Sometime around the beginning of 2018, I launched Sibilla Tours Italy, for the sake of meeting two objectives. The first was to provide Americans with the opportunity to experience Italy. Secondly, I needed a platform to showcase my expertise in Italian cuisine. Organizing a tour came across as being a perfect solution that could help me achieve both.
“The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” – Psalm 12-:7-8
I wanted my tour package to be more than just about ticking well-known places. To this effect, I ensure that each itinerary echoes the eclectic culture of the land.
Concept underlying Sibilla Tours Italy
My love for Italy and its cuisine blossomed when I attended La Scuola Internazionale Di Cucina Italiana, in Alma. Courtesy Chef Marchesi’s program and Chef Elli’s guidance, this phase turned out to be one of the high points in my life. Not only did I earn accolades on the professional front but also developed a deep attachment for the land, its people and its food. The next natural step entailed sharing this affection with others. Sibilla Tours Italy turned out to be the outcome.
Something that I have realized over a period of time was that most African-Americans do not travel much to Italy. It could be due to a variety of reasons, but most Americans seemed to hold too many misconceptions about this European paradise. As it happened, my experience turned out to be totally contrary to the popular belief. So, I decided to share this wonderful experience with my compatriots to change their perspective.
Through my tours, I ensure that people experience Italy and its cuisine as I had done. They should return to America with positive feelings and pleasant memories. With breathtaking scenery etched in their minds, they can hold on to cherished memories forever.
An Overview of the Tour Package Scheduled For July
With the maiden tour scheduled to commence on 10th July, 2018, things are at their hectic best. Unlike other tour packages which just focus on famous landmarks, my offer consists of 16 different cities.
Rome is the starting point of this tour which winds through Florence, Sienne, Pisa, and other notable Italian cities. It is also inclusive of villages – 9 of them – some of which are located in Italy while others are in Switzerland. Picturesque is how I intend this tour to be from the moment we land till the last day – 23rd July. We board the flight back home from Milano.
Apart from sightseeing and shopping, there are several highlights of this tour to look forward to. The wine tasting session at Sienne and cruising on the ‘Sun Odyssey’ will be unique one-of-a-kind experiences. While fine dining is a part of the package, the cooking session with Chef Mauro Elli at Albavilla on 21st July is sure to blow your mind. A takeaway for travellers is a group photo scheduled for 22nd July featuring everyone as dressed in black.
Embarking on this tour for me is like taking a trip down the memory lane. For my guests, I hope it would serve to expand their horizons and enable them to appreciate diverse culinary cultures.
Tour Package Scheduled for October
Next time that I intend to travel to Italy would be in October, 2018, during the fall season. On this trip, I hope to be able to take along 6 couples/singles, as the bookings shape up to explore some of the most idyllic locations of Italy. Tentatively due to begin on 8th October, wherein the group would land in Milan. The itinerary would take travellers on land as also sea till around 23rd October, when everyone boards the flight back home from Rome. Of course, bookings for the trip are yet to be finalized. Hence these dates are subject to change as per the situation at the time.
One of the attractions of this trip includes relaxing on a private sail-boat ride to Montecatini Terme, Tuscany. Any trip to this locale is incomplete without taking a dip in the natural hot springs. Believed to have therapeutic powers, these springs draw visitors for most part of the year wherein you can drink the water and also take a dip to rejuvenate yourself.
Also featuring on the tour is a trip to Alba, a town located in the Piedmont region of Italy. There is plenty of history to be absorbed in Alba, but there is also a gastronomic aspect to the city which deserves more than a casual glance. At a time when we would be in the city, white truffles are likely to be in season. For those of you who are unaware of this exotic species, it is a fungi which is regarded as being the ‘diamond of the kitchen’. Chef Mauro Elli will explain why it is called so and what you can do with it.
Alba is also known for Barolo, a town known for its signature red wine and picturesque sunsets.
Chef Mauro Elli’s Presence During the Tour
What sets my tour packages apart from others is that there would be a Michelin-star Master-chef – Chef Mauro Elli – holding a cooking session for the tourists. During the July tour, this session will be held at Il Cantuccio, Albavilla on 21st July. The date for the October tour is not yet fixed.
Travellers can use this unique opportunity to interact with someone who is a celebrity in his field. While rubbing shoulders with an accomplished professional, they can also grasp a few useful tips on Italian cuisine to try out at home. I am hopeful of Chef Elli’s guidance of being as rewarding for the group as it had been for me as his student.
Sibilla Tours Italy came about courtesy of having a home away from home. When in Italy, I have always felt at home with the people, the culture and the cuisine. Over a period of time, I have cultivated several contacts that have enabled me to keep in touch with the land despite having moved on. Attending social functions and gatherings enable you to maintain the emotional connect. But I wanted to go a step further and make a worthy investment.
For me, this venture Sibilla Tours Italy is like a dream-come-true. Now I can take people to Italy and expose them to the love it has to offer. At the same time, I get to visit one of my favorite locations on the globe, meet my guru and relish the food and wine. Life is all about giving and loving, and you can achieve both, courtesy of Sibilla.
It has also opened the doors for me to venture into the footwear segment. Very soon I intend to launch a venture that would offer the best of Italian shoes to the world.