Private Heritage Tours

Explore your ancestry!

Are you dreaming of visiting southern Italy … of strolling the centuries-old stone paths of your ancient fathers, lingering inside the chiesa where your grandfathers were Baptized, inhaling the local scent of the village that-so many years ago-your grandparents tearfully bid farewell?

You have heard the stories, tried the recipes and yet something inside of you is aching for more. It’s your heritage … calling out to you … beckoning you home.

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With our southern Italy heritage tour packages:

  • Uncover new aspects of your heritage
  • Visit the city hall and see the ancient record book containing your ancestors’ birth information
  • Walk through your family’s ancestral village
  • Engage in helpful-and often colorful-conversations with the locals
  • Visit churches and ancient palazzi from your grandparents’ past
  • Enjoy traditional southern Italian meals in local trattorias
  • Engage in a variety of unique, local Italian experiences tailored to your interests and budget

See our sample five-day heritage tour above for ideas or contact us today for more information.

Tour Regions

Calabria

If your family was from Calabria, then you, like us, have roots in one of southern Italy’s most endearing regions.

Calabria

Puglia

Italy’s heel has become one of southern Italy’s most sought-after travel destinations, which makes now the perfect time for an ancestry tour to Puglia.

Puglia

Basilicata

Experience southern Italy like never before with your private ancestry tour to Basilicata, where you can rediscover your roots and look for living relatives.

Basilicata

Sicily

Few places evoke such regional pride as Sicily and when you take an ancestry tour here you’ll experience first-hand how much your ancestors loved their homeland.

Sicily

– The success of your ancestry tour is contingent upon us receiving a minimum amount of accurate information on which to build your tour. We are not genealogists, however our partners, NIAF-preferred genealogical experts can help you get the minimum information you need for your ancestral tour. Details will be provided in initial communications.

-Our Exclusively Yours! Friends and Family Finder Add-on is available for travelers who want to delve further into their heritage and find relatives in Italy!

Sample Five-Day Family Heritage Tour

This is a sample five-day heritage tour for families and individuals. All of our heritage tours are customized to the number of days, activities and guided excursions requested by each traveler. Any of our tours are available as a private tour (with a bilingual heritage specialist and driver) or as a self-driven custom vacation.

Day1
Day 1

You will arrive at the Lamezia Terme International Airport and have a private transfer to your hotel where you will have a welcome drink and aperitivo. You will have the afternoon to relax and enjoy at your leisure, then will enjoy a wine-tasting dinner, complete with multiple courses and dessert.

Day2

Day 2 

After breakfast, your Heritage Specialist will meet you at your hotel for your full-day ancestry tour to your family’s village. You’ll visit the city hall, see original records of your ancestors’ births and learn what your specialist discovered about your family during his advanced research. You’ll have lunch in or near the town and continue exploring your heritage.

Day3

Day 3 

Today you will step back in time for an exclusive look into central Calabria’s ancient artisan traditions. You’ll visit a silk co-op, located in a mulberry tree plantation where you can try your hand at extracting silk before dining on a private lunch beneath a centuries-old pine. After lunch, you’ll visit a nearby medieval village, home of one of Italy’s oldest terra cotta productions.

Day4

Day 4 

You’ll have the morning on your own to visit the beach or shop in the local stores or markets. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a farewell dinner in the historical center of a 16th century village.

Day5

Day 5 

After breakfast, you will have a private transfer to the airport or train station. Ciao bella Calabria!

This private heritage tour includes:

  • Four nights in a seaside hotel
  • Private transfers to/from airport to hotel
  • Private transportation throughout itinerary
  • A day of advanced research in one of your family’s ancestral villages
  • Private tour to your family’s ancestral village, with multi-course lunch and wine
  • Guided excursion to the mulberry tree plantation and medieval terra cotta village, with private lunch, with wine
  • Welcome aperitivo and wine-tasting dinner, with sommelier and English-speaking interpreter
  • Farewell dinner
  • Robust travel package, complete with exclusive travel tips, articles and suggestions
  • All taxes and fees
This private five-day/four-night tour is priced at €1140 per person, based on two travelers. Discounts may apply for more than two travelers.

Contact us today or email cherrye@mybellavita.com for more information.

Pricing

All of our tours are customized and pricing depends on many variables such as length of trip, hotel preferences, distance to ancestral town and optional inclusions. For more information please contact us.

Tour Options

family

Exclusively Yours! Friends and Family Finder Ancestry Tour

If your travel dreams include locating long-lost Italian cousins, then you will want to consider our Exclusively Yours! Friend and Family Finder Tour Package.

