Returning to my Authentic Italy

by Sunni Chapman

By this time next week, I will be in Sicily speaking at a wine conference about Joint Venture Partnerships. I can promise you that   I will be in heaven having already consumed a fair amount of good Italian everything  including wine, food, and conversation. I’m destined for good food, good laughter, good people and especially Authentic Italian Experiences which are always good!
I cannot wait to be there, and believe me when I say, I wish you were coming with me to share it all but especially the emotion and joy…!!!
If you have been with us for a while then you already know that   from the very beginning See Italy has always been about giving you insights, experiences, and emotions  that nobody else can offer. I love bringing the Italy your customers have been looking for, heard of and dreamed of to them. The truth is that no traveler can find these by searching google because one thing we know for sure,   internet searches don’t return emotions.
Internet search results are based on formulas and algorithms, ad purchases and web designs, in other words, all of the computer bytes that make the world go around. The internet of travel takes you from point A to point B but doesn’t share any of the amazing emotions, stories, people and culture in between.   The people you encounter on our trips make the difference between simply visiting and fully EXPERIENCING Italy.  I can tell you this, the difference is akin to the warmth you feel from a full moon to that of the mid-day sun.
Your clients, like you, work hard and expect only the best, and I don’t mean the best as it is often applied to something because it is overpriced and over-hyped.   My definition of the best travel is that which is EXPERIENTIAL!  People who have a disposable income, want their travel designer to surprise them with “unusual” and “unpredictable” travel, the smaller hotels they wouldn’t know about until they hear you describe it. Of course, you learned about it and countless other gems from us. Your clients aren’t looking for chain hotels and although you can provide that for them,   they LOVE you because you provide them with unique accommodations, guides, drivers and experiences that they can’t wait to share with their family and friends.
These properties are not "googleable" and a supplier who doesn't have regular connections in Italy isn't going to be able to provide those to them either. They need a partner with local connections who knows where to find these options – which, by the way, aren’t exclusively reserved for the MEGA wealthy.   They can be for the high-end client who doesn’t talk about a budget when they call you.  They mention experiences instead.
When I travel, I want experiences. I don’t always want to focus on a budget. I focus on my needs, on what I like, and from there I “slice” the trip doing what makes me feel comfortable.   Sometimes comfort to me is about my heart and having authentic human interaction and a nice property to go back home to.  I am not the type who likes bling and private chef wherever I go. Instead, I would pay whatever it takes in order to have a story to tell when I return home.   I want to be able to say…you won’t believe what we found thanks to Giovanni who introduced us to Luca.
This is why when we build our experiences we think about what makes our people’s hearts “sing”.  We think about what it would mean for our travelers to go see the Palio in Siena (horserace) from the count’s apartment or how wonderful it would be to meet with Andrea Bocelli’s brother at his wine estate or maybe meet with the Antinori’s owner but not because you showed up at the estate but because the count introduced him to you – all and ONLY because of the connections we have.
In my experience, once you have built a reputation and are known for quality, as we are, you will be trusted to handle everything.
When that much future business is riding on the success of the trip,   don't you need to be sure that the supplier you are working with is going to live up to your standards?
To YOUR success…may your guests dream big and give you the opportunity to exceed every expectation, building a relationship and friend for life.
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