Our Story Experience BellaVita

Experience BellaVita is a family-run and independent company that offers curious visitors, travelers unique local culinary and traditional experiences in Abruzzo. But not just this, our aim is also involving the best local producers, such as wineries, factories, farmers, into our activities.

Ciao!

 

My name is Marino Cardelli, and as the founder of Experience BellaVita I will be your authentic Tour Leader while visiting our region in Central Italy, Abruzzo.

I was born and raised in a small village next to Teramo. I’m passionate about our regional gastronomy, history, and culture and sharing my local knowledge with visitors to this spectacular area. In my spare time, I either cook or travel around as I enjoy meeting new people and discovering new areas and places. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, and Abruzzese (our local dialect).

Within our first 3 years, we have already hosted more than 300 happy tourists from 35 different countries.

Read more about Marino

During the last years, I also gained international experience while graduating in Edinburgh and traveling around the world. Despite my international work success, I decided to exchange the busy corporate environment for presenting authentic Abruzzo culture via food tours, cooking classes, and exploration of this lesser-known, hidden gem destination with its unforgettable nature, majestic mountains, national parks &reserves, and the long stretch of beautiful seaside coast. I realized how much I am keen on sharing my passion of Abruzzo with others. This is how my dream came true, and the Experience BellaVita was born.

Our Story Experience BellaVita
Our Story Experience BellaVita

Smart Ambassador of Abruzzo

 

Throughout the last years, I’ve become a certified Italian Tour Manager and also have been selected as Smart Ambassador of Abruzzo by the local government.

The role of Abruzzo Ambassador is crucial as thanks to this, I am able to contribute personally to the development of the tourism strategies of my region.

If you would like to know more about my duties, please read my article here: Abruzzo Smart Ambassadors.

Wine Sommelier & Food Enthusiast

 

I love to cook and I’m very picky and selective when it comes to food & drinks. I always look for the best quality and excellent eating experience.

With the quality of the restaurants in Abruzzo, it is not hard to have an average and good meal, but trust me! it gets hard when you look for the BEST and for a place which offers a great selection of wines too.

That is also why, I’m constantly improving my cultural and wine knowledge with the help of attending a 3 years long Sommelier course at the Italian Sommelier Federation (FIS). On all the FIS events, I can invite my guest to join me at exclusive tastings, and having personal connections with most of the wineries &  businesses in and beyond the Abruzzo region as well.

Our Story Experience BellaVita

WHY ENJOY ABRUZZO WITH US?

Our Values

What drives us at Experience BellaVita is enthusiasm and passion for food, traditions, art, traveling and people. Through these unique experiences, we want to:

  • Providing our visitors – who become our friends –  unforgettable moments.
  • Giving back to “Madre Natura” what she has been giving us and respecting it.
  • Supporting the local economy of small fascinating Abruzzese villages that are threatened to disappear forever without the support.
  • Reducing the emigration of young passionate folks like us, and bring them back to Abruzzo.
  • Helping small home-producers.
Our Story Experience BellaVita

BellaVita Selection Process

 

For our BellaVita Experiences we search for and select our collaborators personally. All of them are small entrepreneurs, artisans, and producers based in Abruzzo who are passionate and keep Italy’s old traditions alive.

While doing this selection and work, we are dedicated to devoting part 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 – Promotion of 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’ (the Truffle Festival), which attracts and hosts more than 30 thousand visitors from all over the region and beyond each year for an entire week.

Our Family Members

Our Story Experience BellaVita
CEO, Founder & Culinary Enthusiastic

Marino Cardelli

Official 2nd Level Sommelier
Food & Wine Expert
Official Tour Leader of Abruzzo
Smart Ambassador, Abruzzo

Official 2nd Level Sommelier
Food & Wine Expert
Official Tour Leader of Abruzzo
Smart Ambassador, Abruzzo

What he likes the most: traveling through Abruzzo on the hunt for a thrilling dining experience.

Our Story Experience BellaVita
The Queen of the Kitchen

Nonna Amina

Nonna Amina is 83 years young and still very active, cooking as if there was no tomorrow.
She also takes care of our 90y old Nonno.

Nonna Amina is 83 years young and still very active, cooking as if there was no tomorrow.
She also takes care of our 90y old Nonno.

What she likes the most: Cooking Pasta alla Chitarra.

Our Story Experience BellaVita
CBO, Chief Biscuits Officer

Mamma Anna

Mamma Anna is responsible for making sure no one is leaving home without a coffee and
some freshly baked biscuits.

