My love for travel and world cuisine was instilled in me from a young age. Growing up in Maine fostered a love for local food, the outdoors and sustainability that guides me throughout my global travels. On a recent solo trip through southern Europe, I stayed and worked on family farms, which connected me with culture and food in a new way. Though it was my first time in Italy, I was hooked for life.
My adventure started on a family-run farm near Rome. We didn’t speak the same language, but their hospitality didn’t need translating. Experiencing Italian countryside living — from pruning olive trees to making gnocchi — made me feel at home, even across the Atlantic. Afterward, I traveled through Italy with a new sense of Italian community and culture.
I’m thrilled to create personalized experiences in Italy so others may fall in love with it (and its food) as I have.
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Q&A with Sage
What’s your most vivid travel moment?
I was staying with an extended family friend in Turin, in the Piedmont region of Italy, when she drove me and her grandson up to Monte dei Cappuccini, a hill on which a church was built that overlooks the city center. We parked and walked up the steep incline, leading us to a viewpoint high above the city. It was a cloudy day, and I expected to see a nice panoramic view of Turin, but nothing more. As I turned my attention from the city to the horizon, however, I was stunned by the Italian Alps suddenly rising out of the fog, appearing to float above the city. I’d never seen mountains like that in my life, and I could have stood there looking at them for hours. The snowy peaks truly took my breath away in a way that I never could have imagined.
Where would you love to travel next?
Thailand has always been a dream destination of mine. There are many reasons behind this choice: culture, wildlife, and environment, but the one thing that really drives my desire to visit is the food. As someone who truly believes that food is the best part of travel, Thailand is easily on the top of my dream culinary destinations list.
Which book, film or artwork captures Italy the most?
It’s possible to make connections to Shakespeare’s work throughout Italy, but no piece is as famous as the story of Romeo and Juliet. Not only is the play set in the fair city of Verona, but I think that the play’s balance of comedy and tragedy reflects Italy’s history in a unique and emblematic way. As Romeo and Juliet has some of Shakespeare’s finest moments in comedy, so has Italy had some of the world’s most bountiful and beautiful moments in history — from the Roman Empire to the birth of the Renaissance. And as Romeo and Juliet is made famous by its tragedy, so has Italy faced some of history’s darkest moments — from the Black Plague to dictatorship. It’s a country defined by highs and lows, as is one of Shakespeare’s greatest works.