This exclusive add-on is for travelers who are serious about uncovering their southern Italian heritage.

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Private Group Heritage Tours

Are you looking for a family or small group heritage tour to Calabria or southern Italy?

We also offer full service tours for private groups.

My Bella Vita Travel, llc is the original Calabria ancestry tour company, successfully executing hundreds of private ancestry tours since 2007.

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Contact us today or email cherrye@mybellavita.com for more information.

Below you will find some of the most commonly asked questions about My Bella Vita Travel, LLC’s Ancestry Tours. If your question isn’t answered here, please email cherrye@mybellavita.com.

Private Heritage Tours

What is included in a private heritage tour?

All of our private heritage tours are customized and include as much or as little as you want.

That being said. travelers typically like to spend at least several days in their ancestral land. In this case, we’d include hotels, private transfers, train tickets to and from your ancestral region, your Ancestry Tour research and tour days and other unique experiences such as cooking classes, wine-tasting, guided tour days and more.

Keep in mind that we cover all regions south of Rome so we can help you with the logistics of other parts of your trip and help you determine the best way to get to and from your ancestral region.

Is there a minimum number of days for a private heritage tour?

Yes, there is. While we’d love to accept every request, we are only able to work on tours that are longer than three days and include at least two nights’ accommodations.

How do your heritage tours work?

All of our tours are customized, meaning travelers choose how many days and nights they’ll spend on their tour, whether they’ll have a private driver or rent a car themselves, how many days their bilingual Heritage Specialist will spend with them and what additional activities and excursions they include.

With the exception of one-day tours, we work with the travelers to choose their base location, help them select accommodations and make suggestions on day trips. Our ancestry tours are booked and planned per our Custom Vacations.

What does “advanced research” mean?

Each case is slightly different because what and how much we can do is directly influenced by how much accurate information we get from the traveler. In general, our advanced research time could start with your Heritage Specialist translating information you give us from English into Italian and contacting the local city hall(s) to confirm and correct the information the traveler gives us. He then travels to the village, meets with the city hall employees and continues to search for more documents, if needed. We use the information we find to locate the neighborhoods, street, piazza or home where ancestors were born. We look for the church they attended and inquire about cemetery information. We talk to locals about the family, how the town would have been during that time and in some cases, we inquire about and search for Italian relatives. It’s important to note that although we refer to this as “advanced” research, research continues up until and including the day of your ancestry tour.

It is cheaper to just hire a guide for the day. Why can’t I do that?

Our Heritage Specialists are more than guides, they have been trained and have experience with ancestral cases and know the ins and outs of dealing with the local city halls and churches. We have successfully led more than 100 ancestry tours and our company was the original heritage tour company for southern Italy. No other company or independent guide can match our experience.

What typically happens during an ancestry tour?

Once you are here, your Heritage Specialist will meet you, introduce you to the people he met during his research day and show you the home(s), neighborhoods, streets and churches from your family’s past. You will have a chance to talk to locals about your family and meet people in the village. You can visit the church or cemetery, if you like. You’ll have a full multi-course lunch, with wine, either in or near your ancestral village.

What happens with the Exclusively Yours! Add-on?

The Exclusively Yours! Add-on is for travelers who want to go further into their family tree or who want to find relatives still living in Italy. The add-on includes a professional genealogical research package and at least two on-the-ground research days so we can follow your family tree and search for your Italian cousins. Although there are never guarantees when searching for family, we have a 100% success rate in finding relatives with this add-on.

In the past you offered “Basic” and “Premium” Tours. Do you still do that?

In a word… yes! The difference in those two services came down to how much advanced, hands-on research travelers wanted or needed. Most travelers chose the Premium Tour, which allowed us to spend one day in their ancestral village prior to their arrival in Italy. Over the years we noticed that travelers who had booked advanced research had an enhanced experience and a more memorable tour. We are still available, on request and based on availability, to do one-day tours for travelers who are on a budget or don’t require advanced research.

Do you book flights?

I don’t-but I can either coordinate with your travel agent, recommend an agent to you for group travel or tell you about the airlines I personally choose when I’m traveling.

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Contributing Writer for:

DKTravel1Michelin
Calabria Travel Tips

Calabria Travel Tips e-Book!

Don't Get Caught with Dirty Drawers … and 98 other tips for traveling in Calabria!

I’m Cherrye Moore, a Texas-born freelance writer, travel consultant and bed and breakfast owner in Calabria. This 13-page PDF booklet is the result of my personal experiences of traveling throughout Calabria, this as well as a compilation of the most common mistakes Calabria-bound travelers make when visiting this region.