Meet Our Family

Local Aromas is a 100% Italian family run food & drink tour company.
Two sisters: a professional sommelier and a trained pastry chef,
a dad with over 40 years of experience in tourism,
and a great home chef as a mom.
Our guides are trained experts and sommeliers.
This is the Local Aromas Family.

Riccardo

Riccardo

Co-Founder

My name is Riccardo, Giuliana’s husband and Benedetta and Valeria’s dad. I was born in Rome, Italy, from a very loving family. After my university degree in Business Administration, I started working for Alitalia, Italy’s airline company. My career began in Marketing and continued abroad as Alitalia Manager, where my family and I spent 20 years.

We returned to Italy, I retired from Alitalia and continued working in the tourism industry as a consultant. I worked with several Tour Operators promoting Italy’s inbound tourism.

I have always been surrounded by food and wine lovers in my family. Their passion is so strong that I have decided to support them and started Local Aromas. This family company is made up of a piece of each of us: food, wine, pastry and tourism.

I wish to welcome you to our family, the Local Aromas Family.

Giuliana

Giuliana

Co-Founder, Chef

My name is Giuliana and I was born and raised in Rome, Italy. I have been married to Riccardo for over 40 years and I have two daughters, Benedetta and Valeria, and 3 grandchildren, Margherita, Federico and Carolina.

I have loved cooking since I was a child and I owe everything to my grandmother. I learned from her and would follow all her suggestions. I still cherish her recipe book as a treasure.

After I got married, I lived abroad for many years. My passion in cooking grew stronger as I learned the many recipes from the countries we lived in. I also started teaching Italian and Roman cuisine to my international friends.

When we returned to Italy for good, 20 years later, I decided it was time to take my cooking to another level. I attended several cooking courses as Coquis cooking school in Rome which was a great instructive experience. I love teaching my grandchildren all the tricks and tips when we make recipes together.

On my spare time, I like to decoupage and to redo old furniture giving it a second life.

I hope to meet you in one of my cooking classes.

Benny

Benny

Public Relations, Wine & Oil Sommelier, Cheese Taster

Hi, I am Benedetta but please call me Benny. I was born in Rome, Italy, and thanks to my dad’s job I had the privilege of growing up in different parts of the world. I attended International schools, lived in and learned about different cultures, and became fluent in English and Spanish. After 18 years of this wonderful life, I returned to Italy where I attended college and graduated as Interpreter and Simultaneous Translator in Spanish, English and Italian.

After my degree, I got married and moved to Umbria. I lived in this beautiful Italian region for about 15 years and worked in promoting Umbrian food and wine experiences to foreigners. Here is where my passion for food and wine started building up.

In 2013, my daughter Margherita, my dog Daisy and I moved to Rome. I decided to follow one of my passions and enrolled in the world famous Sommelier School of Rome, Fondazione Italiana Sommelier, and became a professional, international-certified Sommelier. Wine simply fascinates me: the history, depth, mystery inside each bottle of wine leaves me mesmerized!

It is now very exciting to share these stories with others. It gratifies me so much to see smiling faces and a twinkle in the eyes of people as they learn about wine. I know that I have delivered my passion and love when they contact me, many months later, remembering that wine or that dish we had together.

Could there honestly be a better job?!

Valeria

Valeria

Marketing & Communications, Trained Pastry Chef

I’m Valeria, Benny’s sister. I was born in Rome, Italy, and lived abroad for many years – in Thailand, Belgium, Venezuela and Chile. Though Benny and I attended International schools, we had an Italian lifestyle at home. My mom raised us as Italians, through her food, rules, stories and music making our return to Italy effortless.

I have a Master’s Degree in Communications and my fields of professional expertise are in hospitality and tourism. My love for pastry brought me to attend a professional pastry course at Gambero Rosso culinary school in Rome. The course took me through an amazing journey, from Italian to international and savory pastry. I then specialized in food intolerance and allergy by attending a professional course at iCook culinary school in Turin. I reached a personal milestone when I got 3rd place in a pastry contest in Italy chaired by a prestigious jury.

