“I love Italy, I breathe Italy, I know the peninsula inside and out. I won’t show you the world. I will show you the best that Italy has to offer better than anybody else.”  says Antonio Mauriello, President of Savour Italy Travel.  And I believe him!  We sat down for a cappuccino and a chiacchierata (chat in Italian) about possible itineraries for our next family trip to Italy.

As you may know, I spent 11 years in Italy and like Antonio, I love Italy too!  What makes travelling in Italy so attractive is that each region is so incredibly distinct from the other.  In fact, wine, cuisine, culture and language can change from one village to the next.  It literally takes a lifetime to explore every corner of this beautiful country.  In 11 years I experienced only a fraction of what Italy has to offer, and am always ready to return for a new adventure.

I have to admit, I have never been particularly interested in organized tours, but after listening to Antonio describe Savour Italy‘s small group tours focused on wine and food, I could totally envision myself, my husband and a group of friends, embarking on a stress free adventure with Savour Italy.  Private transfers, total immersion into local culture, the best restaurants, wine tours, and cultural experiences, all hand picked by an Italian who has immense pride in his home country and guarantees a memorable vacation …. sign me up!

I asked Antonio what distinguishes Savour Italy from other companies offering Italian tours?  Apart from the very excellent explanation “Savour Our Difference” outlined on his website, Antonio explains that being married to and Italian Canadian, living in Canada and understanding what Canadians want, is a big advantage and key to Savour Italy’s success.  Many tour operators work with large scale suppliers in Italy that tour an international crowd.  Canadians want something different.

Canadians like a slower pace … this is not the 10 cities in 5 days tour!  We are interested in not just seeing the major cultural and historic attractions, but mingling with the locals, appreciating the subtleties of a well prepared meal and expertly paired wine, the natural beauty of the surroundings and the need … yes need … to connect with the Italian people.  This is why I fell in love with Savour Italy!  Antonio gets it!

It doesn’t hurt that all tours are priced in Canadian dollars.  In fact, Antonio encourages clients to book now for 2019 as the Euro has slowly been climbing and booking your tour locks in the price regardless of changes in currency exchange.  It is also important to note that Savour Italy only tours Italy … they are truly the Italian experts.  According to the latest travel statistics and predictions for 2018/2019, Italy is the number one vacation destination.

With regards to our family vacation, because we are 8 adults and a baby, we have opted for a custom itinerary designed by Antonio.  We will visit Rome on arrival, then base ourselves in a Tuscan Villa where we can take day excursions to Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and Cinque Terre, as well as visit local wineries and experience Tuscan cuisine.  The second week of our vacation is still to be determined but we definitely want to spend some time by the sea and savour Italy’s splendid coastline and fabulous seafood.  I am confident that Antonio and his team will create the perfect vacation!

Speaking of the Savour Italy team … well, as you can imagine, I couldn’t help interjecting myself into such a passionate, fun and exciting group of  “lovers of everything Italian”.  Ottawa Boomers has officially partnered with Savour Italy to share our common goal of bringing as many people to Italy as possible!

You may only visit once or become obsessed with Italy like me … but either way, a vacation in Italy is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list!  If you have never been to Italy visit Savour Italy Offerings for tour options or contact me for some insider advice.  If you are lucky enough to have spent time in Italy … then please share your stories.  If you are looking to return (and who isn’t) then explore some of the “off the beaten track” Savour Italy Discover the South tours to regions like Campania, Basilicata and Puglia or the Beyond Venice and Verona.

Read some of Savour Italy’s Testimonials and discover some of Italy’s best kept secrets on the Savour Italy Blog.  Say YES to Italy!