Joyce Falcone

The Italian Concierge

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Joyce Falcone Hiking 
“In Italy, Leave no road untraveled.”

In the mid 90’s, at the onset of the internet, and the proliferation of home computers, and cell phones invading the space in our lives, that a quirk of fate changed my direction, and I became a tour manager and guide for American travel companies providing walking and hiking vacations throughout Italy. Prior to 9/11, it was not unusual to have large groups of travelers numbering 20-28 on walking tours all over Italy, but this would soon change.

As a guide, often, we had only two hours between trips in Firenze, just enough time to drop one group and run to pick up picnic supplies near Porta Romana in Firenze, and then meet the next group, and off we would go into the countryside of Toscana once again walking the same trails and repeating the entire experience. The hotel owners, the drivers, the historic guides became our friends, as we would see them time and again during travel season. This experience we repeated in Sicily, the Cinque Terre, The Lake Region, the Amalfi Coast and Puglia and wherever else our assignments took us. The job of tour manager was fun, exciting, rewarding, and low paying. There was so much to learn about Italy. During down time between trips, I would select a place to stay Panarea for two months, Palermo for a month, Roma for a few weeks, etc., and go and meet the next group.

While my Italian improved with every bite of pasta and sip of Nero d’Troia, Sciacchetra` or Friuliano, it was during this decade that I worked for a succession of travel companies; Country Walkers, Wilderness Travel, Smithsonian Study Tours (later Smithsonian Journeys) REI, Cucina Italiana, The Cooking School of Aspen. Eventually, after escorting one hundred and fifty +/- more tours, I decided to form Joyce Falcone-The Italian Concierge.

IMG 8604Joyce’s Black Book has been 28+ years in the making. Started in a Filofax and directed by a few worn out Michelin spiral bound maps on my lap as I drove, eventually these notes migrated to Apple Time Machine, and have become a cherished resource of favorite hotels, preferred spots, scenic driving routes, walking trails, and dining venues.

As a follower of Slow Food’s philosophy, and founder of Slow Food Roaring Fork – Aspen, Colorado Convivium of “Foodies” in the 90’s, I continue to this day to follow the snail, and still enjoy combining that with a hike Italy.

I am very thankful to have found what some call a “dream job” inspired by the beauty and bounty of Italy which enabled me to utilize a mixture of curiosity, fearlessness and a special gift of a keen sense of direction. Though my birth rite gave me the possibility of Italian Citizenship, University of Colorado taught me the Italian language, and GrandaMa instructed me how to make ravioli by hand at age 5, it was not until spending decades there, that I better understand the culture that calls the Italian peninsula home.

I consider myself an Italy specialist. I did not learn from a book, I learned by traveling the country and experiencing it firsthand. It is my belief, that one cannot truly be a specialist if one has not experienced the hotels, seen the sites, and struggled with logistics time and again. In Italian it is said: “Ci vuole tempo”- It takes time.

I now have culled lists of “the best of the best”, and it is this information that I personally share with my clients. I can give you an honest testimony because I have recently been there.

As a recent addition to her broad knowledge. of Italy, in 2020 Joyce was certified as an Italian Wine Scholar ( IWS) from The Wine Scholar Guild, based in Washington DC. The Italian Wine Scholar class covered all the 77 DOCG wines and 330 DOCs produced in Italy.

Elisabetta Stumpo

Travel Designer 

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Elisabetta "Betta" lives in Florence, and graduated in Italian History at the University of Florence. Her thesis was dedicated to the Medici family, with a focus on the Grand Duchess Christine of Lorraine.

She has worked for 19 years as a museum educator in Palazzo Vecchio and is a research historian, as well as a licensed National Tour Guide providing visitors assistance, to art works, museums, archeological sites, and galleries escorting groups in Italian, English and French.

She is also a licensed National Tour Guide and provides visitors assistance to art works, museums, archeological sites, and galleries escorting groups in Italian, English and French.

In 2021, Betta began to collaborate with The Italian Concierge and act as client & vendor liaison, and travel designer for custom itineraries for our clients. She is delighted to be able to share her love of Italian Renaissance history with travelers, and to help enrich their experience and understanding of Italian and Tuscan Art and Culture.


Emma Boushie

Operations Manager

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Emma Boushie is our Operations Manager for Travel Planning. She joined the Italian Concierge Team in January 2017. Coming from a small town in New Jersey, she was riveted by all the new information she was learning about Italy.

Emma graduated from the Haslam Business School at the University of Tennessee in 2019, and has merged her knowledge from her studies into her work with the Italian Concierge.

In her past trips to Italy, she has visited Rome, Florence, Chianti, Val d’Orcia, Siena, Lucca, Venice, Milan, and many cities in between. Emma’s fascinated with how each city can differ from one another, even if only a few miles apart. Emma is extremely detail oriented and is responsible for overseeing all client itineraries, as well as creating the final AXUS itineraries.



Travel Designer 

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Silvia  hails from Bologna, Italy and has spent a great deal of time there as a licensed tour guide. She is fluent in both Italian and English, and spent time as an editor and journalist for ITALY Magazine, selecting stories and contributing ideas and features for the publication. Additionally, Silvia is well-traveled; she spent time in Los Angeles, California as a travel consultant, entertainment reporter, and group tour coordinator. Silvia's expansive knowledge about travel, food, entertainment, culture and history in Italy allows her to design specialized and in-depth itineraries for her clients. 

Silvia  joined The Italian Concierge Team in 2022 and acts as travel designer at The Italian Concierge. She brings her vast knowledge of Italy garnered from years of experience to her tour designs and enjoys sharing this information with our clientele.


Administrative Assistant & Travel Designer 

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 Charlotte  joined the Italian Concierge Team in January 2022 and acts as an administrative assisant and travel designer.  She graduated from Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences in 2021  and uses the skills she cultivated during her studies to communicate with new clients, create a strong social media presence,  work out travel logisitics such as travel insurance, and design custom vacations. 

Charlotte  enjoys learning about the  differences between each region in Italy, particularly in the art and culture  unique to each city. From the Baroque influences in Rome to the  Arab influences in Sicilian  art and architecture, she is fascinated by the unique idiosyncrasies that make Italy so diverse.   

Alberta Ferrando

Travel Designer 


Alberta joined the Italian Concierge team in Fall 2023 and, while being 100% Italian,  Alberta has spent most of her life living abroad.  After completing her studies in business management in Belgium, where she grew up, she initially worked for large international companies, specializing in optimizing operational processes. Following a few years in Rome, she relocated to the Balkans, where she resided for a decade. During this period, she  co-founded and managed a Montesorri school. Upon returning to Belgium, where she currently lives, Alberta has worked as a freelance consultant for a wide variety of entrepreneurial ventures predominantly involving small businesses - a field she particularly enjoys (to the extent of publishing a guide dedicated to it). Proficient in four languages, Alberta possesses a passion for travel and history. Over the years, she has explored Europe extensively and many of her relatives reside in Tuscany, a place she visits regularly. 



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