I am married and have two children, Federico and Carolina, and a Boxer dog, Athena. We are all very excited about Local Aromas. The kids get to test and taste the foods on our tours and cooking classes and I feel extremely happy and fulfilled. I simply love helping people and providing them with an authentic and quality experience.

I love what I do so much that it doesn’t even feel like a job!

Angelo

Angelo

Chef

Ciao! My name is Angelo and I was born in Rome where I spent the first 9 years of my life. After a period living in the northern town of Varese for 13 years (where we moved for my father’s job) I moved back to Rome and it was then that I began to enter the world Roman and Italian enogastronomy.

Since I was young my house was always full of excellent cooks from my grandmother Stella to my father (Sunday lunch was always his creation!).

In 2005 I met my English wife, Kate, and it is thanks to her that I began to also discover food from outside of Italy!

I feel now is the time to share with everyone who, like me, loves food, all of the passion and experience I have developed over these years in the sector. The greatest satisfaction is the smile on somebody’s face after they have eaten my food!

Cathy

Cathy

Wine Sommelier

Hi, I am Cathy. I was born and raised in Rome, which is where I spent most of my life. I was raised bilingual, since my mother comes from a German family. So I grew up picking the best things about Italian and German culture. From my Italian roots, I certainly inherited the love for art, wine and a sense of humour!

At university, I spent an exchange year in Ireland and learned English. I travelled extensively all over the world, but I am a true Roman plant. I graduated in Art History and since 2009 I work as licensed Tour Guide in the wonderful city of Rome.

Soon enough I started to realize that art and wine are deeply connected in this country. I therefore decided to attend a professional course at the Fondazione Italiana Sommelier and became a professional, international-certified Sommelier.

Today, I enjoy giving tours as well as leading wine-tastings and I love my job. I feel lucky!

Gianluca

Gianluca

Food Tour Guide

Hi everybody! I’m Gianluca and I was born in Rome almost 30 years ago. After the first (not so) innocent years, my biggest passion, traveling, brought me to live and experience different parts of this wonderful world.

I love the social power of food, its ability to gather and unite people together, sharing the same flavours and emotions.
I graduated in Communications and I am a licensed tour leader since 2012.

Let me guide you through the less-known hidden little streets of Rome, places full of untold stories where you get to feel and experience the real Roman life and the authentic “local aromas”!

Toni

Toni

Pastry Chef

Hi, I am Toni! I was brought up in Australia by my Calabrian father and my English mother, surrounded by an abundance of fresh produce (my dad Joe has a wholesale fruit & vegetable business), and amazing food prepared by my culinary talented mother.

Even though I became a Registered Nurse after school, my passion for food led me to Italy where I live since 1998. I spent 14 years in Tuscany and now I am based in Rome.

My work and life revolves around ‘la buona cucina’: cooking classes, food tours, catering. I have also hosted several TV series on the Italian food channel, Gambero Rosso, and published my first book on cake decorating in 2012.

Massimo

Massimo

Sommelier Executive Wine Master, Oil Sommelier

Hi! My name is Massimo Benedetti and I am a certified Wine and Oil Sommelier, as well as a Wine Master. I achieved my diplomas at Fondazione Italiana Sommelier, the Sommelier School of Rome. I also attended the Italian School of Vine Pruning by Simonit&Sirch and I am certified Grapevine Pruner.

How did this all happen?

I was 17 years old when I started getting curious about wine. At the beginning I simply enjoyed drinking a good glass of wine, or what I thought was good wine back then. Through time, I started understanding the differences and today I know how to choose.

I finally took the decision to study wine after reading through the Fondazione Italiana Sommelier website thousands of times. I was in my forties when this happened. Better late than never.

Who am I today?

I am simply someone who loves wine and oil and who understands about them. It is exciting for me to share what I have learned throughout my journey. I love to teach people how to select, interpret and taste one of Italy’s most important heritage: Wine.

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Enjoy Italy's Local Aromas!

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Enjoy Italy's Local Aromas!

Group of friends eating gelato in Rome