Who We Are

Who We Are

Our mission
The Genuine Experience - Our Mission

Our Mission

The Genuine Experience - Our Mission

Our mission is to preserve, exalt and share the traditional Italian way of life by giving off-the-beaten-path experiences to the discerning traveler who won’t compromise on the principles of ethical and sustainable tourism.

To introduce the traveler to a contemporary concept of tourism where they experience, in a sophisticated and stimulating way, a real and authentic corner of Italy and in doing so support and empower the community and people they visit.

Our Beliefs

The Genuine Experience - Our Beliefs

That travel experiences can be uplifting and empowering for the host communities and people and enlightening and gratifying for the traveler themselves.

Travel that exalts humanity and protects the natural environment will be sustainable, ethical, and rewarding for all those involved.

The Genuine Experience - Our Beliefs

Why The Genuine Experience

After over 10 years of experience in the bespoke travel sector with Zest of Italy, we have decided to evolve the leisure travel business of Zest of Italy into “The Genuine Experience.” We will continue to offer our bespoke travel services under this new brand, together with a couture selection of high-end packaged 3-night experiences. These experiences were meticulously co-crafted with our most highly-prized friends and contacts in our local network of Italian food and wine artisans.

Evolution of Zest of Italy
Evolution of Zest of Italy

We have often talked and explained our vision of significant travel; now, we would like to bring them to you with our Food and Wine Workouts and Bucket List Experiences.

It is important to us to do our best to help and support small food artisans so they can continue with their vital and valuable work for a better and more sustainable world.

Zest of Italy will continue to operate under Livio’s leadership as a travel planning service for Food Professionals offering fixed and bespoke culinary expeditions to Italy. These trips are designed to give food pros in-depth skills and knowledge of Italian food and wine artisan culture, as well as offering services to foster professional connections and execute ideas for their food and wine business or careers.

Our Story

Since the early part of the 2000s, Kathrin and Livio have been extensively crisscrossing Italy tracking down the highest quality Italian food and wine, the most extraordinary artisans, and intriguing local customs.

During their Journey, they have teamed up with incredible people, informative and charismatic guides, and so many ardent believers in the fine art of hospitality.

Today they serve on the Board of Advisors of the World Food Travel Association.

Kathrin and Livio have been operating a bespoke travel planning company, Zest of Italy, for over a decade. They specialize in guiding private individuals as well as public figures, prominent chefs, and iconic food and wine professionals. International hospitality groups rely upon their expertise as they have made significant contributions to some acclaimed restaurant openings in recent years.

Meet the team


Co-Founder & Guest Relations & PR

I grew up on a 200-year-old farmhouse in Styria, Austria, my family juggling a medical practice and running an organic farm. At 15, during a 3-month school exchange in Emilia, Italy, I was struck by the culinary delights, gained knowledge about Italian culture, and 16 kilos of happiness.

After high school, I studied tourism and traveled the world, working on cruise ships. When I returned to Europe, I led the front office of Cliveden House, UK, and approached the world of wine and cheese in the bustling London scene, when aging cheeses and natural wines grasped their stage.

While graduating in gastronomy in Pollenzo, Piedmont, I worked as a tasting panelist for the Slow Wine guide with mentors like Sandro Sangiorgi and Frank Cornelissen. I then managed, together with my husband Livio, a wine estate in Puglia and contributed to make it a praised destination to worldly travelers.

With The Genuine Experience, I have found my true self and passion, which I so much love to share with our local partners and pass on to our guests.

Fulvio Biondo Scouting & Design


Scouting & Design

Meet Fulvio, a Palermo native with a flair for flavor and a knack for getting “delightfully lost” in search of the perfect bite.

Raised on tales and tastes from around the globe, I’ve turned my passion for food, wine, and travel into a vibrant career. With a degree in food and wine communication, I’ve embarked on a delicious quest to uncover the world’s hidden culinary gems. As a marketing consultant, I blend humor with my love for culinary exploration, constantly seeking new adventures to share.

Along the way, I’ve cultivated an unwavering commitment to promoting sustainable and authentic food cultures, adding depth to my delicious journeys. If there were a job for eating cheese and making people chuckle, I’d be the CEO. Until then, I’m your go-to guy for everything tasty, sustainable, and amusing.

Alice Masi Design & Media


Design & Media

Born in the rolling hills of Tuscany and raised under the azure skies of Sardinia, I’ve blossomed into a passionate foodie and natural wines lover, with a background in hospitality management.

My academic journey in Gastronomic Sciences at the Slow Food University equipped me with a deep appreciation for culinary excellence. This passion propelled me across Europe’s culinary landscape, where I had the privilege of working alongside Massimo Bottura and Ana Ros as well as collaborating with esteemed organizations like Slow Food and the World Food Travel Association.

With my degree in Tourism Management, I’m now fervently dedicated to designing travel experiences that showcase the beauty, flavors, and heritage of the remarkable places I proudly call home. And if you’re wondering, yes, my wine knowledge does mean I can recommend the perfect pairing for pizza—even if it’s just with your couch on a Friday night.


Co-Founder & Travel Design

Born in Torino with Apulian roots, a large family scattered throughout the Italian boot and a great passion for my mother and grandmother’s kitchen.

At 8, I cooked my first dish for Nonno Giuseppe. Ever since, I kept pleasing others with food, combing through markets, visiting farms, meeting artisans, cooking for guests and fellow chefs while discovering cultural masterpieces of Italy.

After my engineering studies and some ten years in finance between London, Zurich, and Tokyo, I studied at Slow Food University, worked and traveled with president Carlo Petrini, and later with Oscar Farinetti as he was working on opening his Eataly market stores around the world.

I love to design and guide our itineraries connecting travelers with local culture and customs. I don’t follow recipes and rather find inspiration from Kathrin’s vision and every new life experience and encounter.

Enjoy the (not) guilty pleasures of travel.
Send us your request for a Food & Wine Workout or Bucket List Experience.

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