“For the past 12 years Livio has done fabulous work selecting food products and master artisans for the needs of my outlets in the Upper East Side. On top of reviving my business in NY he has guided most of my wine research tours and, together with Kathrin, he has planned some amazing trips to Italy for both myself and some of my dearest friends.
In Naples they expertly guided us through museum and garden visits plying us with plenty of classic food and pizza en route.
In Sicily they led a week long tour of Ortigia, Noto, Taormina a fantastic tour of the market and a private visit of the Opera theatre in Catania.
Be it Piemonte, Emilia or Friuli – Livio and Kathrin always made sure that every day ran smoothly, that we minimized the time spent in cars and maximized what we saw. I often refer to them as “my eyes in Europe” and I am proud to have worked with them for so long and see their business takeoff.”
David Nayfeld, San Francisco
“I have to thank Livio and Kathrin for many fascinating cultural and culinary experiences. I travelled with them for the first time leading up to the opening of my Italian restaurant concept, Che Fico.
They are generous with their knowledge of Italy and their personal connections in local communities. The itinerary was tailored to our unique needs, and the trip played an integral role in shaping the identity of my cuisine.
They introduced us to local wine makers, artisans and chefs and these meetings blossomed into lasting professional and personal relationships that I continue to develop to this day.
They opened doors for us, and I mean that literally as well as figuratively: from the esteemed Caffè Sicilia with Chef Corrado Assenza during their off season, to an exclusive lunch outside of operating hours with Chef Rocco Iannone.
I have referred many of my customers to Livio and Kathrin for recreational Italian food tours and they have been consistently well-received. I would confidently recommend the two to anyone, and have come to consider them both friends.”
Michael Mina, San Francisco
“Livio and Kathrin provided me with the most incredible food and wine tour of Italy.
As a chef and someone who’s traveled a lot, I’ve done many culinary tours over the years, but never, in my entire life, have I had an experience like I did with Zest of Italy.
It was incredible to be able to tap into their depth of knowledge and connections. This was easily one of my favorite food tours of my life and I can’t recommend them enough!”
Nancy Silverton, Los Angeles
“Whenever I plan a trip to Italy the first persons I call are not my travel agent, not my children nor my chefs, they are Livio and Kathrin.
They are so in tune with the very heart and soul of Italy, that they are essential.
In the past years they have taken my friends and I both to temples of gastronomy and to little farms where true artists work. Livio and Kathrin are smart, charming and not “know it all” characters at all. They ask you questions, which are vital on a trip, and make sure all runs smooth and in the way you want to experience. And to top it all they are such truly good hearted persons.
To me there is no better traveling to Italy than with Zest of Italy.”
Ayesha & Sydel Curry, San Francisco
“Livio, Kathrin and their supporting team, were amazing.
Before we even got to Italy they were efficiently making sure everything was set up and perfect for our arrival. They were incredibly patient with us as we were a group of 11 women.
They always made sure that we did not go anywhere without the accompaniment of someone. They listened to our wants and were not afraid to change up the itinerary when necessary but they still fit in the things that were already on the itinerary. We think our favorite part of the trip was definitely the Villa in Tuscany and the truffle hunting in Umbria.
We could go on and on about how amazing Livio and his team are. We would highly recommend them to anyone that is visiting the wonderful country of Italy. Thank you Zest of Italy… Best trip ever!!”
Corrado Assenza, Sicily
“Hunting for emotions is a journey.
Discover Italy’s art—as we have intended it for millennia—the vibrant life of its people and the Italian art of living refined over time.
That’s what you will get from Katrin and Livio.
Something special and unique, as they unlock doors and paths with a magic combination—friendship—and while they share their bond with people met year after year, journey after journey. Giving themselves time to research and to finally design tailor-made itineraries that make every traveler a unique new friend.
Their enthusiasm and, above all, their touch, their elegant presence in the encounter of places and people that populate the squares and alleys of the most amazing country in the world.”
Carlo Petrini, Piemonte
“Livio and Kathrin are a brilliant example of the Gastronomes that the University in Pollenzo can be proud of. Coming from different cultures and paths, they met here when the University took its very first steps; they were guided by a vision and passion for gastronomy in its most profound and complex sense.
Working with them and following their journey I am glad and proud to see them constantly committed to spreading the values of local cultures—through the beauty of craftsmanship—and developing sound travel experiences: for the hosts, as they protect cultures and landscapes, the travelers, as they live unique authentic experiences and, finally, for the whole planet.”
Dario Cecchini, Tuscany
“I met Livio and Kathrin some years ago, in Panzano, with a group of friends, butchers and chefs. They became regulars at Officina and very good friends of mine.
They are amazing both as individuals and food professionals: a true heritage for Italy, as they are naturally inclined to share their love and passion for our beautiful country and extremely gifted in teaching foreigners how to best appreciate the work of artisans, their ateliers and botteghe that make Italy so special.”
Craig Stoll, San Francisco
“Traveling through Puglia with Livio was an incredible experience from start to finish.
Over the years we’ve taken many research trips to Italy but the depth and connections we were able to access with Livio were far better than those we’ve ever been able to make on our own.
From artisan cheese makers to butchers, restaurants, farms, fishermen and pasta makers, Livio helped us go deep which is sometimes hard to do without a guiding hand. Livio helped coordinate all aspects of our journey and guided us along the way with great depth of knowledge, patience and humor.
I can’t wait to plan another trip with Zest of Italy!”
Bénédict Beaugé, Paris
“I met Livio in Colorno, at the University of Gastronomic Sciences. He was not my student but, concerned by the topic of my seminar and my approach, he wished to meet me. We sympathize and decided to keep in touch. During the following years we had several opportunities to meet. In Salone del Gusto, in Torino, a friend asked me to find a guide for an important American importer looking for genuine products: this guy was a little bit lost in this tremendous food show but Livio succeeded to make it clear and displayed his ability to organize a relevant tour. Later, on a trip in northern Italy with Michel Troisgros to enquire for our book Michel Troisgros et l’Italie, Livio made us discover some of the riches of Piemonte. Anytime I worked, traveled or referenced Livio to my peers the feedback was always excellent.”