Meet Our Team
Passion–a word that in recent years has become somewhat overused, but in the case of Pasion Italiana, it perfectly describes the ideals, ethics and esprit de corps embodied by our staff since our inception in 2011. Each person brings their unique talents and interests to the team, and all are dedicated and enthusiastic professionals who love to share the history and culture of Italy with our clients so they too can experience the captivating rhythms, aromas and sights of this romantic and mesmerizing country.
It’s why we call ourselves Pasion Italiana. It’s not only our name, it’s our business.
Danilo is the founder and general manager of Pasion Italiana LLC. Based in our Rome office, he’s at the center of the action, managing all aspects of the business from collaborating with clients and suppliers to overseeing staff in our four offices.
Danilo personifies the adage, “Find something you love to do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’ From a young age he found himself drawn to the hospitality industry, and years before attending university–where he earned an undergraduate degree in hotel and tourist administration–he worked for a hotel in Colombia. He completed his postgraduate work in Rome, where he earned a master’s degree in hotel management and tourism and supplemented his education with specialized courses in tourism marketing, personnel, and budgeting. It was this time in Rome when he first fell in love with Italy, and the seed was planted for what would become Pasion Italiana.
Over the next three decades, Danilo built a successful career by expecting the best of himself and the best for his clientele. He held management positions at some of the finest hotel companies including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, Sheraton Hotels, Relais & Châteaux, Le Méridien, and was the marketing director for 39 deluxe hotels of the Consorzio Pregiohotel.
In 2007, he created Moralito & Co., a personalized travel service focusing on local, primarily food-related experiences for travelers. Four years later, with the encouragement he received from clients who were impressed with his enthusiasm and knowledge, he founded Pasion Italiana.
Danilo is a seasoned and respected industry leader, and guides his team by example, inspiring and instilling in them a passion for Italy, a sense of curiosity about the world, and a commitment to serving clients with the utmost respect and care.
In addition to his homeland of Colombia and residing in Italy and Spain, he’s lived in the United States, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, and traveled extensively throughout Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, giving him a global perspective and an appreciation and understanding of the different cultures around the world.
Maria Alejandra is our Latin America Sales Manager extraordinaire! She’s based in our Medellín office where she works hand in hand with travel agents and their clients developing and managing their itinerary proposals.
With nearly twenty years in the industry, she’s the person you want on your vacation planning and management team–she’s articulate, a stickler for details, and passionately creative. Most importantly though, she listens and understands what clients want and need. No detail is too small and no wish too large, in fact, she enjoys the challenge of going beyond a client’s expectation while staying within budget.
Her enthusiasm is rooted in her delight in helping others and comes through clearly whether she’s communicating with clients in Spanish or English.
Maria Alejandra was born and raised in Venezuela and has lived in Colombia for twenty-four years. She loves to travel and has visited the United States from Florida to New Jersey, as well as the Bahamas, Panama, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and throughout Italy
Based in Rome, Maria Teresa is essentially the heart of our organization. In her position as Italy Operations Manager she ensures our clients are in good hands before, during and after their trip.
In collaboration with travel agents, Maria Teresa creates personalized itineraries for travelers who want an authentic Italian experience. From the initial concept for an itinerary to the after-trip follow up, she is involved in every step–checking, verifying, and confirming every aspect of the trip.
With twenty-plus years in the industry, she knows that commitment and communication are fundamental to successful relationships with clients and fellow colleagues. Her commitment shines through every detail she manages, whether it’s procuring the best service providers or finding the perfect solution for a challenging request.
Maria Teresa’s passion for travel has taken her to several continents including South and North America, and Europe where she has visited eleven countries, but one of her all-time favorite places is Venice, Italy. As a seasoned traveler she loves discovering new cities, meeting local people, and learning about their art and culture, and it’s this sensibility she wants to share with her clients when they visit Italy.
Maria Teresa was born and raised in Colombia, and through a shared language, she easily builds relationships based on trust and understanding with our Latin American clients. In addition to Spanish, she also speaks Italian. But no matter which language our clients speak, they know Maria Teresa and our customer service team are taking care of them 24/7.
Emelyn is our Marketing Assistant in our Medellín office where she provides support to our sales and marketing team.
She graduated with a degree in tourism management and worked with a travel agency before joining Pasion Italiana in 2019. She values teamwork and communication and believes they are the cornerstone to excellent client service which she provides on a daily basis.
She loves to research out of the ordinary opportunities for our clients, helping to create unforgettable trips and special experiences for them. Our clients appreciate her quick response to their inquiries and her ability to educate them on destinations. Her joy in working with clients and her enthusiasm for Italy is contagious!
