Audley Travel Specialists Unveil a New Way to Travel to Italy
BOSTON (September 6, 2016) After 20 years of delivering custom-designed trips for discerning travelers, Audley Travel is expanding its destination offerings with the launch of tailor-made journeys in Europe. Since the company's inception in England in 1996, Audley has specialized in designing immersive, bespoke itineraries around the globe to just about everywhere but its own backyard. Launching today with Italy, the European program will initially grow to include a team of Country Specialists with in-depth expertise on travel in Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom and France over the coming years.
"Europe is the biggest destination for North Americans traveling abroad that we don't offer yet," said Jacqui Lewis, Managing Director at Audley Travel North America. We saw an obvious demand to expand to this part of the world. Audley's unique style of tailoring trips to your interests is ideal for travelers to Europe a region so rich in opportunities for exploration you can return again and again and never experience the same thing twice.
The announcement comes on the heels of a strong start for Audley's first North American office. The company's tailor-made vacations saw quick traction in a market where there's nothing quite like it. Since opening their doors in early 2014, the travel company has grown tenfold, and just recently acquired a second floor in their office in Boston's North End. The office will house 75 travel specialists by the end of the year, each of whom is an expert in travel to a specific country or region, like Italy. A large portion of the growth has been attributed to repeat travelers and people recommended by friends and family.
Audley's approach to building trips is the opposite of cookie cutter. Using a team of in-house Country Specialists, Audley offers carefully curated private departures built from first-hand knowledge of the best routes, guides, food, lodging, and local secrets in one specific corner of the world.
Due to Specialists strong local ties and on-the-ground connections, Audley is able to offer behind-the-scenes experiences and work out complicated logistics to achieve the ultimate itinerary for each traveler. Audley travelers work with a Specialist from start to finish to plan a final itinerary that best represents their interests, travel style and preferred dates of travel; guided by first-hand expert knowledge.
Italy was the perfect choice for the launch of Audleys European offering, as it is often cited* as the North American consumers' number one choice on the continent.
Visiting Italy with Audley will allow travelers access to insider experiences that provide a chance to understand the country on a deeper level, something that the tour bus and small group tour markets don't capture.
"Our role is to distill, from the vast array of options, a journey that captures the places and experiences that will be most interesting and memorable for you in particular," said Craig Burkinshaw, Audley Founder. You should gain an insight and appreciation of what makes these people and places tick that cannot be obtained from any book or travel documentary, no matter how good.;
Just a handful of the custom Italy experiences Audley will offer:
- An in-depth exploration of Florence's many local artisan trades, such as cantucci (biscotti), mosaics, Florentine paper, and Tuscan wine.
- An overnight stay in an 11th century monastery, featuring a cooking class and wine tasting.
- Spend an evening experiencing Venice like a local, visiting a selection of; authentic hidden bacaros (wine bars), nestled within the backstreets of the Rialto area with your guide sampling Italian snacks known as chiceti together with your tipple of choice.
- Learn about Rome's artistic heritage with a guided tour of the Borghese Gallery followed by a guided visit to the stunning Santa Maria del Popolo Church to find one of Caravaggio's greatest works in situ as it was commissioned to be seen.
- An exclusive back stage tour of the Arena in Verona that takes you into the dressing rooms and areas where the props are stored directly behind the stage.
- Head out with a local fisherman on his boat to catch your own dinner prior to a seaside dining experience in Sorrento.
- Go truffle hunting in the woods of Tuscany with a local guide and his truffle dog.
- Spend time with a master mask-maker in Venice and create your own carnival mask.