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Richard (Dick) Mercer

Owner / President, Experience Italy, Sacramento, CA

Not a travel agent, but an Italy destination specialist, Dick Mercer is Presidente of Experience Italy. He prepares individualized travel plans and makes all the land arrangements to selective and cute & charming locations in the regions and villages of Italia. He travels to Italy two or three times a year for property research and reconfirmation. At last count, he has made 37 trips to Italy which means over 720 hours in the air at a minimum. It is a rough job, but someone has to do it.

He has planned numerous wine and art tours to Italy where he also provides exclusive independent travel services focusing on country residences/ farmhouses/ villas in the regions of Tuscany/ Umbria/ Veneto/ Piemonte/ Sicily and apartments in Venice. Mercer, a self-proclaimed Italophile, is conducts seminars on Italy travel planning and produces several cultural events on Only Italy in Sacramento each year - www.experienceitaly.com.

He is also a highly sought lecturer who conducts travel seminars throughout Northern California. He assist in French Cuisine at Sacramento State University with Prof. Claude Duval and appeared on Sacramento TV discussing Italy and as the travel correspondent for Italian Living on KVAN Radio in Portland, Oregon

As a young boy, in the brightness of mid- morning, basking in the warm spring sunlight, I dreamed of having a party for all my friends.

Relocating many times in my youth, I longed for all my friends to be with me in one place at one time. Time and again, I experienced the same dream. I wanted to gather my friends, board a large commercial "airliner" and set off to a land far away. Now, years later, I still have a dream similar to that childhood dream. My dream is to share with friends, both life-long and newly found, my passion for food, wine, music, art, religion and history.

Over the past twenty-five years, I have hosted trips to Italy and have been joined by family and friends. After 32 trips and five more on the drawing board, the dream has been partially realized, yet the trips' designs were not mine. The places and events only partially represented the authentic, earthy Italy.

The passion, romance, and emotion of my dream drive me to this day to find highlights that make for true Italian experiences. I am a dreamer, a romantic, a lover of life…my passion for Italy and my desire to bring my dream and the dreams of others to reality inspired the creation of EXPERIENCE Italy

Picture yourself attending a live chess match with costumed chessmen in the walled town of Marostica. Sense bubbles tickling your lips as you drink the sparkling varietal wine "prosecco" at a winery in the lush green hills of Valdobbiadene. How about meeting the crafters of the gondola of Venice and learning how they construct the fabulous vessels rather than just riding in one on the Grand Canal?

EXPERIENCE Italy focuses on creating true experiences. We want to share the experience of Italy. Start with a dream and we'll provide the stage and setting for it to come true!

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