Thanks to a multicultural background, speaking six languages, decades of extensive travels, having lived in seven European countries UK included as well as in the US and six months in Modena, being at ease in all surroundings I am able to guide one family at a time in a tailor made a la carte manner for a variety of tours such as those below but by no means limited to this list, always with judiciously chosen hotels combining charm, excellent service and locations, references available.
From the Monaco Historic Grand Prix to the Mille Miglia via Barolo wine country, Turin and Milan.
From Le Mans Classic to the Loire valley castles and Paris.
Paris and the nearby Chantilly Arts et Elegance Concours, now the finest Concours in the world in a fairy tale castle setting.
Dijon, Beaune, the wineries, monasteries and a day at Dijon Prenois Grand Prix circuit
From Monza taking in some racing in the charismatic historical temple of speed in the world, Milan sightseeing and shopping to Lake Como staying in some of the most romantic hotels in the world.
From Modena to Florence with factory and private museums visits in and around Modena, Maranello, Sant’Agata Bolognese, Bologna, the Futa Raticosa Mille Miglia road to Florence, taking in its finest museums, astutely picked hotels, memorable meals with incredible views.
From the Targa Florio to the Amalfi coast
From the Goodwood Festival to the Costwolds
From the Silverstone Classic to the lake district
From the Goodwood Revival to single highland malt Scotland
Numerous museums to see, factories can be visited, taking in the charming byroads and villages of old England.
From the Nurburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix to the Rhine river castles, Stuttgart, the Porsche Mercedes and Sinsheim museums.
Munich the BMW museum and the Bavarian fairy tale castles.
Stockholm with special VIP access to the Royal Palace, parliament and the finest museums, possibility to stay in our former family castle 90 minutes south, overnight cruise from Stockholm to stunning Riga, Latvia, charming Talinn Estonia or vibrant Helsinki Finland.
The mountains, the roads, the mountain passes, the incredible views, the charming ski stations and historic villages, Gstaad, Grindelwald, Interlaken, Luzern, Geneva, Zurich, Basel, Bern,Lugano, Locarno, private museums and collections,prestigious watch manufacture and chocolate factory visits, accommodation form world class Spa palaces to charming Bed & Breakfast in preserved chalets.
And, all across Europe, many more since they can be tailor made to your requirements, dreams, preferences. The finest roads always form part of the itinerary, traffic free challenging picturesque, paradise driving a world away from your commute.
These tours can be prepared by me and undertaken on your own or also guided by me for expenses plus a fee dependent on the preparation involved and the number of days guiding.
For the sake of compatibility allow me to specify that these tours are for worldy individuals who are ever curious to see more and at ease in all levels of hotels and restaurants, who know how to dress, where and when, who appreciate fine wines and gastronomy. Should you be a sandal and backpack wearing tourist who believes Italian gastronomy is about pizza and beer or a non drinker vegetarian we are not compatible, sorry, I wish you every success in finding what you seek elsewhere☺
There is no element of snobbishness however but a quest for genuine high level quality of life.
Vastly experienced with references, able to organize and communicate efficiently despite cultural differences, able to avoid faux pas for those not used to other cultures, proper behaviour and dress code.
My philosophy is taking you not to the Pisa tower, Mont St Michel, Eiffel tower or Big Ben, where mindless mass tourism victims stand in line like cattle at the slaughterhouse to eagerly take their selfie but to far more interesting locations such as Lucca in Tuscany, Bath in the UK or Dijon in Burgundy.
The finest restaurants –finest not most expensive or hyped- many times must be found, most tourist as ever miss them, each one on a given itinerary will have been vetted, the right table arranged.
The most romantic restaurant? One which has a table just for two, ideal for honeymoons or anniversaries...or proposals☺ Yes it exists.
Please consult us, it would be our pleasure to discuss such a tailor made trip for you and if the preliminary planning makes you wish to go ahead I will personally oversee every aspect to perfection.
You could combine this with taking delivery of a new car at a factory in Europe (Germany UK and others but Italy has too much bureaucracy for this to be possible). You could have your own car shipped from the US to Europe for the trip of a lifetime, with locally arranged top notch insurance and the most reputable shippers. Alternatively we can arrange for you to buy a classic in Europe, drive it, then ship it back home after your vacation. Finally we can arrange for you to rent a sports or luxury car in Europe as well.
Again an itinerary combining the finest locations, greatest driving roads and worthy sights would be composed as per your chosen requirements.
Here are some examples of my extensive past travel guiding experience:
-1992 guiding Brits at the Indy 500, airport arrival to departure, help with hotel, touring the sights, getting their grandstand seats –located on portions of the speedway where overtaking takes place- and transportation taken care of for the race, taking them to a restaurant they loved, having them meet AJ Foyt for a photo op after breakfast. They were all very happy and grateful.
April 1998 Guiding an American family and their agent at the Tour Auto over 7 days, sorting out many issues, acting as interpreter, helping with racing car logistics, showing the sights, explaining cultural differences, showing them a side of France and Paris they would never have seen.
