“I wanted to start a different kind of travel company: personal, passionate and devoted to helping travelers experience Italy in the most authentic and meaningful way possible.”Two decades ago, while earning my Bachelors’ degree in Italian Studies at Duke University, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, an experience that opened my eyes and changed me forever. During that time, I traveled throughout the boot, immersing myself in the natural beauty of rolling hills and seaside villages, feasting on farm-fresh cuisine and fine wines, and embracing the Italian way of life. I was completely enamored by Italia, and found a way to extend my stay for another semester, this time taking on a side job at a restaurant in downtown Florence. It gave me the chance to refine my Italian language skills, surround myself with locals and live la vita italiana. After that transformative experience, I returned to Italy as often as I could and soon had the chance to live there once again, this time as a business professional in Milan. In the years that followed, although I returned to the U.S. to earn my MBA from Harvard Business School and continue forward in my career, my passion for Italy never subsided. I yearned for the Italian way of life, for the daily customs, the culture, and beauty that had brought me so much happiness. Life in New York was good; I was advancing professionally at a Global 500 company. But something was missing. I found myself daydreaming about past adventures and the joy I had felt while in Italy. And then one day, the idea was born. To take a leap and embark on a new journey – even if it meant leaving the security of my current job – that would bring about deep-seated meaning in my own life and the lives of others. To create Ciao Andiamo, an Italy-focused travel outfitter unlike any other, with a mission to help travelers discover the beauty of Italy through local eyes – just as I had – and fall in love.