Italy Travel, Learning & Fun: A Memorable Journey

June 3-9, 2019

Experience everything Italy has to offer while gaining valuable insights from four 200+ year-old family businesses!

Naples, Italy

Italy is celebrated the world over for its rich history, its breathtaking natural beauty, and its unparalleled food and wine traditions. The Cox Family Enterprise Center is giving you an amazing opportunity to experience all these while learning the secrets of success from four Italian family businesses that have thrived for more than 200 years.

Contact Gaia Marchisio to reserve your spot today!

Historic Family Businesses

The four families you will meet – the Nardinis, the Guerrieri Rizzardis, the Berettas, and the Amarellis – are each part of The Henokiens, an exclusive association open to family enterprises operating for more than 200 years. Each family will invite you to into their businesses to learn about their operations and family histories, sample their products, and enjoy their private collections.


NardiniThe Nardini family has been making Italian grappa for seven generations. Founded in 1779 by Bortolo Nardini – whose vision was to revolutionize the distillation process – the business was the first grappa distillery in all of Italy. During the past 200 years, the family has continued to improve distillation practices while producing an exceptional product and promoting the charm of Bassano del Grappa, a city known for its iconic Ponte Vecchio Bridge.

Your visit will feature an exclusive private dinner at the family’s restaurant, where you will sample their world-famous spirits and learn about how the Nardini family has built a thriving, centuries-old business.

Guerrieri Rizzardi

Guerrieri RizzardiThe Guerrieri and Rizzardi families have each been producing wine for 400 years. In 1913, a marriage between Carlo Rizzardi and Giuseppina Guerrieri brought these two ancient Veronese wineries together, with their first joint label wine releasing the following year. Today, the family owns wineries in Valpolicella, Bardolino, Soave, and Valdadige. Although famous for producing wine from the region’s best native grapes, Guerrieri Rizzardi also grows international grapes like Barbera, Sangiovese, Merlot, and Chardonnay thanks to the excellent soil found in the Trentino-Alto Adige wine region.

In addition to tasting the fabulous wines produced by this famed winery with ancient roots, your time at Guerrieri Rizzardi will provide a rare opportunity to explore the challenges and successes faced when merging two family enterprises.


BerettaBeretta is one of the most recognized firearms manufacturers in the world. The company formed during the Renaissance as a designer of artisanal, handcrafted weaponry before switching to a full-scale manufacturing process in the early 20th century. Beretta has been a family-owned business for 15 generations. Its factory has grown in size from 100,000 square feet in the early 1900s to 1 million square feet today. The company’s products can be found everywhere from the American Armed Forces and the French National Guard to helping athletes win medals in 12 separate Olympic games.

Your visit to Beretta’s facility includes access to their private museum, which is closed to the public. The museum features more than 900 firearms from the company’s 500-year existence.


AmarelliHistoric records show that the Amarelli family has been harvesting and selling licorice roots since the 1500s, though the company we know today – renowned for its licorice, chocolate, and other candy products – formed in 1731. The nearly 300-year-old factory established in Rossano is still active today producing treats enjoyed by children and adults alike. Amarelli also operates the Giorgio Amarelli Licorice Museum from their factory, featuring all of the family’s business documents dating back to 1445. The museum won the Guggenheim Enterprise and Culture Award in 2012.

Visiting the Amarelli family will give you the chance to learn the unique history of one of Europe’s oldest confectioners, and is the perfect opportunity to indulge your sweet tooth.

Unforgettable Destinations

Your Italian experience includes stops in five of the country’s most beautiful cities: Padua, Verona, Bergamo, Milan, and Naples. Each of these fabulous destinations is brimming with exciting culture, art, and food, all of which you will see firsthand between planned excursions and self-guided exploration.



Known for its famous network of arch-covered streets and large plazas, Padua is the setting of the classic William Shakespeare plays Taming of the Shrew and Much Ado about Nothing. The city’s Scrovegni Chapel is one of its most popular attractions, featuring a famous series of frescoes painted by Giotto di Bondone. Meanwhile, the imposing Palazzo della Ragione, with Europe’s largest roof unsupported by columns, is home to a bustling, ancient market.



One of the largest cities in Northern Italy, Verona is celebrated for its rich heritage and artistic tradition. Much of the city’s ancient Roman and Medieval architecture remains intact thanks to UNESCO designating Verona as a World Heritage Site. As you explore the city, you will see impressive structures like the Arena di Verona, beautiful Romanesque churches like the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, and ruins more than 2,000 years old. One of the most beautiful features of the city is the Adige River, which flows through the center of town.



“Bergamo” literally translates to “mountain home,” and one look at the city explains why. Located immediately south of the Bergamo Alps, the City of Bergamo has two distinct sections: the ancient, walled Città Alta nestled high among the hills, and the expanding modern Città bassa below. In the upper city, visitors can find a 14th century citadel and a series of plazas dating as far back as the 12th century. The lower city houses the Accademia Carrara, an art museum featuring works from Botticelli, Raphael, Bellini, and others.



With more than 5 million residents, Milan is the second-most populated city in Italy. Milan is a modern, cosmopolitan metropolis with thriving fashion, art, and entertainment scenes. The city’s La Scala opera house is one of the world’s most famous, having hosted the premiere performance of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, while Santa Maria delle Grazie houses Leonardo da Vinci’s preeminent work, The Last Supper. No visit to Milan is complete without trying some Panettone, a delicious sweet bread created in Milan dating back to the Roman Empire.



Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world; first settled by the Greeks nearly 3,000 years ago. Its historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the largest city center in all of Europe. Food lovers should be interested to know that Naples is the birthplace of pizza. The city takes its pizza so seriously that there are laws dictating the type of flower, yeast, and other ingredients that must be included. Naples is also famous for its Roman, Medieval, and Baroque architecture, and for its proximity to Pompeii, the ancient city preserved in ash following the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79.

With so much natural and manmade beauty to experience, Italy is the perfect setting to learn the secrets of how centuries-old family businesses have stood the test of time.

Bring the Whole Family (Business)

Travel, Learning, & Fun: A Memorable Journey is open to all members of your family business over the age of 18. The adventure starts on June 3 in Venice and ends June 9 in Naples. While all lodging, travel, and meals during the trip are included in your fee, travelers must provide their own airfare to and from Italy.

We have only 28 available spots for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Don’t miss out on the chance for you and your family to see one of the world’s most beautiful countries, all while gaining valuable perspectives on managing successful family enterprises.

Contact Gaia Marchisio today to learn more.

Adige River