Meet our Trip Leaders
Brett is the owner and leader of Scooterbella. He has been exploring Europe since 1987 when he first left Canada to study in France. After completing a Master’s in International Relations Brett returned to Europe to follow his passion for travel and adventure. In 1996 e founded “Customwalks” which runs week-long guided walking/hiking tours throughout Europe and in 2006 he started "Scooterbella" to offer Vespa tours around his home base in Gaiole in Chianti. He personally developed the Scooterbella tours in Tuscany, Puglia, Provence and Croatia and he regularly guides our Tuscany Vespa tour where his 25 years worth of local knowledge is put to good use. His home base during the Italian summer is a 300 year old renovated stone barn in Chianti and when the days get short he returns to Christchurch, New Zealand to enjoy the southern hemisphere’s summer. Languages: Canadian-eh, Italian and French.
Sara is 100% Tuscan and lives in Arezzo. She has a passion for travel and meeting new people. Sara is deeply devoted to her home town of Arezzo and she is a licensed city guide for the historic city and its province. Sara started guiding our Tuscany Vespa tour in 2012 and since then she has expanded her scootering horizons to guide in Provence, Puglia, and Andalucia. Indeed, Andalucia is close to her heart as she studied in Seville while in university and it was her love of the region to convinced us to develop a scooter tour there. Besides travel, her other great passion is Samba! Languages: Italian, English, Spanish.
Marco is originally from Florence but now lives in the verdant hills above Lucca. His love of travel has taken him on hiking adventures all over the world, from the Sahara to the Amazon and Nepal. A man of many skills, he has worked in the fashion industry in Florence, as a chef on a super-yacht in the Mediterranean, and as an artist and mosaicist from his home studio. Marco is a fervent supporter of La Fiorentina, the Florence football club, and the Rolling Stones. He guides our walking tours in the Cinque Terre, Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast and Sardinia, as well as our Vespa tours. Languages: Italian, English, and Spanish.
Claire has a PhD in French and Comparative Literature but happily abandoned academia years ago to become a guide. Her zest for life and wanderlust have taken her all over the world, from Albania to Zanzibar, and she now works closely with Brett to oversee the research and development of our tours. Claire is fluent in French and Italian, and can order wine in another 15 languages. She lives in Tuscany when she is not guiding our tours in Italy, France, Spain, Croatia, Greece, Slovenia and Turkey.
Rudy was born and raised in Chianti, Tuscany’s beautiful wine region. He has degrees in anthropology and photojournalism but is also a yoga instructor and practitioner of shiatsu and osteopathy. He embraces a holistic approach to well-being so has studied the health benefits of plants and herbs and their culinary uses. He also loves backpacking around the world to learn about other cultures, and enjoys the beauty of our wonderful planet. He found a way to combine his interests by becoming a certified hiking guide, and since 2011 he has been guiding hiking and cycling tours throughout Italy for eight months of the year while spending the other four on his journeys of discovery.
Rachele is “Comasca,” which means she was born and still lives in the beautiful lakeside town of Como, in northern Italy. At the young age of 16 she went to Australia and lived with a family while she attended high school. She returned to Italy and studied management, tourism, and languages at university in Milan. Rachele has lived in Spain and Greece, travelled extensively throughout Europe as well as in Central America and India, but has always returned to her hometown of Como. She recently qualified as a licensed trekking guide in Italy and she guides our Cinque Terre and Lake Como walking tours as well as some of our scooter tours (she's a pro at getting around Como by Vespa!). When she is not on tour she helps her mother run a shop in the centre of Como, and every year she relaxes on the Greek island of Folegandros where her family has a house. Languages: Italian, English, Spanish plus a little German, Russian and Greek.
Manuela was born and raised in the beautiful Tuscan countryside around Siena. She has a keen sense of adventure, which led her to study abroad in Ireland and Spain. She has a degree in environmental conservation and sustainable tourism. After graduating she remained in Ireland, spending five years in the Emerald Isle before returning to sunny Tuscany where she worked at “Dievole,” a leading producer of Chianti Classico wine, as well as at an Eco-hotel near Siena. This winter she hiked 630 kms, from Logrogño (near Pamplona) to Santiago di Campostella. She is now a licensed “environmental” guide for Tuscany and is looking forward to guiding our hikes in Tuscany and in the Cinque Terre, and sharing with you her love of Italy’s natural wonders. Languages: Italian, English, Spanish.