CIU Travel
Custom Luxury Travel to Italy and Switzerland

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We design custom itineraries and private experiences throughout Italy and Switzerland for individuals and small groups. We offer only private experiences, and our itineraries are tailor made to accommodate your preferences and interests, while highlighting the very best of each destination.

Italy and Switzerland are iconic destinations. Whether you want to spend time wine tasting and cooking in Tuscany or hiking and skiing in the Swiss Alps the problem for travelers is not scarcity of information, but quite the opposite - information overload! An abundance of travel books, user-review web sites, blogs, input from well meaning friends, and random influences of all kinds – good, bad, and indifferent invade the traveler’s senses. We help you cut through the noise to create a seamless planning process.

Unique experiences are our specialty. Whether you are a first time visitor or someone who has seen the major sites and wishes to delve deeper, we can design the trip of your dreams.

We keep an active social life on Facebook (@ciutravel), Instagram (@negroniandspritz), and Twitter (@ciutravel)

Wendy Perrin WOW List
Trusted Travel Expert for Italy since 2014

Condé Nast Traveler Magazine
Top Travel Specialist for Italy since 2006


CIU Travel is owned and operated by the travel consulting, opera singing, husband and wife team of Maria Gabriella Landers and Brian Dore.

Maria Gabriella was born in Frankfurt, Germany and grew up in Springfield, Il. She has a background in art history (Barnard College, Columbia University) and studied opera performance at The Juilliard School. With winnings from a vocal competition, she studied the Italian language in Perugia, Umbria and has been in love with Italy ever since. In 2009, Maria Gabriella was named an Ambassador of Italian Culture by Perugia’s Università per Stranieri.

Brian studied American History and Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Music Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, and Italian at the Università per Stranieri in Perugia. He cooked professionally in New York restaurants for several years before embarking upon a career as an operatic baritone. He has sung opera professionally in the United States and Europe. From 2007-2011, he was a principal baritone at Theater Dortmund in Dortmund, Germany, singing 200 performances of 17 roles. With his love of food, wine and music, it was only natural that he became an ardent Italophile.


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Condé Nast Traveler first recognized CIU Travel as one of the magazine's Top Travel Specialists for Italy in the August 2006 issue. The initial application was arduous, and staying on this prestigious list is even more difficult. We continually strive to maintain this award winning standard, and have been named to the list every year since 2006.

The specialists on the list are chosen by CNT's editorial staff and represent the best destination experts in the travel industry.

Click on the links below to read some of our editorial contributions and mentions in Condé Nast Traveler.

The Editor's Itinerary: Italy's Amalfi Coast | 2016

Five Perfect Days in Tuscany | August 2010

Christmas in Florence | September 2012

Opera in Milan | November 2011

In honor of Condé Nast Traveler's 25th Anniversary issue, CNT asked us to design a dream trip to include in their World on Sale promotion offered to readers. Our "Italy for Foodies, 10 Night Culinary Adventure of Umbria, Sorrento and Rome" was selected and included in the September 2012 issue.
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We've been proud members of Wendy Perrin's WOW list since 2015. Wendy selects the members of The WOW List based exclusively on customer feedback and her own research.

What makes Wendy’s Trusted Travel Experts the best?

Read reviews from Wendy's travelers | Traveler Reviews on

We have contributed Insider Guides for select destinations in Italy.

Florence: Insider’s Guide

Venice: Insider’s Guide

Tuscany: Insider’s Guide

Umbria: Insider’s Guide
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To celebrate the magazine's 170th anniversary, Town & Country teamed up with Wendy Perrin, sourcing Wendy's “WOW List” of trip-planning experts to create a modern-day Grand Tour: a trip around the globe in 170 days, including stops in over 50 countries. From Sweden to Antarctica, this Grand Tour is the ultimate template for the vacation of a lifetime, and we were honored to take up the challenge of planning the perfect week in Italy for T&C readers.

How to plan a trip to Italy | August 2016
Address: 161 McKinley Ave | New Haven, CT | 06515