“I am most passionate about bringing my knowledge [of tasting] to consumers, “said an enthusiastic Orietta Gianjorio, a native Italian from Rome,...
Ready for a vacation? Where would you like to go? Odds are Italy is somewhere on your list of must-see travel destinations. Italy is on most people's lists. In fact, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), as of 2013, Italy was ranked fifth in the world for tourist arrivals and international tourist receipts. The Italian hotel sector is one of the largest hotel networks in the world, second only to the United States.
Knowing where to start in such an amazing – and large – country can be a bit daunting, especially when you want to make the most of your time there in order to really experience this wonderful culture.
Enter Laura Massoni and her team of travel experts. Her company, Laura Massoni Travel opened its doors in 1999 and prepare customized vacation packages, tailored for each individual client to be exactly what they are looking for in their vacation.
“We are not a “click” and go agency,” Massoni explains. “We tailor make every itinerary based on our client's expressed desires. In fact, we only put together tour packages after having had an in-depth conversation with the client. Even a simple itinerary like Rome, Florence and Venice is custom designed with specific tours for that particular client in mind.”
Travel has always been a passion for Massoni and while she didn't always know what she wanted to focus on, she knew that her path in the world lay in the travel industry.
“My dad would travel a lot [when I was a kid],” she said. “I would see him and...wish I could [have gone] with him.”
Massoni was born and raised in Turin, a small town about two hours west of Milan and south of the Swiss border. She moved to San Diego twenty-two years ago. What began as a year-long stay for studying abroad to further her studies in English turned into a permanent move after she met her husband and began establishing a life for herself and her family in the community.
As she started out in her dream field, Massoni tried her hand at several different branches of travel and tourism, first as a travel agent selling airline tickets then as a specialist for Mexico and the Caribbean, but nothing seemed to be the right fit for her. At a certain point, though, she says she “lost [her] passion” and had to take a step back to reevaluate.
“I [knew] I was supposed to be doing this because since I was a child, I've wanted to,” Massoni said. “But I didn't know why I lost my passion. Then I decided to focus on Italy and I got my passion back...Italy is my family in my heart and the United States is the roof over my head. I hope to be able to show [clients] the Italy I love.”
Returning to her roots was precisely what Massoni needed. Her passion returned to work and reflected in the continued growth of her business. In January of this year, Massoni's company was featured in a Wall Street Journal article of the magazine's picks for top travel agencies of 2014.
Massoni is in the process of launching a new travel company under the Laura Massoni Travel umbrella. While her current business – See Italy Travels – caters to both travel agents and the public at large, Authentic Italy is expected to open later this year and will work hands-on with clients.