My love for Italy, Italians, and the Italian culture began in 2000 when my daughter decided she wanted to study for her undergraduate degree in Rome. After having been an exchange student in small town called Ferentino, about 45 miles SE of Rome just a few years prior and had met some wonderful and loving people, she decided she needed more time there. While I could not imagine why she would want to move so far away from her home in Phoenix, Arizona, I agreed to be a supportive parent and help her make her dreams a reality. Her Dad and I accompanied her in the Summer of 2000 as any parent would when their child moves away to college. We had the privilege of staying with her best friend’s family in the countryside of the Lazio region. When we first arrived in Rome it was late at night and dark outside limiting our ability to see the countryside as we drove to Ferentino where we would help our daughter get settled into her new home. When we woke up the next morning, I went outside on the balcony that was right off our bedroom and the view I saw was absolutely breathtaking, it brought tears to my eyes, it was just as I pictured Italy to be. It was the picturesque rolling hills with the kind of trees you only see in Italy, sparsely populated with country and farmhouses for as far as the eye could see. As my first impression and view of the country, it was the first step in my falling in in love with Italy. You will see some of the pics of this beautiful town at bottom of this page.
During the 2 weeks that we were there, we were able to experience Italy in a way that very few have the opportunity to. Staying with an Italian family it was wonderful; they were so welcoming, taking us in as though we were a part of their family. We ate all our meals with them, met all their friends, night after night of wonderful, amazing dinners with all these fantastic new friends. Although we did not speak each other’s language, we had no problems communicating.
I was fortunate at the time to work for a major airline for many years which afforded me the privilege of flying just about anywhere I wanted to. Most of those times I flew to Italy , I could not seem to get enough of her culture, her people, her food…the list goes on and on.
I started helping some of my friends as they planned their trips to Italy, I loved it, wanting them to experience at least a piece of what I did my first time there. It wasn’t long before Destination Is Italy was born in 2007. I knew that I wanted to help people that were going to Italy for vacation or a honeymoon to have an amazing experience, learn about the Italian culture, not just see the sites, anyone can do that. I wanted to share all that I had learned about Italy. During the planning period, I took many many trips to Italy spending time visiting hotels, Agriturismi (Italian Farmhouses) and everyday Italian people who had experiences to offer my potential clients. I met some wonderful people who took me on their wine and olive grove tours, cooking lessons in a private home, amazing adventures through the Amalfi Coast, Lake Como, Napoli, Palermo, Venice, Verona, Rimini, San Gimignano, Montepulicano, Cortona, Cinque Terre, Roma, Firenze, and everywhere in between. Every trip I take is to learn about new cities, new experiences, in turn I pass this along to my clients so when they are taking their trip to Italy, be it there first or their 3rd, it will be experience that is full of wonderful memories and experiences that they may have otherwise not been able to have come across without the help of myself and my love for Italy.
The author of “An Italian Journey” James Ernest Shaw went to Italy in hopes of discovering why people have always been intrigued with Italy. There is a quote in his book by E. M. Foster that I love and it reads: “Love and understand the Italians, for the people are more marvelous than the land.” This quote describes the underlying mission of Destination is Italy. Only through discovering the people will you learn about the land.