The Runaway Italian

Custom travel planning and tours to secret Italy

Why Me?

Nicla Marinelli

Do you love to travel to Italy but don’t want a ‘one size fits all’ experience?

You might feel overwhelmed at the thought of planning a visit or a special holiday all by yourself or simply you don’t have the time and really need the help of a native who can make it all go smoothly and happen quickly. You are also after more than a guide, but a friendly and knowledgeable Italian with unique insight in the local areas.

I am Nicla Marinelli, an Italian originally from Rome and I am a freelance Tour Manager and Travel Adviser with extensive experience of travelling all around Italy off the beaten track. I am also the creator of inspiring and unforgettable tours and travel guides to secret Italy.

I can help you by crafting custom made advice and planning tailored exactly to your needs, passions and interests. My travel services will provide memorable experiences that connect you to local culture like no other, as well as reconnecting you to self-care and creativity.

I am passionate about restoring your well-being through sustainable travel that respects local traditions and helps the local economy thrive. The experiences I will suggest for you and that I will lead you on will fulfil your dreams and create special memories that will get talked about for years to come!


  • CONNECTION – We connect our customers to secret Italy while also reconnecting them to their passions, creativity and well-being for an outstanding experience
  • AUTHENTICITY – We are only interested in helping you enjoy authentic Italian culture in all of its aspects
  • SUSTAINABILITY – We support local traditions and promote practises that help the local economy and environment thrive
Travel is more than a vacation or an adventure—it’s also and opportunity to give back to people and places. Join us in improving the lives of 10 million people: 10 Million Better
Here at the Runaway Italian we fully support this mission launched by Sustainable Travel International and are committed to making a difference when travelling to Italy as well.

Travel Services

My customised travel services will:

  • save you time, overwhelm and stress
  • give you tailor-made and specific advice suited entirely to your needs
  • provide you with invaluable insider know-how from a friendly and expert native
  • enhance your experience in secret Italy tenfold and make your trip a memorable one

Everyday Italian

This Italian language package will give you the confidence to deal with everyday situations and will enhance your trip. Everyday Italian offers:

  • 6 hours of personal 1 to 1 language tuition by a native
  • a cultural guide to make the most of your stay
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Travel Planning Taster

Ideal for a shorter stay After our consultation you will have outlined in a personalised travel report:
  • suggestions of experiences to live out your interests and passions
  • a selection of inspiring locations off the tourist trail and much more!
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Magica Italia Package

This comprehensive package offers:
  • In-depth guidance and suggestions for your overall itinerary with ideas to craft your ideal day
  • A personalised itinerary unique to you and much more!
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Honeymoon Suite Package

This very special service offers:
  • Comprehensive guidance totally dedicated to plan and organise your special celebration
  • A beautifully illustrated report full of essential information to take away with you and much more!
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Traveller Success Stories

Ruth Lopez
May 25, 2017

Expertise and Passion

As a female solo traveler I normally have to do a lot of research to find quiet, safe, places within sometimes remote locations, and Nicla took care of all of that for me, as well as providing all the logistical info to help me know how to get from place to place. Usually that kind of research can take up hours of my time that I don't have. She writes so artfully I almost feel as I'm already enjoying a fine meal along a stunning riveria. Although the end product is a lovely detailed report filled with enticing photographs and all the information you would need, what you are paying for is her expertise  and knowledge as a native Italian who is passionate about her country, combined with her innate ability to tune into your specific needs and preferences to design the trip of your dreams. 
Helen Crossley
Aug 13, 2016

Local Knowledge

Nicla took great care and delight in all aspects of planning our trip to Puglia to celebrate a significant birthday - from the friendly, in-depth Skype chat to the finished report. She provided us with a personalised itinerary including suggestions and recommendations of where to go, what to see and what to do, as well as lots of useful tips and information. Tapping Nicla's local knowledge and experience has undoubtedly saved an awful lot of time and quite a few headaches in helping make this special trip a memorable one. In fact, it represents great value for money, especially as we won't be wasting any time or money while we are there - or indeed missing out on all the wonderful things we might not have done otherwise. 
Jayne Granville
Aug 13, 2016

Florence Enthusiasm

I have been thinking about visiting Florence for about 5 years, but never quite got round to organising it. I had signed up to 'The Runaway Italian', a travel blog with a difference over a year ago and follow Nicla's blog with enthusiasm, as she talks about Italy in such a passionate way and so it made sense to ask her to help me plan this long awaited trip to Florence. Within 24 hours of contacting her, Nicla emailed me a report with all the information I needed and much more as it also contained a suggested itinerary based on the length of our stay and interests and some lesser known sights that she recommended from personal experience. I cannot recommend the Runaway Italian Travel Planning Taster enough! As a busy professional, I found that this bespoke, efficient, personal service was fantastic. I will be looking to Nicla to plan my next holiday to Italy without a doubt!