Insight Vacations Tour Director, Daniele Nannetti, speaks to us about life as a tour guide and her love of Italy.
"I love Italy for its diversity," Daniele says. "From the landscape to the people, the architecture to the gastronomy, it's so varied it's almost like touring several different countries at once".
When on tour, Daniele enjoys educating travellers about the Italian lifestyle. Italian local customs, habits and traditions are rooted in mythology and ancient pagan culture but have been influenced by other populations over the past few hundred years. What's left is a very interesting mosaic of traditional habits, and cuisine customs. So unique is the Italian way of live that some visitors struggle to wrap their head around the idiosyncrasies.
After 18 years of travelling in Europe, Daniele has learned that each tour must be treated differently, depending on the personal interests of the travellers. "I want to make people's dream vacations come true," she says. "And to do that, you have to take the time to get to know the guests then privilege certain aspects of the tour to meet their expectations".
Daniele knows it's the little things which can make a big trip memorable. She recommends travellers try Gelato Artigianale (home made icecream) and the Tuscan Soup of Spelt. Her favourite dishes include Tuscany's Panzanella and Pasta e Fagioli. For dessert, she says you can't go past Panna Cotta or Dessert al Mascaropone.
As a tour guide for Insight Vacations, Daniele has seen it all. She says the best kept secret is Italy's country roads. There are so many hidden treasures to be explored in the villages located off the beaten road.
To find out more, you'll have to experience one of the tours for yourself. In the meantime, we can suggest a few great novels which will give you a greater appreciation of Italy and leave you feeling inspired.
The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga
War in Val D'Orcia by Iris Origo
The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Good Girls Don't Wear Trousers by Lara Cardella
A House in Sicily by Daphne Phelps
Speak to your travel agent to make your Italian dream become a reality.