ABOUT CONNECTITALIA-NZ LTD
Our company’s mission is to promote greater liaison between Italy and New Zealand, reflecting the different but complementary backgrounds of the company’s two directors, Beniamino Petrosino and Anne Scragg. Our principal focus is planning and escorting exclusive small group tours in Italy offering a cultural experience with a difference. Our tours are definitely not of the whistle stop” Today is Tuesday so it must be Belgium” kind. We pride ourselves in providing you the time and comfort to really enjoy what you are seeing and doing and you will never feel rushed. Our Italian tours start and finish in Italy so you are most welcome to join us from anywhere in the world. Whether you are travelling on your own or with others, you can expect individual care and attention from escorts who are willing to go the extra mile to ensure you have an unforgettable time.
This year, because of Covid-19, we are focusing on tours much closer to home.
We encourage travellers wanting to visit New Zealand from overseas to contact us and we will be very happy to provide you with a New Zealand tour package tailored to meet your particular needs and interests. We use accredited tour operators to ensure our tours are trouble free and we insist on the highest standards of customer service in all situations throughout our tours. Your comfort and security are of paramount importance to us. Whether you are planning a trip to Italy or a trip to New Zealand or even a delightful local excursion with us, it will be our pleasure to look after you. We are confident you will enjoy a unique experience and a lot of fun along the way.
OUR NEW ZEALAND EXPERTS
“Following a brief career in the law I travelled and worked in Europe spending time in northern Italy where I taught and visited some of its great gardens. On my return to NZ I studied landscape architecture as a post graduate student at Lincoln University. This course included the history of Italian gardens for which I have a passion. I have since then returned to Italy on several occasions and visited more of its gardens for the sheer pleasure of being there and to better understand their place in the history of garden design. I am delighted to be an ambassador for Connectitalia-NZ’s wonderful tours and an escort on its stunning Garden tours. I hope you will join us!"
Robert Watson is a landscape architect based in Christchurch and he has been involved in a wide variety of major projects around New Zealand over the last 35 years. He is a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Landscape Architects and an Assessor for the NZ Gardens Trust. Robert's work has won numerous prizes including a Gold award at the 2009 Ellerslie Flower Show for a garden he designed for the Canterbury Horticultural Society. Another of Robert's projects is the renowned Broadfield Garden, a NZ Garden Trust Garden of International Significance, for which he was a finalist in 2015 NZILA Awards. In 2021, Robert is looking forward to taking Connectitalia-NZ’s guests around his home region to see some of the spectacular gardens he knows so well.
“I joined Connectitalia-NZ’s tour of the Gardens of Lazio in 2019 and was very impressed by the variety of the gardens and the organization of the tour.
I have a definite sense of rapport with people who buy art and want to live with it at home both inside and outside.”
Until she retired in 2018, Jenny Harper was director of the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna Waiwhetu from 2006. Before that, she formally established the Art History programme at Victoria University of Wellington and the Adam Art Gallery on the campus. She was also a Head of School and Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at V.U.W. In earlier years, Jenny held curatorial positions at the National Gallery of Australia (short-term), the Queensland Art Gallery and the former National Art Gallery. After a period of helping to plan the new Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, she became the last director of the National Art Gallery in 1990. Jenny was also commissioner for New Zealand’s presentations at the Venice Biennale in 2009, 2011 and 2013. In 2020 Jenny was commissioned to write “Picture No Galleries” a booklet advocating public funding of art galleries. Harking back to an earlier interest in religious art and architecture, she led a tour to India in early 2019 and now works on various art-related projects which interest her.
Join us on an extraordinary journey!
I am the founder of CONNECTITALIA-NZ. I came from Italy to live in New Zealand in the 1980’s and have worked as a chef, restaurateur and consultant in the hospitality industry in New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and the United States of America. I have taught Italian in schools and privately and also English to refugees. In 2003, Hazard Press published my novel “The Passage of the Frog and the Wild Strawberries of 1942” set in the Mezzogiorno regions of Italy where I grew up.
In late 2015 I met Anne Scragg when she became one of my Italian language students. In 2016 we ran a successful cultural programme in Christchurch showcasing many special Italian foods and wines and introducing our guests to delightful Italian locations off the beaten track.
This year, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are sadly unable to visit Italy. Instead, we have decided to offer our guests a magnificent opportunity to explore our own backyard visiting some stunning gardens in our home region of Canterbury New Zealand. Local landscape architect Robert Watson will join us and provide expert commentary throughout the tour.
Initially trained as a lawyer and worked in private practice for some years. I had a few years off work while my family was young and then returned to work as an adjudicator and mediator. Over time I became involved in designing and establishing specialist dispute resolution schemes in the public and private sectors. In 2015, I retired from a senior management role with the intention of doing something entirely different. One day my husband came in from the letterbox with one of Beniamino’s business cards and I thought Italian language lessons might be just what I needed! I have been to Italy several times and have loved every visit. I am confident I know what non- Italians need and want when travelling and I want to share my passion for Italy with others.
I also want to show our guests from other countries the treasures that my homeland, New Zealand, has to offer. I am therefore excited that this year we are able to offer our guests a very special experience in the region where I live. Whether our guests live in Canterbury or elsewhere, we guarantee they will enjoy a unique and memorable experience with us.
Exclusive Tours of Italy & New Zealand
“Over the last few years we have got together to bring people a genuine glimpse into Italian culture and customs. This time our intent is to take you to visit some of New Zealand’s own treasures and give you an experience unlike any other.”