Let us show you the way. Whether it’s through a custom-crafted journey or an Ortensia Blu small group adventure, you’ll experience the difference that first-hand expertise and authentic connections can make to your itinerary.
And you’ll experience what it’s like to have personal attention every step of the way. We’re here for you from the moment you reach out to the moment your plane touches down back home.
It all started with a case of extra virgin olive oil from Lake Garda. I first founded Ortensia Blu as an importing company, bringing the most delicious food stuffs from Italy stateside. Then came hand-painted ceramics from Umbria, table linens from Tuscany, and more.
Unsurprisingly, my favorite part of running the business was the buying trips. I would travel all across Italy in search of the finest products—and to find the very best, I would have to go way off the beaten path. An afternoon spent in a tiny village visiting a centuries-old ceramics factory would be followed by an antipasti platter—and the most delicious glass of chianti—shared with the owner. What I loved about Italy was how business always mixed with pleasure; it’s just a part of la dolce vita.
That’s how I first began cultivating my travel connections in Europe—and beyond.
I’d often extend my Italy trips by exploring Germany, France, Portugal, and England. Soon, I ventured even farther afield, to far-flung locales like South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Israel.
Although the way I travel today looks a little different from how I traveled back then—like my eight-week jaunt with my then-boyfriend, armed with not much more than Eurail passes and a copy of Let’s Go Europe (and definitely no cell phones).
Since that first extended trip through Europe, my hunger to explore has only grown. As I travel today, I love uncovering the undiscovered treasures in my destination—just like I learned to do on buying trips through Italy. My penchant for unearthing the unusual and for connecting with locals on a genuine level is what drives Ortensia Blu.
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I love to cook and have an extensive cookbook collection—and typically, something Italian is on the menu
I like to say I’m working on being almost bilingual—I speak English (obviously!) and Italian is my work in progress
In college, I double-majored in French and International Relations
On my bucket list? Japan, Greece, and an expedition cruise to Antarctica
I collect snow globes from every place I visit—yes, the cheap plastic ones!
My love for travel has existed since early childhood, and I remain passionate about it to this day!
During my first overseas trip at age 7 to Ireland, I decided I wanted to study abroad when I got older. No one word could ignite my imagination more than “international.” A poster of a beautiful château in French class convinced me at age 11 that I was destined to live in France. Following my dreams, I studied in France during college and later moved to Paris. After Paris, I worked in Frankfurt, Germany, for 18 years in banking and financial services.
Living and working in Europe for two decades permitted me the opportunity to dive deep into cultures and languages, travel extensively, and forge lasting friendships. Having visited over 50 countries and marveled at five out of seven New Wonders of the World, further adventures await.
With expertise, passion, and real attention to detail, I work to make your travel experiences amazing, inspiring, one of a kind, and of course, truly memorable. Be it for family or multi-generational vacations, couples, or solo travelers, here’s looking ahead to future collaboration.
I lived for 20 years in Europe, predominantly in Germany. I still say ja a lot and remove my shoes first thing when I get home.
Languages are fascinating to me. I speak German, passable French, and un poco Spanish. I've even tried teaching myself some Icelandic and Italian prior to trips.
My first job abroad was as a finance intern at a fruit company in Honduras—it was fascinating, unforgettable, and a bit crazy too.