Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

Ella and Mattia Martino (she’s Russian, he’s from Molise), are a couple who have chosen a lifestyle according to their passion. The couple lived in Molise, where they worked in a business office.

After they quit their jobs, they came to live in Cetona, Tuscany. They are becoming ambassadors for Tuscany and Chianti in Russia. We meet them while they visit the stands of the Chianti Classico Expo in Greve in Chianti.

The Chianti hills make up a big part of the tours that they organize, visiting outstanding producers of the area like “Pastificio Fabbri” in Strada in Chianti and “Pruneti” (for olive oil) in San Polo in Chianti.

Mattia tells us, “Ella fell in love with cooking when we lived in Molise. From Monday to Friday we worked in the office. On Saturday and Sunday we toured Tuscany, while Ella wrote her book (in Russian, obviously) on Tuscan cuisine”.

Here is when they made the courageous decision to quit their jobs and follow a new path in life. Ella wrote another two books on Tuscan cooking, best sellers in Russia, and then began to write about touring Tuscany.

“Now we bring Russian tourists to Tuscany,” they tell us, “and we also teach some cooking lessons around the region, which attracts tourists for its image and name”.

In Russia? “There”, admits Ella, “Tuscany isn’t well known. You could say that when Russians hear you talk about Tuscany, they think of Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi. We take them on less traveled routes”.

Do they appreciate it? “Very much,” they answer. “It is a little difficult to get them here, but when they leave Italy, they often think about the trip that they took. They particularly appreciate the fact that we take them to meet entrepreneurs who make their products (olive oil, wine, cheese, pasta) with passion, ethics, and family tradition”.

“We run small groups,” they conclude. “We do not do mass tourism. We deal with very specific sectors and look for people who are interested in our proposals.”

“How you present things to people is important. They appreciate good products… in Italy, like in Russia, and the rest of the world.”

Matteo Pucci