Leonardo “Leo” is an amazingly warm person, extremely knowledgeable, and friendly. Groups get along with him the minute they meet him and want to take him home once the tour is over. There have been many tears shed for Leo, so be fore-warned if he’s your Tour Director! Leo was born and raised in Florence where he studied languages at the University. Following his desire to venture out, see the world, and meet people of different cultures, Leo got his certification and started working as a tour guide in 1999.
After a few months of working together, Nada and Leo realized their own mothers were best friends and grew up in the same neighborhood! This in turn, created an emotional reunion of the “Mammas” who are now best-friends again. He loves to make new friends, learn, teach, share, enjoy (and eat!). He now trains and coordinates other Nada’s Italy Tour Directors on various itineraries and has become an important reference point for Nada and her team. During a tour, you might often wonder whether he is working or playing, as he poses the question “Are there any other jobs as fun as mine?”.
When Marco and Nada met in 2012, there was an instant connection - they realized they had more things in common that they could have ever imagined, and their style of leading groups around Italy was almost identical. Marco has been working as a Tour Leader for some of the most important North American Tour Operators since 2007. He likes to focus his adventures around culinary experiences, tastings, cooking demonstrations, meeting local people who prepare local food. He says: “I always say that Italy is like an open book where signs left by ancient civilizations are surrounding each traveler. It is just a matter to be able to read those signs.”
Marco is a super-fun, educated, always professional individual who can be considered a true perfectionist. His attention to detail is unrivaled, but he also knows when to loosen up, get silly with the group, and sing tunes from famous American musicals! Marco always makes sure everyone in the group is having a great time and his caring approach has made him an important Nada’s Italy team member. Marco is from Alba, in the Piedmont region, an area famous for the highly esteemed white truffle, amazing wines like Barolo, and chocolate.
Alice (pronounced "Ah-lee-chay") has been guiding groups around Italy for over a decade and has a vibrant, playful personality that will instantly make her your new Italian buddy! Alice and Nada have known each other since high-school and reconnected in 2012, when they found out of each other’s passion for Italy and travel.
Alice was born and raised in Florence, Italy, where she still lives today, and where she plans to live for the rest of her life, in Alice’s words: “in the shade of our Giotto's bell tower”. Alice has a degree in Foreign Languages from the School for Translators & Interpreters. She proudly says “I love my job as much as I love my country, and what better job than showing something you love to people from all over the world?”.
Antonella was born in Puglia, the heel of Italy, and often says jokingly that she’s as short as the heel itself! A proud “concentrated” Southern Italian who had the opportunity to live in many regions of our beautiful country, including her favorite island in the Mediterranean: sunny Sicily. Antonella is real foodie who enjoys sharing the pleasures of the palate with her groups, talking about the history related to a dish and regional cuisines. Her career started as an interpreter and translator, but in 2006 she realized she was ready for a new challenge. Having a very sociable, bubbly and curious personality, and speaking few foreign languages were essential qualities she possessed that contributed to her becoming a Tour professional. She says “It is always a pleasure and so much fun for me to show the historical and natural beauties, and the relaxed way of life of my beloved country. Sharing my knowledge and giving people the chance to get into the Italian culture is what makes me happy and excited about what I do."
Call her Natalia, Nat, or Nati, but whatever you call her, make sure to call her for dinner! Natalia is a passionate, knowledgeable, and animated individual who will add fun and excitement to your stay! She enjoys sharing her love for Italian cuisine & wine with her groups. Natalia was born and raised in Rome, she studied English and German at the School for Interpreters and Translators, and has been working as a tour leader since she was 21, expressing her passion for travel and for Italy with people from all over the world. Natalia is an enthusiastic person, full of energy, and loves to show travelers places where locals hang out so they can truly experience the Italian lifestyle.
Natalia is funny and spontaneous, so don't be shocked if you catch her break into song or dance at some point during your trip. You can't trap the hot Italian spirit for too long!
If you think a person can be rooted like an oak tree, well, that would be Cristina! Cristina (without the “h”) was born and raised in Florence, Italy, where she still lives today with her husband Stefano and their lovely daughter, Giulia. With a degree in Foreign Languages from the University of Florence, she started leading tours in 1997. In 2004 she passed the exam to become a certified guide for the city of Florence.
Cristina and Stefano, who is an archeologist, share love for art, history and appreciate the beauty and cultural wealth that Italy offers. She will tell you she has three major passions: reading, travelling, and travelling through a good book.
If you translate Claudia's last name into English, you'll see why she was born to be a tour guide! She lives in the same town she was born and raised in (the same house too!), a charming hilltop village in Tuscany called Montevettolini, about an hour west of Florence. She holds a degree in Hospitality Management and has been working in the travel industry since 1996. She lived and studied in Switzerland, Germany, and UK, working with clients from all over the world. As most Italians, Claudia is also very proud of her country and very much attached to its traditions. She's been taking groups as well as individuals throughout Italy for over 10 years and always shows great enthusiasm in sharing her knowledge with others. In her own words: “I am a true believer that travel changes lives, it opens our horizons. Especially when you leave the crowded areas behind and take the back streets: that’s where real life happens.
If you have the pleasure of meeting Clarissa, you will immediately realize that she is “an old soul” with her soft-spoken ways, calm, protective, cheerful, and serene attitude. Clarissa was born and raised in Milan, but now lives in Florence, Italy with her bright and witty son, Zaccaria. She has been working in the travel industry for many years and has been a certified tour guide for the city of Florence since 2011.
When traveling with Clarissa, you will always feel pampered and taken care of, as she has a “motherly” approach with all her groups. In her own words: “I love everything about my job: culture, art, history, and of course, food! Italy is a beautiful country and I love being able to help people enjoy it as much as I do!”
