When you’re a travel journalist, everyone expects that you’ll be able to recommend the ideal destination, a perfect hotel, a must-see event, the best restaurant or an essential boutique. But to all of the thousands of frequent questions – including the inevitable “Where can I go on holiday?” – my response is always the same: “What kind of things do you like doing? What are you passionate about? What do you want from your next trip?”.
This is how I started as Travel Designer, so to speak. I began by offering holiday tips to relatives, friends and then friends of friends… and then to various hôteliers, who wanted to “spy” on the competition, maître d’s and chefs who wanted to try the cuisine of an emerging fellow chef, and even a few VIPs who, after I’d interviewed them, asked me for suggestions about secret places to visit for their own holidays. So, what began as a pastime ended up as a profession, planning personalised experiences and itineraries, and even compiling a few travel catalogues and collections. At the same time, I (often) found myself “advising” general managers of hotels, owners of inns, relais or villas for rent, or entrepreneurs in various sectors, helping them to improve all kind of services, details and products or to develop promotion initiatives and image restyling projects. This explains the totally natural evolution of my professional profile, which starts with the capacity to WRITE, includes the skill to CREATE and boast the knowledge and experience to CONSULT. These three threads intertwine to compose a single image: The Travel Tailorist.
Passion, Energy, Creativity. And curiosity. These sparks have always animated and characterised my profession as a communicator, whether through words or images. I started writing in 1999, in the editorial office of Dove (published by RCS Editore) but by 2000 I had already landed at Condé Nast Traveller, specialising in travel and lifestyle. If possible, viewing the world through the eyes of a journalistic correspondent event further intensified my thirst for knowledge, my desire to learn about histories, cultures, places, peoples and personalities of all kind – from key figures in the world of business to personalities in the fields of art, architecture and design. As an author of CN Traveller’s annual Hot and Gold Lists, I have also cultivated a passion for the hospitality industry and haute cuisine, having visited hundreds (if not thousands) of restaurants and hotels, and encountering simply the best exponents in these fields. Since 2003, I have been working with several magazines, including Vogue Italia, AD Architectural Digest, and Vanity Fair, and since 2013 I have been a correspondent for National Geographic China, Robb Report China, Global Gourmet Hong Kong, and Travesias Mexico. I have also authored a number of publishing projects, such as the Ospitalità di Charme in Italia guide published by di DeAgostini (2002), dedicated to historical residences that offer hospitality services, 100 Top Spa in Italia by Touring Editore (2014), 50 Top Spa by Sole24Ore (2015) and Top Spa by CN Traveller (2016).
As someone who as always had a passion for photography, I often accompany my reportages with my own pictures. I’m still not sure what I like photographing most, whether landscapes, animals, architecture, interiors or faces… But when in doubt, I never miss the chance to take a snapshot. At the Fuori Salone 2013, during Milan’s world-renowned Design Week, I debuted with my first solo show: Africa in Black and White, dedicated to the Big Five di Botswana, Sudafrica e Zambia, and exhibited at the Carlton Baglioni in Milan. For Expo 2015, I conceived and organised the exhibition Discover the other ITALY, an original promotion campaign for Italy composed of 210 images by 21 photographers, plus 26 portraits of well-known personalities from the world of Italian design and manufacturing, photographed by Giovanni Gastel, President of AFIP, the Association of Professionals Italian Photographers. Thanks to the collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Discover show was adopted as the Expo’s launch campaign in China, Canada and the UAE, and after being shown at 15 different locations, it was exhibited for the finissage at the Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan. Once again in a hotel, my ideal habitat, ça va sans dire.
Travel, lifestyle, food&wine and hospitality. Since 2000, these have been the topics that I love to investigate and explore in my reportages and in the guides that I’ve authored for both Italian and foreign publishers. In my role as correspondent for overseas magazines, including National Geographic China e Travesias Mexico, I primarily focus on Italy, mostly revealing places that lie off the beaten path, creating themed tours and itineraries for a well-defined readership. I enjoy viewing and thuinking about my country as a guest or visitor. This approach has allowed me to gain an even deeper understanding of Italy’s distinctive and unique qualities. I also interview many extraordinary and internationally prominent personalities, VIPs from the world of culture, design, art, industry and show business. And these exceptional encounters often lead to collaborations in my capacity as a Travel Designer.
My journalistic background and experience in the sector certainly points towards the luxury end of the market. But if there’s one word that has been abused and misused in recent years, it’s precisely the term “luxury”. “What is true luxury?” There could be one, none or thousands of answers to this question. Everyone has their own sense of luxury, their own idea of what embodies the concept of uniqueness, privilege, and exclusiveness. Taking it to an extreme, one might say luxury is a “state of mind” that differs from person to person.
This is what gave rise to Exclusivamente, from “Exclusive State of Mind”.
On one hand, I wanted to combine this luxury “mindset” with the world of hospitality, which in recent years has developed every imaginable nuance of high-end and thereabouts. But I also wanted to associate this concept of luxury with Italy, a country that has always been synonymous with excellence and exceptionality.
Exclusivamente Hospitality and Exclusivamente Italia are therefore dedicated to those who associate “exclusiveness” with an experience that goes beyond the ordinary, and beyond a pure understanding of luxury. And at the same time, Exclusivamente Hospitality and Exclusivamente Italia also reflect the two strengths that allow me to best express myself as a journalist, consultant and travel designer – informed by both lived experience and professional know-how.
“Travel means evolving
at every step”