Hi, I am Marco Palermo, I was born and raised in Rome where I graduated as an air traffic controller. While I was in school, I also flew small planes…I always had that passion. I remember how excited as a teen-ager I was the first time I flew a plane as a passenger. It was a visit to my American cousins in Wisconsin. Since then, I remember that traveling and exploring new places became another passion. My father, like me, loved to drive. Every weekend he would show us new places. From Rome, we would drive through different regions to discover medieval towns rich with history, small villages in the mountains, and sandy beaches in the summer time. Lazio, Umbria, Tuscany, Puglia and Basilicata to name a few.
When I was 14, we vacationed for one month (typical length of vacation time for an average Italian family) on the Amalfi Coast. The following year, our destination was Sicily and the Volcanic Aeolian Islands (amazingly beautiful waters). I kept visiting those places again and again every time I had an opportunity. In Italy everything is so close and the landscape changes so rapidly. You can go from the peaks of the beautiful mountains of Abruzzo to the sandy beaches of the Adriatic Sea coastline, all within a 45-minute drive. That’s why I really believe the only way to really see the country is by driving. Keep in mind, trains and public transportation workers are often on strike, and you don’t have too much time to spend on your vacation waiting for business to run as usual again!
I have traveled extensively throughout Europe by car. I have traveled throughout France (Paris, Normandy and the French Riviera several times), Switzerland, Germany and Austria. One of the most exciting trips was when I drove from Rome to London. To cross the English Channel, I remember I had to load my car onto an Hovercraft, the fastest commercial passenger-carry vessel.
At the age of 27 I moved to the US to attend college and pursue the American dream. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and started a 23-year career in the telecommunications industry, and later became a Director of Marketing for Time Warner Cable. I had worked also as a translator and interpreter in Italian and English.
In 2000, I moved to North Carolina where I continued to work with Time Warner. Before I decided to start Italy à la CARte, every year I had been traveling back to Italy on vacation with my two kids. We like to adventure to places we had never seen before and have a lot of fun doing that. Ten years ago I became a fan of Sardinia, an often over-looked destination. Every year, when I go on vacation to Italy, I try to spend at least a week there with my children.
The island of Sardinia lures savvy travelers with its unspoiled beaches, varied terrain, abundant wildlife, rich cuisine and charming small towns. I call it paradise… You can’t beat Sardinia. Moreover, it can be reached within an hour by air from Rome or Milan, or a 6 hours ferry ride!
I have taken many American friends and colleagues along with me on trips to Italy. Just like many of you, they wanted to have a “real experience” and a full “cultural immersion”. Driving throughout the country, I was able to show them parts of the country that are now part of their lifetime memories. My friends all agreed I was the best “Cicerone” for them and that I should have done this for a business!
Italy à la Carte creates memories that last you a lifetime!