Son of a Cornish hill farmer, Jonathan Arthur, after school took a year off in Italy. Since he set foot in this land (and especially since he tasted it’s food) he knew this was where he wanted to live. He studied politics at Bristol university returning to Italy to work every summer.In the seventies he moved to London where he managed restaurants in Chelsea and Camden. Here he met Sarah, who was working as a part time waitress to pay for her studio and soon after fired her. Strangely this didn’t stop them falling in love. He brought her Italy on holiday where he asked her to marry him, move to Tuscany and raise a family together. Luckily she agreed, only later did he discover it was because of his cooking. So to Italy they came and after two years Elisabeth was born. Combining his wonderful cooking with his unforgettable charisma he started running cooking classes and food experiences and ended up creating Italy With Relish through which he went on to organizing vacations and events. Sadly Jonathan Arthur passed away the 19th of March 2016 after putting up a long battle. His memory lives on with his family and all the many friends he has made on his journey.
A taste of Jonathan’s excellent humor can be found in his novel, Montecrisi. You can find it on Amazon also for kindle.
I was born in the province of Siena and educated in the Italian State system until the age of eighteen. When I finished high school I studied fine arts first in Amsterdam then in Cyprus before coming back to study to become a tour guide in Florence. Since I was very young I enjoyed my father’s job very much as it allowed me to meet new and interesting people all the time so as soon as I was a teenager I started working with him in the summer. I’ve always travelled very much which I think has opened my horizons and given me an insight regarding what travelling people need. When my father’s illness indisposed him I gradually started taking over the business. I was vegetarian for thirteen years from the age of twelve. This has made me particularly understanding towards clients with alternative diets. Today I eat organic and avoid processed food, which is still easy to do where I live. Eating well is the key to health and happiness.
Most of my time is dedicated to my work and the Cultural Association of which I’m the director. Nevertheless I still finds time to enjoy with our clients. Collaborating with the town council, MEAC Museum and local businesses through Cortona International Arts I have established close ties at all levels of the community. Other members of the Association and I give regular art lessons to both residents and visitors.
I grew up in the Umbrian country side. I have a degree in electronic engineering but my passion lies with engines. I also love growing vegetables and taking care of my olives, an art which I have inherited from my father. When I fell in love with Elisabeth I got tangled up with Italy With Relish. Here you could say I’m the “man behind the curtain” as not only do I have to take care of the bureaucratic and organizational side of things but I’m also the driver. I guess Elisabeth’s cooking makes up for it.