Who will be taking me around Italy?
Do we speak english…
You may find 'Do we speak English' a funny way to start this little introduction---but it is the question we get asked the most. Yes, we speak English---we also speak Italian and French! Michele (pronounced Mikeley) and I are a dynamic husband and wife duo. Back in 2008 we decided to open a tour company that shares our love of Italy. We were sick of tours that just scratched the service, brought tourists to site after site, shop after shop and ---of course---we wanted to throw in an LDS perspective.
Michele is a native of Florence, Italy, Forestry Doctor and a certified Italian excursion guide. He is passionate about World War II history. WARNING: COOL FACT COMING- His grandfather and uncle were partisans---an antifascist movement in Florence and their names can be found on a memorial in Palazzo Vecchio (Florence's city hall---don't worry we'll show you when you’re here)---you really can't get more Florentine than that. He has lectured for Oregon State University, University of Brno, City of London Borough of Camden, and of course at the University of Florence. He learned about the gospel in 2003 when missionaries were going door to door and his mother let them in to discuss religion. He was surprised to see well dressed youth sitting in his kitchen when he came home from work and went about cooking dinner...something must have stuck because 8 months later her was baptised.
Jill (me) is a native of ---well everywhere. My father was a fighter pilot with the US Airforce and we moved just about every 18 months. I have lived in Italy off an on since I was 4 years old---so I like to think of myself as a 'native'. I graduated in Anthropology, Archaeology, and Italian from the University of Oklahoma-- even participating in a few digs in Umbria. I've lectured and taught for the Technical Institute of Monterey, Think Global School, University of Oklahoma, Santa Barbara Community College and many more. To say I am passionate about Roman History is an understatement. I adore early christian history in Rome---which brings alot of perspective to my groups. I am also a huge foodie :D Stick with me and you'll eat well! I have lived in Florence since 2004. I am a convert to the church and was introduced via my grandmother--baptised at 16 years old.
Michele and I met at institute in Florence, Italy and were married in the Mesa Temple in 2006. People always ask us, "Why Mesa?" The answer is rather nerdy. We read somewhere the Mesa Temple was based off of Solomon's temple---and us being the only members in our family picked Mesa for that reason and that reason only! We have two beautiful boys --- Giovanni and Matteo---(John and Matthew)---we are a happy little family living in Florence.
Chad Fellows served his mission in the Catania Italy mission from 1990-1992. When the Rome temple was announced in October of 2008, Chad’s ideas started spinning. He wanted to be a part of this historic event and started a Facebook page about the open house/dedication and travel tips to help people get to Rome!
Now, 10 years later, we are finally going! Aimee, Chad’s wife is just as excited to go because she got a taste of Italy in 2017 visiting her daughter Claire, the au pair, in Florence Italy!
Chad and Aimee have one son and 3 daughters and are a family that loves life adventures. They grew up in Utah, lived in Oregon through optometry school, moved to Vermont in 2009, work in Hawaii as often as possible, bought a wedding barn/inn, did a humanitarian eye care trip to Panama, traveled to Bermuda, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, St Kitts, Dominican Republic, St Thomas, Cancun, Grand Cayman, Turks & Caicos, Jamaica, Puerto Vallarta, Quebec City, and all across the US of A going from Utah to Vermont. And they love the gospel of Jesus Christ and forever families!
They are excited to see the service and historic events unfold as we approach the open house and dedication of the Rome LDS temple. Hope to see you in Rome!
We can't wait to meet you here in Italy!