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Our expert team

Our team is an extended family of experts that use their knowledge and experience to create your dream holiday. From the founder to the technology team, from the local guides to historians, sommeliers and chefs, everyone is involved in the design of your tailored journey.

founder

Margherita

Creator of Essenza and the Le Pratola Collection, Margherita has been successfully taking care of guests in Italy for 12 years, consistently achieving 5 star guest review ratings. Also a qualified banker and property developer, Margherita's passions are travel, Italian design, running and Tuscan wines.

sales & marketing director

Chiara

Voted Conde Nast Top Travel specialist Chiara knows Italy intimately and can guide guests with precision. Chiara's essential book of contacts means there is little she cannot organise. Also a qualified interior designer of homes and yachts, Chiara's passions are travel, cooking and baking and everything Italian.

concierge manager

Serena

Serena is one of our Concierge Manager looking after the day-to-day operations of Essenza and meeting clients while in residence. After a degree in Art History in Florence, she became an interior designer with a passion for contemporary design. Serena knows Italy inside out and is a precious asset to create memorable itineraries for our guests.

concierge manager

Camilla

Camilla is one of our Concierge Manager. She takes care of itinerary planning and liaising with clients while in residence for Essenza. She is an interpreter and translator with proficiency in English, Chinese and Italian and her passions are foreign cultures, gastronomy and nature. Camilla looks after our guests with passion and professionalism.

operations executive

Mariana

Mariana has a key role on the Concierge & Operations team. With a degree in Business Administration, Mariana has travelled worldwide & lived in different continents. As a knowledgeable travel designer & qualified sommelier, action experience and research are her most important values. She has a passion for Yoga, wine, travel, books and gastronomy.

campaign manager

Lucy

Lucy is a Senior Media Buyer and Essenza's campaigns manager. She uses her digital expertise to create effective strategies and compelling campaigns. From a young age Lucy has been passionate about cycling and is a keen mountain biker regularly traveling abroad for adventures.

wine expert

Elizabeth

Elizabeth's twin passions are cycling and wine. Having competed at the semi pro/pro level for road, MTB and track racing, she was crowned Champion of Lombardy three times during her illustrious racing career. Elizabeth is also a qualified sommelier and a published Wine Critic on wine guide Duemilavini. Today Elizabeth enjoys offering the best rental cycling equipment and private guided tours in Tuscany.

Tuscany Co-ordinator

Arsen

Arsen is an experienced estate and house manager, taking good care of our client's needs and inspecting new properties. Arsen's background in wine production and olive oil harvesting means he's full of practical advice and support. Together with his wife Ergisa, Arsen expertly manages Villa Le Pratola, Gaiole in Chianti.

History Teller

Luca

Luca's love of medieval Italian history has won him academic awards, scholarships and graduation from Oxford University. Luca's ability to relate historical events means he's able to explain in an engaging manner the 'why' to much of how Italy operates today. Luca's passions encompass global travel, learning new languages, economics and international relations.

digital manager

Harry

Harry is our digital asset and social media expert. Having raced at a top amateur level in Europe on road and track, he now competes in ultra distance cycling events like Transcontinental. With experience working within the cycling industry, Harry is bringing over his expertise to Essenza paired with a growing passion for Italy.

Gastronomy expert

Katia

Katia is our gastronomy expert for central Italy. Katia has a First level Master degree in Culture of Nutrition and Food and Wine Traditions, is a qualified Tour in Emilia Romagna and is a qualified Official Cheese Taster. Katia has studied and worked in England, Spain and Australia in gastronomic tourism.

Gastronomic Tour Guide

Rosina

Expert in gastronomic tourism providing consulting and advisory within Italy and Latin America. An official Italian tourism guide and certified sommelier. Rosina personally guides guests on gastronomic walking tours of Rome.

Our background

In 2004 my husband and I made one of the best decisions in our life. We bought a run down villa called Le Pratola in the midst of Chianti and set about restoring it. After a four year project, invigorated by the beauty of the Tuscan countryside and a lifelong love of Italy, I gave up my job in Banking in London to manage Villa Le Pratola and her team and provide luxury experiences to our guests. Our guests, initially from the UK soon expanded to arrive from all over the world. Each time they would tell me how much they loved Tuscany, how they were curious to learn more about their surroundings, how eager they were to visit new places and experience new things. So we built an expert local community who could care for them, provide insider tips, recommendations, book excursions and tours and be their friend in Italy. Those friendships flourished, guests returned and asked us whether we had other similar properties where they could explore new parts of Italy and so we created the Le Pratola Collection, a small selection of high quality properties, professionally run, all educated to showcasing the best of Italy.

And then along came Covid-19. The virus has impacted us the world over, it has caused grief for many, disrupted our lives, changed our working patterns and temporarily wrecked our travel plans.

Essenza has been born during this period. We are reimagining the world of travel. At Essenza we want to bring back the joy and pleasure of planning a special trip, we like to get to know you and make the planning process fun and engaging, through on-line calls we will introduce you to our team of experts. We aim to deliver fulfilling and immersive experiences in one of the world’s culturally richest countries. Remote working and remote learning now means that many of us will be freer than ever so we can schedule longer trips in beautiful homes with offices and full support enabling you to both work and play.

Let’s start the adventure...

Essenza is about following your dreams and passions and living the life you desire. Contact us and we can help make it happen.