About us

With travel offerings readily available over the Internet, how do you find the best tour company to manage your precious travel adventures? Our advice: look to a company’s philosophy and way of doing business. This is a much better indicator of your future satisfaction than a hundred glossy website photos.

At Storywalking, we offer uncommon journeys within Italy that are customized to each booking. We are an inbound tour operator (also called a Destination Management Company – DMC), headquartered in Milan with several branches around the country. Our business is much more than booking accommodations, navigating air, train and boat schedules, and having a ‘little black book’ of recommended restaurants and attractions. Our business is much more than offering convenience, reliability and good time management. It is much more than saving you money, or to put it better, giving you great value for money.

Our business is to create the best possible itinerary for your allotted time, budget and interests, with a nod to less visited areas even within our major destinations. How do we do that? By fostering a company philosophy that encourages excellence, innovation and initiative.

Simply put, we hire the best people we can find and then we do our utmost to keep them happy. We run our business on a foundation of genuine passion for the country, on-going education and a commitment to common purpose. We recognize and encourage staff efforts that go above and beyond, and step in immediately to collaborate when efforts flag. We work together with basic rules in place, but otherwise everyone is encouraged to develop their talents: chief among them, deep listening, evocative storytelling, accurate reporting and keen-eyed evaluation. No one can know everything, and we are not afraid to admit it when we don’t, but we also have a culture of teamwork, sharing information and pioneering novel approaches. These insights are then ‘road-tested,’ using ourselves as test tourists.

In our real world, strikes happen, planes arrive late, museums close without notice and favorite restaurants go out of business. Our goal is that everyone associated with your vacation – from the travel advisors in our office to the last Storywalker to drop you off at the airport – is prepared to handle whatever comes up. To that end, we give them the information, tools and authority to advocate on your behalf.

Our company culture dictates that all team members are kept up to date on new partnerships with suppliers, including accommodation inspections, etc.; that promotions are shared with all; that operational and post-booking procedures as well as customer care protocols are well-understood. Every aspect of every booking is checked for accuracy three times by different sets of eyes. We aim for nothing less than excellence, with a team to back everyone up so that important details don’t fall through the cracks.

Storywalking has no rigid hierarchy – everyone is encouraged to grow professionally, to speak up and to provide constructive input. We want a happy team that comes to work for the benefits, challenges and opportunities that bring joy to their days. This is Italy, after all. Life is beautiful here and that sweetness should extend to one’s employment. Then, when their workday is done, we send them forth to enjoy the many pleasures of this wonderful country.

 

Meet the Chief Storywalker – Jessica Proietti

Growing up in Lugnano in Teverina, a small village in Umbria, Jessica Proietti was a born tour guide and storyteller. She delighted in sharing the uncommon beauty and particular cuisines of small towns like hers with family and friends.

When it came time for university, she chose fields of study that would enhance this natural proclivity. First it was art history at Sapiensa University in Rome. “Little by little and year by year, I learned to ‘read’ and understand art masterpieces.” After graduation, she did a Master’s in Architecture with a focus on small Italian villages. Between the two she learned the importance of details, nuance, and sense of place, a sensibility that also extended to local food and wines. She learned to savor a destination by slowing the pace and focusing attention on themes that illuminated what she saw. “Italy is unique in its heritage, food and traditions which vary from region to region. No two experiences are alike, nor are they confined to Italy’s most visited destinations, as inimitable as they are. The curious traveler can find a passionate and fascinating Italy on the outskirts, in the towns and villages, and on country lanes shaded by olive and lemon groves.”

During her studies and after, Jessica worked at different museums in Rome (MAXXI, Borghese Gallery, Corsini Gallery) and small museums in Umbria, all part of her self-directed ‘apprenticeship,’ She took courses in sustainability and tourism, solidifying her thinking that tourism should bolster a community’s heritage, culture and traditional skills even as it spurs the local economy. This was the ‘seed’ that grew into Storywalking. She created a business plan that included sponsoring local festivals, investing in local heritage and encouraging youth employment, a measure meant to slow village depopulation.

In partnership with her hometown, Lugnano in Teverina, Jessica developed a plan to encourage tourism to this under-visited area. This included itinerary creation as well as working with architects to evaluate the village, an initiative funded by the Umbrian government. “I’m proud that this program has been used as a starting point for many other best practices.” She created an Association in the Castelli Romani area to encourage sustainable tourism close to Rome. Jessica has been a consultant for Authentic Towns of Italy Association and for Si. Camera, as part of the European MEET project – Mediterranean Experience of Eco-Tourism. She collaborated with the Percuros BV corporation as part of the European Community’s projects CHARMED (which studies the Green Microenvironment’s impact on elder health and wellbeing as a way forward for health tourism) and CANCER (immunotherapy approaches to improving cancer outcomes and quality of life).

When asked why someone should choose a Storywalking holiday, Jessica says: “Most clients value the opportunity to visit unusual places and experience, even for a few days, an authentic Italian lifestyle. For many foreigners, it is a revelation. But it can take coaxing to steer a traveler down this path. I remember a family whose daughter requested a day tour in the Castelli Romani area, just 30 minutes south of Rome. Her mother was skeptical about it. She considered the Castelli a waste of time considering the many other places she wanted to visit in Rome. I gently explained that lesser-known areas can have unique characteristics, relating not only to their beauty and history but to their warm hospitality, peaceful surroundings and traditional foods. These ‘deviations’ are also a welcome break from big city touring. In the end the family took my advice and explored the Castelli area. Not only were they enthusiastic, they told me they regretted having booked a hotel in Rome! Furthermore, the same family bought an EATales experience (see below!) during the pandemic. When they were comfortable traveling again, they returned to Italy to meet in person the owner of the company they had met online through EATales.”

Storywalking’s sister company – EATales – https://www.eatales.travel/  

EATales was born during the pandemic when travel to or within Italy was extremely difficult. We started with a premise: Italy embraces twenty regions that are sweetened by wine, encircled in tender pasta and sprinkled with specialized cheeses. From its rich soils spring tasty olives, San Marzano tomatoes, truffles, durum wheat, a myriad of grapes and the thousands of other ingredients that make up its acclaimed regional cuisines.

These foods and wines are then enhanced by the creativity and skill of their producers. They are a quintessential part of the Italian experience, whether for residents or for those who travel here. So how could we bring these gastronomic experiences to those who were locked down or merely far away? How could we accommodate those whose itineraries did not allow them time for side trips to Piedmonte, the Veneto, Umbria, Puglia and more?

The solution: EATales. This innovative program offers visits to centers of production, often far into the countryside, via livestreamed video meetups arranged at your convenience. With EATales an expert gastronomic producer will take you on a personal tour of their farm/dairy/winery/workshop. They will explain their often intricate processes as you ‘look over their shoulders,’ asking questions and making observations. At the end they will sit down with you for a guided tasting of the products you watched being made, products that were shipped to you beforehand in an EATales EAT-Box!

Storywalking and EATales give you a tantalizing choice: the in-person, uncommon, personalized Storywalking tour or the on-your-sofa but still immersive EATales /EAT-Box culinary adventure.

 

 

 

Contacts

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to go on the best trip ever or to enquire about anything concerning our itineraries.