Benny

I live with my wonderful 10-year-old daughter in the medieval town of Todi in Umbria. My father was General Manager of Alitalia, so I’ve lived abroad most of my life, going to international schools and learning to speak 4 languages. We lived for 6 years in Bangkok and 2 years in Brussels and then went to Latin America and lived in Caracas for 5 years and in Chile for 3 years. I loved that part of the world, the exuberant people and the lively atmosphere. 

I came back to study in Rome to become a simultaneous interpreter and translator, and right after my graduation I moved to Perugia for 5 years. Then 10 years ago I came to Todi. This is definitely home for us now and I love being here in Umbria -- it has an atmosphere all of its own. Now, I am lucky enough to split my time and Local Host in both Rome & Umbria!

It was over 12 years ago that I heard about Hosted Villas and met Jessica who is our regional director. I’ve met so many wonderful people in that time and have kept in touch with some of them. I love to share the magic of this beautiful region with our guests and see them enjoy it. It’s always something of a challenge meeting a new group and helping them settle in and choose the things they most want to do, but there is so much choice here that we can always find options that suit each group. Of course the area is bliss for those who love history and fine art, museums and ancient churches – but to my mind there is just as much pleasure in walking around the wonderful little towns to savor the atmosphere: having coffee in the main piazza in Todi or an ice cream beside the amazing black and white Duomo in Orvieto, stopping for truffles (my favorite!) in Gubbio or sipping a cool glass of wine while watching the sunset from Assisi. 

You can probably guess that I love our food and wines as well -- the more local the better – and I love introducing the guests to them! I remember one family in particularl -- the highlight for them was going to this restaurant that is way, way off the map on top of a hill, a family-run place in the middle of nowhere about 30 minutes from Todi, up a winding dirt road where we kept stopping to take photos. The uniqueness of this place, besides the breathtaking view, is an ancient old man – he looks about 1000 years old! - who grills and makes bread over this enormous fire. You don’t order, you just sit and wait until the food comes pouring out… they loved it! And they asked me to take them there again the following year when they came back with their friends.

Umbria is simply beautiful. The rolling hills and farmland and ancient trees, the medieval towns, the history, the views, the food, the wine -- apart from the sea, it has everything! And even more importantly it has its own special magic -- something that people sense when they come here and something they remember for a long time after.

The home was beautiful, Benny was outstanding, and all the preplanning paid off. I can't think of anything that I would change. Lifetime memories were made in that town of Todi
P. M. Bluffton, S.C.