Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I have been so many places in Italy since I lasted posted that I felt it was the time  to share it with all of you. I want to let everyone know how blessed I feel that my parents gave me the passion I feel for Italy today. If not for them taking us over to visit our little town in Calabria I would not be able to feel that passion not just for my region but for all of Italy.
You must be wondering what makes my tours different. For one thing, did I say PASSION!?
Anyone can visit Italy but in order to really appreciate the country, you must except  all the obstacles that you come across. I take you deep into the heart and soul of the country, offering such excursions as genealogy tours, family tours, yoga tours, Ladies tours and couples tours.
I started this 20 years ago and I am as passionate about it today as I was then. When I say you must deal with obstacles that may come your way I mean such as getting lost on our way to a location because there are no signs or to many signs or maybe the driver does not trust the GPS! Hey that's Italy!. I have been so lucky to be with such wonderful people who are hungry for the culture of the country. Of course, we visit the museums and churches and ruins but we make our stays in local towns where we are free to wonder around and mingle with the townspeople. That is Italy to me.
My trips take you from The Dolomites to The Aeolian Islands in Sicily.
I have to say that all of Italy is beautiful. If you really want to live your dream of Italy consider, please Ionian Jewel Tours .

Places to visit in 2015
North,  Venice, Bologna, Umbria, Rome, Amalfi Coast, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily

Up coming Tours

It has been a long time since I have been on my blog. I usually write about my tours, the places we have seen, things we have done and people I have met along the way.
Now I want to really explain what it means to me when I spend time with the people who come on my tours.

It's not simply about wanting to show them around, I want people to feel, taste, drown in the culture of Italy. I am very passionate about my life as a travel consultant, specifically, to visit Italy ! I thrive on the idea that you should really know how the Italian people live day to day, not just how they live when the tourist are in town!

 I have been so fortunate to have had parents that gave me the passion I feel today. I love sharing  it with everyone. I started my tours about 20 years ago but only going to Calabria and of course a day trip to Taormina Sicily. These were wonderful tours especially since we would really get to know the people in the small town of Soverato. We would swim in the beautiful Ionian Sea and go into different villages at night. Then I expanded to the Amalfi Coast, beautiful right? But as beautiful as it is, I felt that is was too touristy. How would I change that?  I did not seek the most beautiful hotels on the coast but instead I sought out a family hotel. One where you know you are treated like family. Now, I happily take tours to Sorrento and feel at home there just like I do in my home town of Calabria.

Ten years ago, I expanded my tours other regions of Italy. I met locals who were hungry to share their culture with my clients. From the North to the South of Italy, I will introduce you to what real hospitality feels like. My guides are locals who will have you living the Italian life, not just seeing it.
Tours this year will start in May from Sicily to Venice. All you have to do is send me an email at ionianjewel@gmail.com and let me know what you are interested in.

My friend Mimmo,

 In the summer of 2011 my  friend Luciano owner of Hotel San Domenico in Soverato introduced me to one of the most fascinating men in the Calabria. I was greeted  by a small elderly man who was full of energy and danced  he greeted  me at the gate. As we walked through the property we saw miles of pepperoncino plants. I did not know at the time that this was where everyone came to get their pepperoncino. We were taken through miles of pepperoncino fields. He proudly showed us around his property . After many hours of drinking home made wine, eating everything that was grown on the property, and homemade olives (the best you have ever tasted) we were finally told the story of his life and what brought him to this magical place.
I must give you some back ground on Mimmo. He was born into a family of farmers. He had 5 sisters and he is the youngest in the family. In the era that he was growing up in the children did not go to school for long, instead they help the parents continuing the work of the family. It was decided that they youngest child being a boy was going to leave his home and go to College.
  Leaving his beautiful Calabria was devastating  for him.. He went to Milan  , married and became the head or Department of Commerce for the beautiful town of Monza. He lives there with his wife Anna. As we were sitting at dinner with Mimmo he explained to us that he was so fortunate to have had a great life in Milan that he decided to go back to Calabria and pay it forward. He purchased the land and started to grow his own pepperoncino along with olive trees and tomatoes and of course lemons and grapes. So it goes with out saying the best Lemoncello and Wine you have ever tasted is made by Mimmo! The pepperoncino club of Soverato is an organization that Mimmo started. My friends and I are lucky enough to be members. So what does Mimmo do with the pepperoncino? What ever donation he  receives from his pepperoncino he gives to the children that are illiterate and needy. One condition is that the families will not know who he is.
It is no wonder that when I am in Calabria I bring my clients to meet Mimmo and  most become members of the Pepperoncino club of Soverato.

finding famiglia

Genealogy tours has to be one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had. Walking up to the town halls  in the small little towns from Northern Italy to Southern Italy is amazing. The expression on the peoples faces as they bring out the registers from the 1800's is amazing. Looking down at the signatures of families who registered the dates they were married, birth of their children, and deaths of the loved ones is truly a moving. Once we locate family we stroll through the towns sometimes we find the address of where the house once stood, other times we find just the street. and in some instances we find living relatives. The emotions take over the people and tears of joy stream down there faces. Here they learn about there families and their crafts. From stone cutters , tailors, to pottery makers  and farmers it is amazing how much you learn from our trips to the MUNICIPIO!