As our executive assistant, Luca is a key member of our staff, providing management support as well as conducting expert-guided tours.
Luca is proud of his Venetian heritage, having descended from a long line of Venetians, going back centuries. Born in this uniquely magical city to parents who managed hotels, one could say luxury tourism is in his blood. His youthful experience primed him for his work with Pasion Italiana where he has matured into the exceptional professional he is today.
Luca is trilingual, speaking Italian, Spanish and English. For him, one of the most rewarding aspects of his career is welcoming people from around the world and introducing them to the wonders of his beloved city. With his attention to detail, warm and reliable customer service, and his intimate knowledge of the city’s history and culture, travelers see Venice through a local lens and leave with a lifetime of memories.
He has developed over twenty tours for this popular destination and continues to craft others that are off the beaten track, but all are designed to give travelers a special Venetian experience. In addition, he manages a team of guides and assistants who share his enthusiasm and love for the City.
Riccardo is our multi-talented Chief Local Guide based in Tuscany. He shares his expert knowledge of Pisa–and the villages and towns surrounding this famed city–through the mingling of local food and wine with Pisan art and history; travelers come away with an experience that touches all their senses.
Riccardo attended the University of Pisa, where he earned a degree in foreign languages and literature. Today, he speaks five languages–Spanish, Italian, English, Portuguese and French. He easily connects with our clients, not only through a common language, but also with his ability to recognize–and satisfy–their needs and desires. Whether he’s surprising them with precious out-of-season truffles (an almost impossible feat), or designing an outing that surpasses their imagination, he has an innate sensibility of understanding what our clients want.
Riccardo is well-traveled-he’s explored countries in Europe, Central and South America, the Far East, the Middle East and Africa, as well as lived in Spain and England. With his work and life experience, along with his deftness for pairing his intelligence with a quick wit and sense of humor, he treats our clients to a special Tuscan experience that goes well beyond the wonder of the Leaning Tower!
Sandra is our expert guide in Rome. She has designed and led Roman tours for over 25 years and is deeply knowledgeable about this magnificent city’s history, art and archeology. She is highly educated in church history, and among a select group of professional guides who are officially certified to conduct tours in the Vatican.
With her friendly, calm and respectful manner, she has a natural affinity for engaging people of all ages and interests, even those who may not be curious about Roman culture at all. After spending time with Sandra, however, they too find themselves enthralled with Roman art and culture, and at the end of the day they are hungry for even more!
Sandra speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German and English and has lived in Brazil and Germany. What’s her secret to her success in life? “I love my job. I love my country, my city. I love people. It’s important to stay open to new experiences–and a dose of flexibility goes a long way in keeping everyone interested and happy!”
Luca is our Chief Guide for Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Based in the coastal town of Sorrento, Luca specializes in the history of art and culture of Naples, as well as the archeological sites of Pompeii.
Luca knew from a young age that tourism would be his chosen profession. He graduated high school with a diploma for tourism activities and went to university where he graduated with a degree in History and History of Art focusing on Neapolitan History of the last century, and afterwards participated in various seminars specializing in Neapolitan and Pompeiian history. He was a tour leader at the Guide Center in Sorrento and then became an official tour guide specializing in the archeological sites of Pompei, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Paestum.
Since joining Pasion Italiana in 2009, Luca has shared his love of the Amalfi Coast’s multi-textured history. With his astute yet relaxed manner, our clients are introduced to the city of Naples with its vibrant street life and ancient buildings, and the preserved ruins of Pompeii. Nothing is better he says, than to see the look of happiness or awe on the faces of clients after they’ve discovered the treasures of this region.
Luca speaks Italian, Spanish and English and has traveled extensively throughout Europe, South America, North America and Asia. Using skills, he acquired working in hospitality jobs and traveling and living in other countries, he sums up his approach to his work and life this way: Nothing is impossible, there’s always a solution!
Based in Miami, Carolina coordinates the day-to-day affairs of our Florida office, from handling administrative details for our clients to providing logistical support for our commercial events, such as Italian tourism conventions, in the United States.
Carolina is a native of Columbia, where she attended The National Open and Distance University (UNAD) and earned a degree in Business Administration. She went on to study British English at Katherine & King’s College in London, England.
Carolina enjoys the world of travel and tourism; she, herself, has explored countries in Eastern and Western Europe, Central, South and North America, and Asia.
Having lived it Italy–with Florence as her home base–she had the opportunity to discover many of the unique regions of the country. One of her favorites is Apulia, especially the town of Alberobello and its iconic coned-roof trulli homes.
It’s her intimate knowledge and love of Italy, along with her problem-solving skills and kind nature that make Carolina an asset for our clients.