What travelers say:
"Heather is very detail-oriented in her travel planning. She is knowledgeable about the destinations, and has local guides available for excellent recommendations. Her calm demeanor and optimistic personality make her an amazing guide!"
Spring Hill, Tennessee
"Heather is a pleasure to travel with! She perfectly balances the business of getting there safely with the fun of exploring a new location and being immersed in the local culture!"
Thompson Station, TN
"I highly recommend Sonder Tours. I have traveled to Europe several times with larger tour groups, but, Sonder Tours was the most enjoyable and interactive tour I have ever been on. Heather, the owner of Sonder Tours, was a wealth of knowledge of the areas we visited and was able to answer all of our questions and concerns. It was such a pleasure having her lead our group. I look forward to scheduling another exciting European tour with her."
For as long as I can remember I have seized every opportunity to travel, whether with friends, with students and their families, or independently. I have experienced everything from solo travel to the "big bus" tours. In 2021 I made the decision to design small group tours of Italy that would offer the benefits of group travel while maintaining the intimacy of traveling with friends. Thus, Sonder Tours was born!
As a history teacher, I was always drawn to learning about and exploring the world. In 2017 I began partnering with a large international educational travel company, leading groups of students and their families on tours all over Europe. Prior to traveling with students, I attended a training course led by their team in Rome, Italy on how to safely and successfully lead group tours. In that role, I traveled to England, Ireland, Scotland, France, and Italy. Now, I have applied that knowledge and experience to designing and planning travel to Italy.
Italy has always been a magical place for me, and my goal is to help you see the country through the eyes of locals, and to provide you with opportunities to have hands-on, interactive experiences.
Over the years, I have built relationships with local guides, hotels, business owners, and drivers in each of the regions I work in. Incorporating the in-depth knowledge of their regions, I have worked with them to curate a blend of unique experiences mixed with some traditional highlights.
I have carefully selected hotels, restaurants, and experiences that I believe showcase the beauty and rich history of this country and I am so excited to share them with you!
Some of my adventures...
Reggio Emilia, Italy
I had the opportunity to meet the calves at a farm in Reggio Emilia. These adorable girls will grow up to produce the milk that will be used to create the world-famous Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese from this region.
San Gimignano, Italy
Touring a family-owned vineyard in San Gimignano. The vineyard produces both olive oil and the local wine, Vernaccia. San Gimignano is a Tuscan hill town filled with history. From the 13th-century city walls to the stone towers, visiting San Gimignano is like stepping back in time.
The Scottish Highlands
Honey the Highland Coo (cow) was a very sweet girl who loved the chunks of turnip I gave her SO MUCH that she decided to thank me with a kiss on my back and on my hair while I was trying to take a selfie with her!
After a plane, a train, a bus, and two gondola rides, our feet took us the rest of the way... to the top of Mt. Pilatus in Lucerne. The views are breathtaking, and the sky is an ethereal blue. Definitely worth the effort!
Learning about the process of making Prosciutto... here, I am using a horse bone needle to reenact the method inspectors use to test the quality of the meat. They pierce the prosciutto in multiple places and sniffing the needle after each puncture to check for scents that may indicate any flaws or spoilage. This one was PERFETTO!
Visiting and writing messages of encouragement on the Peace Walls in Belfast, Ireland. Mainly constructed during the Troubles, one of the most famous peace walls sits between the Loyalist Shankill Road and the Irish Republican Falls Road. Tensions between the two streets have existed since the 1800s, and the Troubles saw a rise in violence in this already violent area. The gates on this specific wall are still closed every night.
Reggio Emilia, Italy
A visit to the most heavenly place... a warehouse filled with wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese... All different ages, ranging from fresh to 25-year-old wheels. Ahhhh.... just the smell alone was fantastic. The tasting was phenomenal!!
There is nothing about climbing Giotto's bell tower that isn't amazing. From the winding stone staircase where centuries' worth of feet have worn grooves into the steps, to the view of Florence and the Duomo from the rooftop... It is an unforgettable experience.
A sunny afternoon in Venice, standing on the Rialto Bridge. The Italians love a design competition, and the Rialto Bridge is no exception. Built in the closing years of the 16th century, the Rialto Bridge is the oldest bridge across the canal and is renowned as an architectural and engineering achievement of the Renaissance. It was designed and built by Antonio da Ponte and his nephew, Antonio Contino, following a design competition in the city. Today, it houses shops and is a focal point of any ride along the Grand Canal.
I had the opportunity to visit lovely Pisa and her famous tower. Pisa is a beautiful, historic city, and a must-stop for the iconic photo!
Cinque Terre, Italy
After hiking from Manarola to Corniglia in Cinque Terre, we took a water taxi to Riomaggiore. There, we stopped for some fresh seafood and a beautiful view of the sunset. Also, a huge lemon granita... yum!