The Italian Fix Tour Tasting Room: Part 1

by Bianca @ Italian Fix

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This is what happens when Italian Fix takes you on vacay. Meet the people, places and piazzas that make each experience extra special. Part 1 of a 3-week series.

Thinking of trying out an overnight tour in Italy?

Here’s what you won’t find on an Italian Fix tour:

  1. A big ol’ tour bus herding you about.
  2. A jam-packed itinerary that leaves you with little breathing room and zero outfit-change time. (C’mon. We dress up for din.)
  3. The usual suspects. You won’t miss out on seeing them, but our experiences bring a nuanced Italy to the red-checkered tablecloth you’re gonna be eating on.

We talk a lot about the experience of our tours. But sometimes you need a *little* behind-the-scenes info to really FEEL it through the interwebs.

For the next three weeks, we’re inviting you into our overnight tour tasting room!

We’ll be introducing you to some of our favorite humans, happy places, and hot spots we whisk our guests off to when they come along to vacay with us. 

Got your espresso in hand? Sweet. Let’s roll! 

Shop till you drop with Gina Pagnella

On our Cinque Terre overnight tour, our lead guide Gina Pagnella runs the show. Guides like Gina don’t fall off the lemon tree in Riomaggiore very often. When she’s not running our Cinque Terre tours, Gina runs Modern Thrifter in the Old World, which means she’s a professional buyer for vintage stores across the globe.

italy overnight tours with gina pagnella

Gina rocks our Italian socks because:

She is THE expert on Italian markets and how to find really good goods. Seriously. If you come to Italy as a light packer ‘cause you wanna take goodies home, you’ll have more than your fair share when hit the markets with her. Gina makes it her James Bond-level mission to help our clients find what they’re looking for when we take our private driver to Tuscany for some market shopping.

(Our clients have scored Gucci at “back of the van” prices. This is Italy — don’t ask questions, just take the Gucci and go!)

The Italian Fix Factor:

Honestly, there’s hardly a guest that completes any of our overnight tours in Italy that doesn’t rave about our guides endlessly, Gina included. They are compassionate and energetic, and truly care about the experience each and every guest has. We think of them as our little mother hens, always checking up on our clients, making sure they have everything they need, ensuring each and every one is comfortable and enjoying themselves. We are very careful about the guides we choose –– vibe, personality, character, attention to detail, and kindness are our main criteria, and these guys are the best of the best. Plus, all of our guides live in Italy year-round!

italy overnight tours in forte dei marmi

italy overnight tours shopping in tuscany

Meander through Forte dei Marmi

A couple days into our Cinque Terre overnight tour, we hit up the sexy, stylish seaside town of Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany. We’re picked up by a private driver in Monterosso and whisked away to feel out the beach vibes and deals and drool over the villas owned by the old-school Italian rich and famous lining the streets. 

Forte dei Marmi rocks our Italian socks because:

It’s so easy to get around, and hardly anyone visits here when they’re hitting up Tuscany — they’re too busy navigating Florence and Siena. Besides shopping at the incredible markets here, we also visit a fab marble factory, where we get a private tour of the statues and art they make in house. Plus, we’re treated to a gorgeous museum that opens just for us. 

The Italian Fix Factor:

Besides meeting marble, we often have friends from the Italian Fix community join us for day trips like this. Our guests love meeting and getting to know these people, who have made lives or families for themselves in the Cinque Terre! 

And if shopping isn’t your thing, we’ve still got your back — Forte dei Marmi is everyone’s happy place. Our guests head to the Forte dei Marmi beach on this day too, because there are lots of swanky beach clubs to unwind at. One guest said that was her favorite of all the beaches we visited on the tour! It doesn’t matter whether you dig doing your own thing or not — when we travel together, our priority is making sure that you simply RELAX and unwind in a totally zero-fuss way.

We end this day together by taking you to another sweet Tuscan town, Pietrasanta, for dinner at our fave restaurant, where we collectively hear our people gush about the best meal of their lives. 

italy overnight tours touring a marble artisan studio

italy overnight tours in a marble artisan studio

italy overnight tours in cinque terre at the beach

Dine like monarch in Monterosso

One of our favorite experiences on our Italy overnight tours is to treat our guests to a private, home-cooked dinner in a gorgeous villa that the general public doesn’t have access to. On our Cinque Terre tour, there’s no better place to go than the one that no-one else knows about — that’s our seaside villa overlooking Monterosso.

Private dinners in Monterosso rock our Italian socks because:

Who wouldn’t love the luxe experience of having a local private chef (and new friend) whip up a delicious Ligurian feast for them in a villa perched on the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean? There’s something uniquely special about being served a home-cooked meal when you’re on holiday. Italian Fix is all about access, and this is an experience you simply cannot have if you just land here without connections. 

The Italian Fix Factor:

We want you to feel like you’re truly on vacay, every single day. Long, luxurious meals mean you actually have time to sit down and enjoy every second — with the best company. We believe memories are better when you’re sharing them with the right people, which is why our groups are small and intimate and our hosts are ridiculously gracious. Plus: doing it all in a lovely spot means that they’re solely YOUR memories, not the kind that have been tagged by every single person on Facebook before. 

Slide those Gucci sunglasses down your nose to keep an eye out for Part 2 of this series next week, where we’ll spill some sweet secrets about our Sicily tours! Hop on our newsletter to be the first to know.

italy overnight tours making new friends in the cinque terre

italy overnight tours eating good food

italy overnight tours at a private villa in the cinque terre

In the meantime, you can find out about dates and prices for our tours here:

Would you love to spend a day doing any of the above with us? Tell us which one’s pulling at your wanderlust strings in the comments below.

 

Images 1, 2 credit Kat Tan

Images 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 credit Leela Cyd

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Felicia Borzelino
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Felicia Borzelino

Looking forward to week 2 on Sicily! Week 1 helped me relive my Cinque Terre trio. ❤️

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