May 1998 Guiding a French magazine editor and his photographer in a very intense US trip to accumulate articles with 8 US States visited in 10 days, always flying in the evening to ensure we always met and interviewed on time celebrities such as Nascar legend Richard Petty in Charlotte North Carolina, Chaparral maverick and oil tycoon Jim Hall in Midland Texas, tested a McKee Can Am car in St Louis Missouri, a Duesenberg Pebble Beach winner in Morristown New Jersey, a Cunningham continuation car in Connecticut and an ex Dale Earnhardt Nascar in Georgia, all this executed as per schedule even achieving the impossible: getting the grumpy magazine editor to agree the steaks were good☺
April May 1999 Guiding the same American family as the year before, their agent, his wife through the Tour Auto during 7 days in France, Belgium and Germany to Cannes. On to Monaco –establishing a new but fully safe lap record for a van with 8 onboard☺,on to Milan to pick up their Mille Miglia Ferrari entry, staying on lake Garda, organizing a Ferrari factory visit, organizing a day trip to Venice, attending the San Marino F1 Grand Prix, transferring to another hotel for Mille Miglia participants, retrieving the client and his agent after their car broke down. Taking them to an out of way farmer’s restaurant for their final lunch which they loved, before dropping them at Milan airport.
May 2014 Guiding an American couple through Burgundy wine country, to the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, showing them all that is to see in the Principality, ensuring they had the right grandstand seats for the races, taking them to the right cafes, restaurants and nightlife. Driving up to la Turbie from which there are incredible views over Monaco. On to Italy, Barolo wine country with a memorable outdoor lunch with heavenly wines, some of which was duly bought, on to Turin.
Three night stay, visit of the city, including some sights not normally taken in by guideless tourists, the Biscaretti automotive museum, the heights above the city, then I was able to take them along with me as I interviewed world famous designer and Ital Design founder Giorgetto Giugiaro for my next book. On we went to Milan where we sightseed, shopped, dined and on towards Brescia for the Mille Miglia start, a somewhat chaotic but thrilling very enjoyable experience, before an evening tour of Lake Como, a drink in a charming timeless little known palace and finishing off the trip in Geneva Switzerland.
Enquiries are most welcome, just plan well enough ahead. Avoid European travel in July and August (far too crowded) the best travel months are May to late June and September, October.
-A key activity sector will be, as was done for Dr. Paul Schouwenburg and his book Ferrari fever (see Marc’s list of books and articles for more information) assisting major collectors with books combining their autobiographies and a presentation of their collection from A to Z in a bespoke manner, bringing a special touch to ensure that each is all it could be to the fullest.
There can be no standard modus operandi for such books because just as each individual is different, what he or she may expect from an autobiography is unique. Using the highest standards of writing, ghost writing or editing of an existing text the books are illustrated with a selection of the best personal archive photos of the family, photos sourced elsewhere and specially commissioned photo shoots by the finest, most visionary photographers including innovative portraits and car to car photos of the vehicles in motion.
The most important component of such a book is of course an extensive in depth text. Civilisation is about text and in these shallow times when superficiality is ever more in evidence the foundation of culture is books and what matters most in them is not photos. Of course they should be superb, imaginatively taken, gripping just as the archive photos should be truly unpublished, revealing, fascinating, yes but photos are secondary.
Text is a pillar of civilization and essential in such a book. Assisting a collector no matter how busy in producing this text without straining his or her schedule is a key advantage I offer. It does take a commitment yes but text can be: ghost written, written by the subject and edited/audio recorded in person or on the phone at whatever hours suit the subject. Thus it gets done without impeding on his work and main activities, no matter where in the world, n matter how far author and ghost writer are located.
In collaboration with my UK based publisher, Eau Rouge Publishing, headed by the dynamic, passionate and excellent Doug Blair we can produce your dream book to the highest standards. That is precisely what we set out to do as we share the belief that too many have dropped their standards: something we will never do.
After or should I say despite 24 years of writing them, I am always on the lookout for truly worthy cars, collections, people, companies, stories to cover.
Please contact us if you feel there is a truly interesting or unique tale to be told. Qualified with vast experience and solid references to test drive ALWAYS smoothly, calmly and respectfully, any racing car up to F1 and Can Am Group C. I choose however not to drive these cars in the rain, on a wet surface or on a circuit crowded by too many drivers of dubious experience. For research we will track down anyone still alive involved with the car’s birth, its running in its heyday and interview them, likewise the finest unpublished archive photos.
As with KHAMSIN QUARANTA IN 2012 and the upcoming June 2017 CLASSIC MASERATIS IN HIDDEN BURGUNDY we strive, in collaboration with Eau Rouge Publishing to organize events of the finest level with minute attention to every detail to the highest standards. Participants at KHAMSIN QUARANTA gave universal unconditional praise for an event which exceeded expectations and organized VIP visits for them in unique historical places. References available.
See the video of KHAMSIN QUARANTA here: fi it is the old version the actual segment starts at 6.00 minutes, if it is the new one it starts right away. Duration about 6.30 minutes which make it very clear what level of event we produce.
Involving Import Export of unique products connected to the art of living, to be announced later this spring.
My Summer office
Marc Sonnery Services
Note that no cars are located at this address, inspections and meetings strictly by appointment only thank you.
© Marc Sonnery Services