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About Alfredo

Born into an Italian American family, and raised in New Jersey, Alfredo De Bonis boasts Calabrese, Lucano & Cilento origins.

A graduate of a Catholic Elementary school and New Brunswick High, he was accepted into St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, N..J., run by the Jesuits, where he pursued a classical education focused on Latin and Theology.  An excellent student, Alfredo was selected to represent St Peter’s at the Universita’ Cattolica di Milano for his Junior Year Abroad (1966-67.) During this period of European study he concentrated on medieval and church histories, and Italian paleography, the study of ancient scripts.

After earning his BA degree, Alfredo accepted a position at the Catholic High School of St Peter in New Brunswick, with a syllabus including six Latin classes, in addition to an Italian, and a theology class. During this period, he began the two year post graduate program at the Italian Department of Rutgers University.

Taking a sabbatical mid-way through, Alfredo paused both studies and teaching to cultivate his passion—the culinary arts.  In 1971 the former high school teacher opened a small, six table restaurant next to his father’s bar in town. Two years later, the young entrepreneur moved his eatery to the downtown area. Eventually, he transferred his restaurant to the renovated Victorian Mansion, where he remained for 15 years.

Experienced and knowledgeable in all things Italian, from culture and history to dining, Alfredo undertook a new business–  tours with cooking classes in various Italian regions.

Initially he worked from his home and the local high school, but as the demand grew with more requests for sightseeing added to the repertoire, the prospective of taking his classes to Italy was an exhilarating idea many supported. Why not learn Italian history and culture plus the culinary arts right in the country of origin? It was a new concept, and it fascinated Alfredo.

Soon after he called a few contacts in Rome and received the green light to utilize the kitchen at the Hotel Alimandi adjacent to the Vatican. Next, as his course material widened, he traveled with his tour group to Villa Daniela Grossi in Lucca, offering a different slant from the tours in Rome.

Though minimal in numbers, Alfredo’s first tour included two people interested in his suggestion to tour Rome and Tuscany. It was October, 2001. Subsequently he escorted a church group from Rome to Florence and back, designing more lectures while providing different culinary lessons.

Alfredo’s big break arrived in 2005, with a private tour arranged for a Texas couple, interested in a trip from Rome to Positano. At the conclusion of the tour, the couple inquired if he would be willing to conduct a month long tour in Tuscany the following year,  both as chef and guide.

This opportunity led to a meeting between Alfredo and Daniela & Narciso Grossi-Cervelli who presently own and operate Villa Daniela Grossi, where he takes groups and organizes cooking classes.

Today the list of tours has multiplied to include the picturesque Amalfi Coast area and historic Paestum with it’s Greek Temples and Buffalo Mozzarella farms. Moving further south, Alfredo conducted tours in beautiful Sicily where sightseeing and eating seem to be a modus vivendi, ( a way of life.)

An explorer by nature, Alfredo leaves no region of Italy uncharted. His fascinating Villa & North tour includes   a week at the fabulous Villa Daniela Grossi followed by three romantic nights in old world Venice, and three nights in the fashion capital aka “Made in Italy”  industrial city of Milano with a visit to Bellagio.

”Alfredo, what’s on the drawing board for 2019?” The response : “I am working on four tours. Keep checking my website for more information, and to learn about my 2020 plans to combine the Amalfi Coast and Sicily tour with an added week in Puglia before heading to a week in north Italy for a different panorama and diverse culinary tours.

If you’re interested in any of these tours,  or if you wish to set up for a specific group please contact Alfredo Tours.

 

 

 

Grazie mille e a presto (see you soon)!
Alfredo de Bonis

 

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