BY TINA PAPPAS
It’s definitely a passion for Paula Salierno when it comes to giving people the world so-to-speak. The Verona resident has travel in her blood. She started her popular travel tour company “Ti Amo Tours” ten years ago, while she worked as a Newark teacher. The rest is history.
“I started tours of Italy in February of 2010,” Salierno said. “I plan custom and group tours. We also work with cruise lines all over the world. Our tours are planned one at a time and they’re amazing. My clients recommend us because of the personal and customized service they receive. Whatever your dream, we can make it happen. I have worked with larger groups – 20 or more, to panning a tour with a single traveler.”
Salierno said she has “a first-class network of drivers, guides and hotels” all through Italy, Her destinations keep growing as well. Her tours have included Florence, Venice, Tuscany, Rome, Dolomites, Verona, Cinque Terre, Puglia, Bari,Sorrento Napoli. She offers tours through winery’s in the Tuscan region to Mt. Vesuvio, including regional cooking classes. She also offers swimming off private boats in Capri, Ischia, Sicily, and other locations.
“We’re very excited that this year for the first time we’re planning tours for the island of Sardinia,” she added.
Born in Newark, Salierno grew up in West Caldwell. Her love of Italy and travel began when her father was transferred to the U.S. Consulate in Naples, while she was still in high school.
“While my father worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, we lived in Napoli,” she explained. “Once you’ve lived there it becomes part of your soul. When we returned to the states, I attended college and then began my career as a teacher. As a teacher, you’re always looking for ways to open the world to your students. To this means, I planned to take a group of my middle school students on a tour of Italy. Unfortunately, there were insurmountable road blocks put in on our way. This did, however, open my eyes to taking the steps needed to start my own travel agency.”
As her tour business continued to grow, Salierno began planning tours for notable people, such as professional athletes and actors. She also plans tours for honeymooners and does many cruises as well. Some of the destinations have been to Alaska, the Caribbean and Mediterranean.
She said the quality service she offers begins with treating her clients right.
“It’s my passion to give all my clients the absolute best experience possible,” she emphasized.. “I treat everyone like family and that includes my clients and all the people that work for me. If you treat people right, they work for you with joy. They appreciate you.”
Salierno added that many times her clients will visit the hometown of their grandparents and wind up meeting many of their relatives.
“They’ll check the records in city hall or take a walk down the main street only to find long lost relatives,” she noted. I’ve had that experience myself when reconnecting with a cousin that I hadn’t seen in over 40 years!. Anything is possible!”
For more information on tours with Ti Amo Tours, visit www.toursofitaly.info.