The Discovering Umbria project was born during 2005 from an idea by Leonardo and Alessandra Mallozzi, who are brother and sister. Both were keen to pursue their passion for travel, for good food, for wine and their love for their homeland, so in January 2006 Leonardo and Alessandra, left their jobs and took over the small travel agency “Oblo' sul Mondo” in Todi.
At the same time Alessandra studied for her exam as Agency Director of Travel Agencies and Tour Operators, a professional qualification which is necessary for the management of a tour operator company, and which she passed with flying colours in May 2006.
From the first summer they started to create a series of special tour itineraries and a network of top level services, carefully selecting their suppliers in search of high quality services and excellent products, but above all giving utmost importance to the human qualities and care for the client.
After one year of hard work, a few months after the website “Discovering Umbria” went online, their first clients arrived from Holland, Australia, Canada and the USA and they put into practice the itineraries which had until that point been mere paperwork. All the clients were enthusiastic about the itineraries offered and the products they had tasted. The success of what had just been an idea was now very concrete.
Discovering Umbria was subsequently chosen as a partner by a renowned personal chef for the organization of tourist services accompanying a course in Italian cookery. This experience was also successfully repeated the following year.
At the end of the season Alessandra went to Tokyo where, on the invitation of one of the most prestigious schools of Italian, Bellitalia, she gave a talk on Umbria which included a tasting of extra virgin olive oil.
The following season brought a marked increase in the number of clients, accompanied by a similar increase in the levels of satisfaction. New itineraries were created and new, different tastings offered, leaving travellers highly impressed. During the year “Discovering Umbria” also welcomed Japanese clients for the first time.
Since early 2009 the name Discovering Umbria has started to become synonymous with top quality tourism: we have been written in the prestigious publication “Il Turismo Culturale”, a high level magazine specializing in Food and Wine Tourism.
Discovering Umbria has been invited to take part in the conference “Cammina cammina, il piacere, la cultura e l’economia” which aims to examine the multitude of themes connected to excursionism, an event promoted by the Palazzo del Gusto – Città Slow at its headquarters in Orvieto.
During the year tour packages by Discovering Umbria have been presented at two important trade fairs for naturalistic and food and wine tourism. Thanks to an invitation from a renowned Roman association for the safeguarding of the Tiber Basin, the proposals connected to nature and food and wine tourism were presented at Park Life, an event dedicated to protected areas and sustainable tourism, held at the Fiera di Roma,and at the Borsa Internazionale del Turismo Enogastronomico in Piedmont, an event organised to promote and enhance those sectors of Italian heritage which are internationally acclaimed, namely wine production, cookery and the products of tourism connected to these.
Discovering Umbria has also joined the manifesto Life Beyond Tourism for improving Intercultural Dialogue with a Tourism of values, and not merely Services and Consumerism.
The quality of the tourist services offered by Discovering Umbria received an important recognition. In February 2010, during BIT in Milan, Discovering Umbria received the “Premio Turismo Responsabile Italiano” (Italian Responsible Tourism Award) for the category “Wine Tours in Umbria” promoted by L’Agenzia di Viaggi, the leading professional publication for tourism in Italy for the last 40 years and under the patronage of ENIT, UFTAA and FIAVET, a prize based on quality criteria established by UNWTO (The United nations World Tourism Organisation) and which have become the guidelines of the company’s mission statement:
"Environmental resources must be protected; local communities must benefit from this type of tourism, both in terms of income and in terms of quality of life; and visitors must have a high quality experience".