Direct In Italy: +39 436 317 9482

Toll Free: 1-866-779-2565

Get us on WhatsApp: +39 338 361 6912

Customized Tours in Italy for Families and Groups

Our Story

Our Story is a Love Story.....

We believe that you write your own story.  Every day of your life is an opportunity to turn a new page. 

heart

Our story begins in 2003 in the region of  Calabria, which is a region in Southern Italy.  If you think of Italy as a boot, this region would be the toe of the boot - the deep south, otherwise known in Italy as the land of the 'Mezzogiorno." This is the region where the owner of the company moved to, to start teaching English in the town of Praia a Mare  and it's quite an incredible story of what happened after that because it is a love story and a testament to the passion for Italy that we all share. 

In 2003, Jesse Andrews an English major with an MBA, graduated from McGill University in Montreal QC, Canada.  With no money, but a strong desire to travel to Italy, she accepted a position through the university to teach English in a school in a small sea-side town of Praia a Mare, At that time, she could not find any information about the town. All she knew was that it was located on the sea-side and that there were about 5000 people that lived there. 

The little information she could find about  Calabria,  also made her very nervous because there was at that time a few warnings about the area. She also contacted the Italian tourism board, but nobody she contacted knew anything, yet she had a great job offer to teach English, an apartment and a return ticket home in September, so on July 1s 2003 she got on a plane in Montreal and flew to Rome where she began her descent, about 6 hours south of Rome to the town where she would be working for the rest of the summer.  She never looked back on her decision. 

When she arrived in Rome and took the train south to Calabria it was late at night by the time she arrived and so it wasn't until morning when she woke up that she saw her apartment was looking out over the Mediterranean sea and there was a fantastically long stretch of beach, looking out towards Maratea.  She found what she considered paradise.

Over the course of the summer, Jesse's Italian improved and she began to know many people in the community there.  She also met a man she fell in love with, Giuseppe LaScaleia who helped Jesse in many ways to discover the region of Calabria over the next 4 years and in the fall, he introduced her to the mayor of the town, Antonio Pratico and his assistant Rosa Grisolia, who Jesse to this day still believes to be angels in her life because they encouraged her to write and to start the business of documenting the history and photographing the places in the south which very few people even to this day travel to. 

The mayor of the town agreed with her that it was a great idea she make a website about town of Praia a Mare  to help promote tourism to the region and because of her work there, ended up having the opportunity to photograph and write about towns and cities all over Southern Italy.

At that time in 2003,  there was next to no information on the Internet or in guidebooks about many towns and cities all over the south of Italy and throughout Italy in general and so by Jesse's work in Calabria, many towns and cities in the south of Italy began to be photographed, documented and promoted as touristic destinations.  As a result of her work, she gained empoyment working with other major tour operators and was able to work in organizing several itineraries and vacation packages in both the south, north and central Italy.

Jesse has worked as a hiking guide in the Cinque Terre national park, the Amalfi Coast a cycling guide in Puglia, Sicily, Calabria, Tuscany, Umbria, Veneto and every region in Italy.

Having the experience of visiting and scouting these regions by foot and bicycle, allowed her an intimate up close experience with the towns and cities in these regions.  The majority of photos on our website are all taken by Jesse who has cycled, walked, driven and kayaked and lived in countless dozens of regions all over Italy.  Her love for the country, the art, the food, the gardens, the back-roads and the sea-side is contagious and inspiring to our office team.

Jesse is heavily involved in community initiatives and environmental initiatives across Italy. She believes and encourages tourism to be looked at as a sustainable and renewable resource that can shift and change economies if managed appropriately within communities.  In Rome, along with Gregor Robertson the mayor of Vancouver (her home town), she is leading environmental initiatives in regions throughout Italy, beginning with Umbria although now she is focusing on the Italy Green Card project which is an initiative whereby travelers will use electric cars and stay in locations where all food and products used are produced on site, so there is a 0 impact on the environment.  
 

  

 

As a result of relentless work and dedication Italy Vacation Specialists and Italy Group Specialists SRL have now worked with thousands of people over the years and our team has grown stronger and very well-known in Italy and all over the world.

Our head offices are located across from the Vatican in Rome. We have a team of 20 people in Italy -  in the various regions as well as staff in the United States, Canada and the UK.

We work with people all over the world organizing outstanding, customized vacations as well as guaranteed departure tours of all kinds here in Italy.
We hope to have the pleasure to work with you!  


How We Work

We can provide you with a great deal of assistance regarding your trip as soon as possible.

Simply write us an email: team@italyvacationspecialists.com and we will get back to you in 24 hours.

You can also call us in Italy or North America to have a private, no-fee consultation toll free at 1-800-393-2810 or directly in Italy at  +39 320 817 1361

It won't cost you a dime to write us or to have us prepare a pricing quotation for your group. We are delighted to give you our recommendations and insight as to what may work best for your group.

Our central office in Italy is located in Rome, however we also have offices throughout Italy - Florence, Sorrento and Venice.  Our extensive network of local suppliers all over Italy allows us to maintain control in a variety of destinations at the same time. We also have a central office in North America and work with travel agents around the world. In effect, because of the time differences all over the world, our offices are open 24 hours a day and for this reason we are generally able to respond to your inquiries incredibly promptly. Our system has been tried and tested throughout the years and it is most likely for this reason we have had so many testimonials!

 

 

 

QUICK ENQUIRY FORM

Search Your Tour

Keywords

Search In

Incredible Experiences in Italy for Exceptional Prices

Client Testimonials

We're home now from the most amazing trip to Italy! I can't thank you enough for your efforts and coordination of what was without question the finest vacations I've been on to date.
- Carol Carson

The trip was great we appreciate all the hard work you and your team invested to make our experience a once in a lifetime trip. We appreciate all the attention to the details in particular Giuseppe spending the time and the focus with us on the road and as we were exploring your great country.
- Leon and Michele

Resources

Video Gallery