I’m Marino Cardelli, the founder of Experience BellaVita, a small independent tour operator I started, which serves curious visitors who wish to experience authentic local culture and food. With this venture, I aimed not only to promote local, sustainable tourism and provide opportunities to travellers visiting the region of Abruzzo but also involve local producers of some of the country’s best foods.
I was born and raised in a small village next to Teramo, in the Abruzzo region and I’m passionate about our gastronomy, history and culture and sharing my knowledge with visitors to this spectacular area. In my spare time, I’m either cooking or travelling and I enjoy meeting new people. I speak Italian, English, Spanish and Abruzzese (our local dialect).
While outside Italy and living in the UK for 5 years, I worked and graduated from university in Edinburgh. Despite my success…
Despite my success, I found I wanted to move away from these corporate environments.
During my stay in the UK and before deciding to return to Italy, I pondered as to why tourists primarily visit Italian tourist hubs such as Florence, Venice and Rome, and didn’t venture further.
“Was there a way I could share my passions for my home-culture and gastronomy while contributing to the local economy/sustainability and enrich the experience of travellers visiting my region? Could I actually get travellers interested in Abruzzo and off-the-beaten-track travel?”
Ultimately I decided to return home back to start my dream called, Experience BellaVita, presenting authentic Abruzzo culture via food tours, cooking demos and exploration of this lesser-known destination with its pristine nature, majestic mountains, national parks, and the long stretch of beautiful seaside coast.
Within one year I’ve hosted more than 190 happy tourists from 25 different countries. I’ve also become a certified tour manager in Italy and recently advised the local government on initiatives to promote sustainable tourism in Abruzzo.
For our experiences we personally inspects and select our collaborators. All of them are small entrepreneurs, artisans and producers that are passionate and keep Italy’s old traditions alive.
While doing so, we will also devote 10% of our profit annually, to the development of the local economy with events and projects aimed to do so.
Some of the social projects we partnered with:
- inTERazioni – promote cultural activities and tourism in the hinterland of Teramo, in Abruzzo.
- Campovalano Viva – Promoting tourism through one of the best sagra (Food festival) of Abruzzo. Helping running the iconic ‘Sagra del Tartufo’ Truffle Festival, hosting each year, for an entire week more than 30 thousands visitors from all over the region and beyond.
Founder & Culinary expert