Experts at your service
Combining the best traditions of English service with the warmth of Italian hospitality, meet our experts in the UK and Italy. They’re always on call.
One of the most organised people we know, Helen loves applying her talent for planning to the creation of seriously unforgettable Italian escapes.
After all, it was Helen who founded Essential Italy back in 2002, with the aim of translating her passion for the country into the ultimate in Italian holidays. ‘I still love every minute of it,’ she admits, ‘I know our properties are exceptional, because I regularly visit them all – and have stayed in many myself. And I have to say our clients are just as special to me – the way they share our appreciation of all things Italian.
A byword for her warmth, welcome and professionalism, Sarah combines the best of English-style service with enviable local expertise.
Sarah joined Essential Italy back in 2004 and is based in her beloved Sardinia. Sarah helps bring this most stylish of islands to life for many Essential Italy travellers, with everything from local restaurant recommendations to archipelago yacht cruises – and tips on the best beaches, of course. ‘Now I’ve lived here for more than twenty years,’ smiles Sarah – ‘I’m starting to get to know the place. And my greatest joy is sharing it with others.’
Think of Louise as a friend you just haven’t met yet. (Unless you’ve already travelled with Essential Italy, that is).
Along with Helen, Louise is the calm, unruffled, helpful presence at the heart of Essential Italy in the UK. Louise takes time to get to know you, so you’ll have confidence in every recommendation she makes. Louise has travelled widely in Italy, and knows all our properties by heart. ‘I’ll discover exactly what you want,’ she promises, ‘then arrange everything to suit you perfectly.’
Ian is one of our most experienced team members here in the UK – full of practical advice and helpful support gained from many years living in Italy, which he still visits regularly.
Ian knows the whole of Italy really well – and he also understands what visitors want from a great holiday. Ian lived in Italy for more than 20 years, and been with us for almost as long. He’s helped build up our network of the best villas, apartments and hotels across Italy – and been instrumental in setting new standards for customer service in the UK. As Ian puts it ‘This might be the first time you’ve ever visited Italy – so we’ll do all we can to make your stay a special memory.’
Tuscany and Umbria
For some of our clients, Italy is Tuscany – and nobody is more Tuscany than Zaira. With a wonderful feel for her region – and for neighbouring Umbria – she can help you make the most of your stay here.
Zaira joined Essential Italy in 2011, but she’s such a natural fit with the team it feels as though she’s been around much longer. Zaira’s been living in Tuscany for more than 20 years now – but is still finding new treasures to explore in both Tuscany and the next-door province of Umbria. She loves nothing better than sharing her enthusiasm for both regions – their sights, tastes and culture – with visitors from Essential Italy. And since she also spent several years living in the UK, you’ll find her English first-rate too.
Chris got to know Puglia long before it grew into the fashionable destination it’s become today. So there’s nobody more insightful when it comes to helping you discover the region.
Chris is based near Ostuni, and you may well meet him if you travel to one of our properties in the area. Chris combines English manners and service quality with knowledgeable enthusiasm for his particular corner of Italy. He’ll share recommendations of towns to visit, restaurants to reserve, and sights you simply mustn’t miss.
We are delighted to welcome Angelo to the Essential Italy team. He is a native Sicilian and has worked in tourism for many years. Angelo grew up in and around the Ragusa area so there’s little he doesn’t know about the island.
Angelo is a fully qualified tourist guide and you’ll be very welcome to pick his brains about all aspects of the island, including culture and history. He regularly gives guided tours to small groups and also leads bike tours of Sicily. He loves Sicilian food and wine and will be very happy to point you in the right direction for the best dishes and wines in the best restaurants. He’s a mean cook too and will be happy to rustle up a typical Sicilian meal in your villa if you book him in advance. Angelo brings much experience to Essential Italy in Sicily and will be on-hand for all your needs whilst on holiday on his homeland island.