Mamma Anna is responsible for making sure no one is leaving home without a coffee and some freshly baked biscuits.

What she likes the most: preparing fried dishes, like cotolette, artichokes, zucchini and many more.

Our Story Experience BellaVita
The BellaVita's Host

Papa' Bruno

With 6 dishes on his hands, Papa' Bruno makes sure everyone gets a warm plate and some fresh fruit from our garden.

With 6 dishes on his hands, Papa' Bruno makes sure everyone gets a warm plate and some fresh fruit from our garden.

What he likes the most:

Our Story Experience BellaVita
Farmer & Cheesemaker

Giuseppe

Giuseppe is part of the 4th-grade family generation of cheesemakers in Abruzzo.
He and his family are fantastic people. Genuine, Strong and Gentle

What he likes the most: looking at the ricotta forming up, like if it was his first time.

Giuseppe is part of the 4th-grade family generation of cheesemakers in Abruzzo.
He and his family are fantastic people. Genuine, Strong and Gentle

What he likes the most: looking at the ricotta forming up, like if it was his first time.

Our Story Experience BellaVita
Our Truffle Hunter Magicians

Ginesio and his Dogs: Piccola & Luna

Ginesio was one of the first truffle hunters in Abruzzo. He started hunting almost 25 years ago:
he developed extraordinary skills to find those unique pieces.

Ginesio was one of the first truffle hunters in Abruzzo. He started hunting almost 25 years ago: he developed extraordinary skills to find those unique pieces.
When going for a hunt, Luna dog gets rewarded with a window-seat for an efficient truffle hunt. Piccola, the sister, sits in the back.
These kind creatures aren’t just dogs, they are Ginesio’s children, who find the truffles exceptionally quickly.

What they like the most: letting our visitors give treats to his dogs after they found the truffles.

Our Story Experience BellaVita
The Beekeeper

Vincenzo

Vincenzo is Marino's neighbor and a professional beekeeper. He has been doing this for 40 years and loves to share his knowledge and passion with our visitors.

Vincenzo is Marino's neighbor and a professional beekeeper. He has been doing this for 40 years and loves to share his knowledge and passion with our visitors.

What he likes the most: petting his horse and growing farm vegetables.

Our Story Experience BellaVita
Stone Flour Mill Owner

Andrea

Andrea has got a small stone mill where he grinds only local grains, some of which come from Giuseppe's farm.

Andrea has got a small stone mill where he grinds only local grains, some of which come from Giuseppe's farm.

What he likes the most: preserving the ancient traditions, like the weaving of onions you can see on the picture.

Our Story Experience BellaVita
Faraone Winery

Federico

The Faraone family runs one of the most historic wineries of Abruzzo: dated back in 1930 with grandpa Alfonso in 1930, and then continued with Giovanni who made the first ‘Metodo Classico’ wine of the region.
Today, the history of the winery is secured with Federico and his family who carry the family secrets blended with fresh energies.

The Faraone family runs one of the most historic wineries of Abruzzo: dated back in 1930 with grandpa Alfonso in 1930, and then continued with Giovanni who made the first ‘Metodo Classico’ wine of the region.
Today, the history of the winery is secured with Federico and his family who carry the family secrets blended with fresh energies.

What he likes the most: venturing on crazy cycling adventures.

Travellers Reviews

Marino also has so much knowledge of and passion for Abruzzo. His love for this area, as well as the culture and the food, is evident and it is his wish to share it with those who have yet to discover the beauty and charm of Abruzzo. Enjoy your experience with Marino!

Ricky FerraraUSA, Mitchigan

The BellaVita Experience was probably one of my best choices so far. I've been to Italy before, but mostly to the well-known touristic places. But this trip to Abruzzo, with Marino as tour-guide has presented a whole new Italy to me.

Shaked ZychlinskiISRAEL, Tel Aviv

Marino was waiting for our group of six when we arrived to FCO Rome. Because of him, we felt sincerely welcomed to Italy! Marino was hired as our driver to Teramo, Abruzzo, but he went the “extra mile”, so to speak.
We were definitely blessed to have met this charismatic, kind, and knowledgeable young man, and will absolutely use his services again!

Emily W.USA, Ohio

Truly our favorite experience on our most recent trip to Italy!!! Marino and his family are exquisite and genuinely passionate about sharing their home, their traditions and their time to experience making an authentic Abruzzo-style cuisine. We had many laughs, learned recipes we cannot wait to replicate and savored every single bite of our delicious preparations.

Karey RegalaUSA, California