Let Us Introduce Ourselves


Let Us Introduce Ourselves

Gary Portuesi, Managing Director and owner of Authentic Italy, fell in love with Italy at an early age when he and his family made yearly trips to their native land. Spending summers in Sicily and exploring the northern, central and southern regions through the years, Gary realized that the American idea of Italy fell decidedly short of the real deal. That’s when he was struck by an idea: why not allow people to experience the real Italy? 

A veteran of the travel industry with over 20 years of experience at American Express, Gary is also a wine expert with a WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits from the International Wine Center and co-owner of De Gustibus Cooking School in New York City.


Combining his passions and expertise, Gary launched Authentic Sicily in 2002, later expanding it to become Authentic Italy in 2014. With a culinary focus, Authentic Italy specializes in custom-made, high-end regional-specific travel programs.

Today, the Authentic Italy family has expanded and continues to grow. Our expert travel consultants customize visits for families, groups of friends, business associates, individuals and couples. We are on a mission to seek out the most unforgettable upscale experiences for your interests—from breathtaking accommodations to world-renowned restaurants to exclusive sightseeing excursions and more.

Five Principles We Live By:

Go Regional
and Dive Deep

Ask 20 Italians what their idea of Italy is and you’ll get 20 different answers. With 20 incredibly diverse regions, the only way to capture the true essence of Italy is by exploring each one deeply.

Principle #1
Principle #2

Always Listen
We learned early on to chew with our mouths closed and listen with our ears open. The more we get to know you, the better we’ll be at matching your interests with memorable local experiences.

Wherever You
Go, Make Friends

The principle that makes Authentic Italy what it is today. Every single one of our local collaborators is someone we personally know, trust and dare we say love? Yes, we dare.

Principle #3
Principle #4

A History Lesson in Every Meal (and Glass of Wine)
Every regional dish and drop of wine has a unique story to tell. We live to hear them. And taste them.

Keep an Eye on the New
As rich in history as Italy is, it’s also constantly evolving. We always keep a finger on the pulse of the country so we have new experiences to share with you.

Principle #5

Traveler Reviews

Traveler Reviews