Our Story

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THE ITALIAN ON TOUR WAS BORN OUT OF

OUR PASSION FOR AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES

We believe that travelling should engage you on all levels, from your palate to your intellect.

Our geographic location in Marche offers an unparalleled variety of Italian cuisine.  This, in combination with the stunning medieval borghi and millenary history of our region, has enabled us to create one of a kind voyages that reflect the true ways of Italian culture.

WE ARE MEMORY MAKERS

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OUR TRIPS ARE UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU WILL FIND!

Our partners are all local artisans, chefs, and guides that share our love for the place we call home.  Our groups are small, never more than 8 people, ensuring attention to each customer.  Our locations have been carefully selected for their uniqueness to the region and are often only known to locals.

Italy is a vibrant country and can deliver much more than the common locations proposed to visitors.  The Italian on Tour truly represents the best that Italy has to offer, centered in a place where old and new traditions meet to create the perfect balance for your trip.

Giovanni Dagostino

Co-Founder & CEO

Chantelle Kern

Co-Founder & COO

How it all began….

GIOVANNI’S STORY

I was raised in a small Italian town called Ascoli Piceno, located in the southernmost part of Marche.  At the age of 14, I left my family in Italy to attend boarding school in the United States and later moved to Canada. Being exposed to Italian food culture during my upbringing in Italy, I naturally gravitated towards a career in the gourmet food industry. After graduating from University, I realized that following my passion for the gastronomic world was more important to me than anything in my life. Through hard work and perseverance, I later joined some of the best gourmet food importers, in Montreal and Vancouver, at the forefront of the culinary world.

Continuing on my culinary journey, I received special training in Puglia, by one of Italy’s best Olive Oil Producers, and became a Master Sommelier of Extra Virgin Olive Oils.  Combined with these skills, I sold the highest quality food ingredients available, such as white truffles, wine, and a unique selection of the best Italian and French cheeses, to the finest restaurants in the country.  I was also fortunate to collaborate with Toque, Canada’s only ever Michelin starred restaurant.  Working with such prestigious and particular clients showed me how to provide top quality customer service.  The Italian on Tour’s superior care for our clients is the direct result of my personal experience in the food and service industry that taught me the true value of a customer.

Throughout this incredible journey, something was always missing.  I found myself travelling back to Italy to visit my parents, wondering if I could share my passion for food and Italian traditions with others. Italy is unique in its approach to the culinary experience and many travellers do not have a chance to get involved in the best that our country has to offer, but rather experience a watered-down version of what is available.  My mission was to bring Italy’s true self to light, something that I believe we have accomplished at the Italian on Tour.

Through a long selection process that lasted several years, we have hand-picked all the restaurants, historic locations, wine producers, and partners composing our tours. We have made it possible for our clients to experience true slow-living: zero-mile diets in places that produce everything on their own soil, from ancient grains, to Organic and Biodynamic wines.

After many years, I have returned to my hometown and created the perfect journey for the discerning traveller that desires more than just a mainstream Italian vacation. It is my love for the land, its products, people, and history, that shines through each one of our tours and that will make your experience truly authentic.

CHANTELLE’S STORY

I was born and raised on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada.  The granddaughter of a Croatian Baker, the Mediterranean warmth of family, food, and togetherness was naturally ingrained in my upbringing.  My connection to my European heritage fueled my passion for travel and led me to embark on a 6-month solo backpacking trip after high school graduation.  It was during this journey across 23 countries that I discovered that the most memorable and meaningful experiences were the ones off-the-beaten track, where I visited with the locals, went to all of their favourite hot spots, and saw the traditions of the region through their eyes.

Upon my return from Europe, and despite my longing to go back, I packed up my things and moved to the “Big City” where I met Giovanni, my husband, at the University of Victoria.  Giovanni reminded me of my Mediterranean heritage and sparked my pursuit to dive into Italy more deeply.  When the opportunity arose to study a summer abroad in Italy, I jumped in with both feet and set out on my way to Perugia, Umbria.  Eager to stay in Europe, and more in love with Italy than ever, I returned to Canada to complete my Bachelors of Science in Microbiology and Biochemistry.

Once completing my Bachelors, I did a short stint in Tourism before diving into laboratory work.  After working two years in labs, I came to the realization that a career behind the scenes was not for me.  I longed for the opportunity to work on the forefront with clients, but in the back of my mind I could not forget about Italy and wanted a career that would give me the skills to work anywhere.  I decided to switch gears and started on the path to obtaining my designation as a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA).  Although I worked tirelessly to complete my designation, and I was truly grateful for all the finance and business skills that I learned along the way, I felt that something was still missing.

My love of Italy eventually took centre stage, but it was not until Giovanni and I were married in Ascoli Piceno that I cemented my love for all things Italian.  After seeing the joy and sharing the beautiful experiences with our friends and family, who came from abroad for our wedding, I knew that I had found my calling.  The Italian on Tour was born: designing boutique trips offering genuine and authentic experiences to travellers coming from abroad.

With my personal experience both working as a guide and travelling solo, in organized tours, and among locals, I use my expertise and knowledge to bring to you the most memorable experiences that Marche, Italy has to offer.

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