After a lengthy search to find a guide to take us to my grandfather’s remote and tiny village in Molise, I was lucky enough to have been recommended Mirella at Southern Italy Travel. I had already spoken to a few other guides and none of them felt quite right. Mirella was a delight to speak to from the first email. She is a fantastic communicator, prompt with emails, and seemed to know exactly what we needed.
My husband and I were taking my parents to Italy for the first time. They called it their “trip of a lifetime.” My father was curious about the village his father grew up in, but wasn’t sure if it would all be too complicated. None of us speak Italian and the town is very off the beaten path. We also weren’t sure what we would even be able to do or see once we got there.
Mirella was just what we needed. She was so reassuring, available to answer any question, big or small. I sent her some geneology documents we already had and she filled in the rest.
She met us in my grandfather’s village, Cercepiccola, with a lovely man who was the representative for the mayor’s office. They gave us a thorough and personalized tour of the village, showing us my grandfather’s Baptismal records, their church and the house my uncle was born in. This lovely man even bought us a drink at the local bar.
Beyond the research (detailed and impeccable), the translation (absolutely necessary and perfect English) and her skills as a guide (she found a fabulous local lunch spot), most importantly, Mirella is just a lovely person who understands the importance of the day for us. Unlike other guides, it wasn’t about her; it was about us, and our connection to our relatives and homeland. It’s an emotional day and she understands the importance of it. She also understood what it meant to the locals in the two towns we visited, and she connected us with them and let them relay their story of emigration (from people who stayed behind) with tact and grace.
Working with Mirella and visiting Molise was the highlight of our trip, and we went to Rome, Florence, Venice and the Amalfi coast. I can’t recommend working with Mirella and Southern Italy Travel enough. If you’re thinking of doing something similar, you absolutely should, but not without Mirella’s guidance!
Thank you, Mirella. You gave our family a gift we will never forget.