To me, Nicoletta Amicizia (Amicizia translates to friendship in Italian!) is the unofficial mayor of Mercatello sul Metauro in Marche, Italy, but really she's a local tour guide. As my guide, she’s taken me hiking to an agriturismo restaurant up in the hills, biking along an abandoned highway, let me join the local truffle hunter, she’s shown me her world.
Something she never had to do though as part of her job was to help me experience life in the local community. One evening she got me invited to a big celebratory dinner at the local hardware store owner’s family home. Sitting there amongst the family, enjoying plate after plate, attempting Italian with the laughing ten year old girl seated next to me, this was a rare peek into authentic family life in Italy, all thanks to Nicoletta who’s always gone above and beyond to show me her very special part of the world.
p.s. Thanks to Amex Travel for sponsoring this post, showing thanks for people who go above and beyond on your travels.