Alessandro lives in Abruzzo, a region just south-east of Rome. He was born in a small village of 400 residents, where he recently moved back to, after living almost five years in Rome. Alessandro defines himself as a “country boy” and although he has a deep love for History, Art, and Culture that his education has given him, he adores his roots. Alessandro loves Rome and its great beauty but, equally, he appreciates tranquility and being away from the hustle and bustle. In fact, it was from his home town, Valle San Giovanni, that he began his adventure in the world of hospitality. He started taking some American friends of his throughout the green valleys of his region. This contact with American culture and the rich cross-cultural exchange made Alessandro fall in love with his current job. In 2008, his passion lead him to the decision to change his professional path from the legal sector to travel. If you have Alessandro as your Tour Director, you will immediately feel connected to him, as if you’ve known him for years. His bright blue eyes, calm demeanor, and warm smile will make you feel like you’ve reconnected with a long-lost friend.
Michela (pronounced “Meekay-lah”) was born and raised in Clusone, a small mountain village nestled in the foothills of the Alps, in the northern region of Lombardia. As cold as the winters can get in her home town, as warm as Michela’s smile can quickly warm the hearts of those she meets. Her interest in learning about different cultures drew her towards the travel industry. She has a degree from the University of Bergamo in foreign languages & hospitality, and has been working in the travel industry for 16 years. When talking to Michela, you’ll realize that she’s traveled to most countries around the world and is hardly ever home.
When Nada and Michela met in Florence for the first time, there was an instant connection. Michela’s starry eyes, sparkling smile, and bubbly personality were a perfect fit for Nada’s Italy Team. In her own words: “What do I like most about my job? Easy answer. I love people. I love this awesome world, and most of all, I love Italy, and sharing it with others. Life is kind of like a huge gelato with so many amazing flavors – you just have to enjoy it!”
Sergio was born in the city of Lecce, in the southern region of Puglia, a charming and elegant city also known as “The Florence of the South” for its beautiful architecture. When he was 18 he moved to Rome, where he studied architecture. After his degree and a couple years of working for an architectural firm, Sergio decided his desk job was too tight for him. He needed to meet people, exchange thoughts, share stories, and go on adventures of discovery. In 2007 he started to work in the travel industry in a way that he could express the love for his country, share his knowledge about architecture, and help visitors understand the local culture as a local, not a tourist. “There are a lot of stereotyped ideas about this country and my goal is to give you a sample of the real Italian lifestyle.” says Sergio. His secret passion? Food. “Italy is the perfect place for tasting local delicacies, each area has its own specialties, and locals are very proud of them. If you’re open to trying new things, you really can’t go wrong.” he continues. It’s easy to feel immediately at ease around Sergio. He is a friendly, laid-back, funny, and kind-hearted person who loves to share his extensive knowledge with visitors while never sounding arrogant.
Marcello was born and raised in Rome. You may not notice much of an Italian accent because he attended the American Overseas School of Rome from kindergarten all the way through high school, giving Marcello an almost impeccable American accent. He worked many jobs before discovering what he wanted to do in life. When Marcello and Nada met, she was struck by his energy and charisma. Throwing his hand up in classic Italian style, Marcello nonchalantly told Nada: “I truly love my job because it sums up all of my passions in life: history, cooking, being around people, and showing them how to live life in the moment, just like Italians do.” He considers himself a “typical Italian” with a big family that is spread all around his beautiful country. This worked to his advantage when he started working in the travel business several years ago, because he already had a thorough knowledge of the various regions of Italy. From the Alps in the North to the islands in the South, Marcello has traveled almost everywhere and with his charming grin will tell you “I couldn't imagine anything better to do than to fill my days with amazing people, talking about the incredible beauty, diversity, and uniqueness that only Italy can offer.”
Susanna was born in New York from an Italian father and Scottish mother. When she was a child her father was relocated back to Venice, Italy where her family fell in love with the city and decided to settle down during her school years. Susanna holds two degrees: one in Foreign Languages and the second in Art History. After working in the travel industry for many years behind a desk, she decided to become a certified guide for her own city in 2005. Susanna says “This is the job of my life. I meet new people everyday and share with them the timeless beauty of this remarkable place. I want people to be a part of Venice not just to walk through it.” Art and history always mixed with funny stories and local life: these are the ingredients of her tours. Susanna also has some unexpected passions: motorcycling and sailing. “On the bike I am the suitcase, but on the boat I am the captain!” she says smiling.
Margherita (named just like Queen Margherita, which the famous pizza from Naples was named after) doesn't just limit herself to telling you about the history that enveloped the ancient city of Pompeii during the devastating eruption of nearby volcano Vesuvius, she is able to "paint the picture", making the city come alive again for all visitors who take a journey back in time with her. She will point out a pile of ruins and illustrate it in a way that you will feel as if you're there, hearing the carriages pass by, the sounds of sandals stepping on the stones, and the beautiful colors of the rich, luxurious villas that were once a reflection of local families' wealth, are able to come back to their once-polished splendor.
Barbara has become a sort of “institution” for Nada’s Italy tours, as she has been our official Rome City Guide since 2007. She is more than a tour guide, she has become part of our family, together with her two adorable and remarkably smart children (could it be because they are surrounded by history on a daily basis?): Sofia and Claudio. Nada often refers to Barbara as “The Roman goddess who is also a walking encyclopedia”, as her knowledge knows no bounds. Still, she is able to translate boring dates into an entertaining presentation, dotted with her contagious laughter. Born and raised in Rome, Barbara turned her passion for art history into a career almost 20 years ago by becoming a certified tour guide for Rome. Her favorite places are also some of the most popular: the Coliseum and Vatican. She loves the food and atmosphere in Trastevere, where you could find her laughing with friends at one of the many wine bars.