Ellen Santucci-Masi

Ellen Santucci-Masi was born and raised in New Jersey, but always knew she would travel someday, and she did. She studied French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Latin, knowing that languages would allow her gather insights into different cultures. She eventually settled in Florence, Italy, where she lives with her husband and three children. Ellen has a BA degree from Syracuse University (New York) in Medieval and Renaissance History and an MA from Framingham State College (Massachusetts) in Education. “Our visits to the towns, to the churches, to the tombs, and to the wineries in Tuscany are not just places to be ticked off a list to say 'been there, done that.' These visits are to places where aspects of the local customs and culture are revealed, where one can observe traditions and discover the heartbeat, the essence of Tuscany. As a Trip Leader, I try to share my insights in a way that ensures that trip members are not just passive observers but active participants in exploring the local culture.” Ellen has become a sommelier and continues her studies of the wines and foods of Italy. She also enjoys reading, yoga, and scuba diving.

Upcoming Trips:

Rome to Ravenna, September 22-October 4, 2014
Medieval Hilltowns and the Isle of Elba, October 5-13, 2014
Medieval Hilltowns and the Isle of Elba, May 19-27, 2015
Rome to Ravenna, June 1-12, 2015
Rome to Ravenna, September 21-October 2, 2015

Client Testimonials:


Ellen is an exceptionally well qualified, knowledgeable, and engaging Trip Leader. Betty S., Milwaukee WI Ellen was extremely knowledgeable about everything from art, Italian culture, wine, food and politics. Dawn F., Ashland, OR
Tuscany to the Sea
I will never forget Ellen and Gianluca belting out the Italian anthem at dinner! But also their wealth of knowledge about Italian history, art, food, wine, and geology—it made Italy come alive for all of us. I want to go back! Debbie N., Lincoln, CA
Tuscany to the Sea
Ellen was an outstanding leader. She made the hills of Tuscany come alive with her knowledge and passion for the region. Lynn and John Caravello, Aiken SC
Medieval Hilltowns of Tuscany
Ellen was outstanding. Her knowledge of the region is encyclopedic, and she was very enthusiastic. She seemed to enjoy the trip almost as much as we did. Ken S., Knoxville TN
Medieval Hilltowns of Tuscany
Ellen did an outstanding job! Glenn R., Towaco NJ
Medieval HIlltowns of Tuscany
Ellen's knowledge and passion for all things Tuscan was evident. We learned a lot about history, art, nature, and local issues, but we never felt overwhelmed or like we were 'in school'.
David M., Friendswood, TX
Medieval Hilltowns of Tuscany
Ellen was a wealth of information on history and art. She is a delightful, caring person who added a lot of insight into the Italian culture. Toby K., Grantham, NH
Medieval Hilltowns of Tuscany
Ellen was a pleasure to be with and her picnics were amazing. She has such a breadth of knowledge of history, cultural issues, food and wine, and is just a delight. Charlotte F., Redwood City, CA
Medieval Hilltowns of Tuscany