends saw me, and from that moment my nickname became “Banana”.
I started working in this industry as a tour director and driver of big buses, taking tourists from all over the world (mainly Americans, Australians, Canadians etc. etc.) to visit the main cities around Europe. The most common was a 10-12 day tour starting from London and ending in Rome.
After several years, I gained considerable experience with an emphasis on foreign trips. I loved it so much that I chose to drive big bus tours all over Europe, without navigation systems, just a simple map as a guide.
As I continued in the industry, I transitioned to a similar job but with the use of smaller vehicles and group sizes. I really enjoyed meeting guests and showing them around, so much so that in 2010, I started with my little business. Year after year we grew and continued to improve the company, offering a greater variety of services. We really wanted to grow, not only for a business reason, but just because our guests felt comfortable with us and wanted more. So, we added private boat tours, private guided tours and other services until the realization of a dream that was to become a travel agency. In this way we can meet all the needs of our guests (I never mention the word client as our customers are more than anything, GUESTS, and sometimes they also become part of a family).
In 2011 I was also helped by my brother, Pierpaolo, who started his career studying management of touristic enterprises. He started it as a driver but with a higher knowledge than others. So he kept driving and studying even more until the point we trained all of our drivers on the best behavior to have with our guests. Studying always pays off and in 2015 he became a licensed professional tour guide and he also takes care of this other aspect of the company. For us, giving information is not enough, we need to share our passions with our guests in order to create a tailor made experience based on human relations. Our guests might forget how new, clean and comfortable their vehicle was, how spacious and relaxing their boat was or they could also forget some incredible meals and views, but they will never forget the name of the person they had contact with such as Giovanni, Giuseppe, Massimo, Aldo, Luigi, Luca, Antonio, Cindy, Pierpaolo and Giovanni. Why? Because we work together as a family with the professionalism of a business.