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Mark Murphy

Meet Our Owners: Mark Murphy

Hi everyone! First off, I would like to thank you all for reading this and allowing me to share my story with you. I have such a passion for travel and that is why we decided to create Immersive Italy, so we can help you explore the country like we have.

I had always dreamed about living abroad and I’m living proof that it’s never too late to begin traveling or move to another country.


Before my trip, I performed a lot of research in regards to working abroad. I randomly found an Expats group online and by luck they were holding their monthly Happy Hour event while I was there. This will be my first tip about aspiring to live overseas: be as resourceful as you can. In fact, if you end up going to Rome, I would recommend the Expats Living in Rome group and you’ll meet such amazing people if you go to one of their events.

At the age of 27, I finally left North America to venture out to a new continent. My first three European destinations were London, Barcelona, and Rome. I even brought a suit with me and I was going on job interviews just to network with people and get my face out there. On my last night of the trip I was in Rome and I had  made some decent connections but I didn’t have too much luck by then. After three days in Rome I absolutely fell in love with the place and knew that one day I would live here. The food, the culture, the history and the overall atmosphere are just addicting in my opinion.

Networking in Rome

At a happy hour in Rome, I met an American guy who thought that I would be a great fit for his summer camp in Tuscany. They ran an All-American style summer camp where they taught the kids how to play baseball, dodgeball, and all the other American traditions that we have. At the time, I was living in Arizona and he told me to meet with his Camp Director when I got back from vacation. Keep in mind that I’m from a really small town in New Jersey, about 45 minutes west of New York City. While talking to the director in Italy, it turns out that she was from the town next to me (which happened to be even smaller than my town of about 10,000 people). I was thinking “wow what a small world” but wait until you hear what happened next.

A few days after the interview my mom was telling some of her co-workers that her son had a job interview and might be moving to Italy. Well, it turns out that my Mom works with the girl’s dad!! The same girl that was living in Rome and interviewed me earlier that week! At that point I had received the job and I was thinking, “If that’s not a sign to go, I don’t know what is”.

Dropping Everything and Driving Across the US

I received the job offer for the Italian Summer Camp in April 2011 while I was living in Arizona. The next month, I quit my job and drove my car 36 hours by myself from Arizona to New Jersey. It was such an amazing adventure to do and I highly recommend a cross-country drive through America at some point. I was so thankful for Sirius XM radio because it kept me highly entertained the entire way.

I only had a job offer for a three-week summer camp job and that was it. I had no plans afterwards and just let fate decide and it certainly worked out perfectly. I booked a one-way flight to Italy while not knowing anyone there or any of the language.

Arriving in Bella Italia

I arrived in Italy and immediately went to live in the picturesque Italian countryside at the summer camp. When the camp was over, I was lucky enough to receive a full time job offer to teach English from the company that initially hired me. FYI, if you want to teach English overseas, an important document that you will need is your TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). That will be a main requirement for getting a job abroad depending on the country. The visa situation is another story. I had to return to the states for a few weeks for my visa to go through but that was such a hassle in itself.

At the end of the day, you need to take chances to be successful in life. These can be on any level: large or small. Sometimes it might not pan out but that’s when you go back to the drawing board and start again. I have certainly had my share of ups and downs so far on my travels and living abroad. Even at the lowest point, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.


Christopher JohnsonChristopher Johnson
23:09 30 Jan 24
Mark and Tiffany did an excellent job planning my trip to Italy. The attention to detail was on point and helped make a truly incredible and memorable experience. Their knowledge of the language, culture and everything in between was truly superior and I'd highly recommend Immersive Italy Tours to anyone looking for a great adventure!
Charm CleaningCharm Cleaning
17:08 23 Jan 24
Mark and Tiffany did such an amazing job helping me plan my trip to Italy last year! They were very professional and took the time to listen to everything that I wanted to do in Italy.They were super helpful with every step of the planning process and I felt ZERO stress when I was preparing for the trip. This was the most memorable trip of my life and thank you again Mark and Tiffany!!!I recommend that you 100% hire them to book your tripod Italy.
Nicole RomanNicole Roman
21:24 16 Jan 24
Tiffany has helped plan two trips to Italy so far, and both times we had an excellent experience! Her knowledge of the region is remarkable, and she was very attentive to our needs. Our first trip was spent in Rome, Florence and Venice, with a trip to the Vatican. The second trip was to Sorrento and Positano. Both trips were so memorable, thanks in large part to Tiffany's masterful planning! We will definitely be using Immersive Italy again in the future!
Monica McQueenMonica McQueen
15:53 26 Oct 23
Mark & Tiffany did such a fabulous job - I cannot recommend them enough (in fact, I've told everyone I can about them). I used them to plan my 50th Birthday Girls' Trip, as I've never been to Europe. I'm an event planner with very high standards for details, and they both made my trip experience so relaxing, from buying all the train tickets to arranging private tours and drivers, to knowing where we needed to spend extra time and the order of seeing the cities and which restaurants and bars to go to. I especially appreciated their tremendous support with little things while we were there - I actually never thought we'd hear from them while there, due to the time difference, but they were so attentive, making sure we got where we needed to be at all traveling points. Beyond that, they're extraordinarily nice people, and we felt like they were part of our trip family. They paid attention to all of my 'wish list' items (cooking classes, winery tours/tastings, boat trips, food tours) and created a completely over-the-top feeling, custom trip and for much less than I would have thought it would cost. They went above and beyond every step of the way, and I can't wait until I can plan another trip with their help.
Colleen OmanColleen Oman
23:24 26 Jul 23
Mark and Tiffany did an exceptional job planning and organizing our trip…. Highly recommend using their services!
Am NorgrenAm Norgren
00:13 21 Jul 23
I learned about Immersive Italy Tours while I was recently traveling in Italy, and I'm glad I did! Mark shared an outline of experiences and detailed recommendations for the area I was visiting, and it saved me tons of time that I would have spent searching. Highly recommend!
Bill MurphyBill Murphy
15:33 15 Jul 23
Mark and Tiffany planned an amazing trip for us! Their professionalism and attention to detail made our trip such a memorable experience. The travel was seamless and very easy. Definitely hire Immersive Italy to plan your trip.
Kim PanzanaroKim Panzanaro
20:50 29 Jun 23
Tiffany and Mark were amazing! They helped us plan our trip from NY to Rome, Florence, Ischia, and sorrento! They set up all of our travel plans within italy on the high speed trains and ferry to and from ischia. The excisions they arranged we awesome! The private day trip to Tuscany was an absolute dream with lunch at a winery and visits to Siena and San Gimignano. We had a private boat to take us out for the day around Capri that was the best! Can’t wait to go back and do it all again, with immersive Italy’s help, of course!
Kate KennedyKate Kennedy
22:28 19 Jun 23
Our family vacation was an absolutely amazing, fully customized, unique Italian experience thanks to Immersive Italy! There’s so much to do and see there — it’s so exciting, but it can feel overwhelming when planning — that’s why we were so thankful to have expert guidance every step of the way. From coordinating our overall itinerary, train travel and professional ground transportation to specially selected tours — each experience went smoothly and took the stress out of the logistics so we could enjoy each moment. It was refreshing to know if we needed help during our trip, the team was extremely communicative and available to offer personalized assistance. We loved our private tours of some of the top tourist attractions, including: the Vatican, Colosseum and Pompeii. The English speaking guides were passionate, knowledgeable and friendly — and skipping the massively long lines to walk right in was so worth it! We especially enjoyed our private wine tour in Tuscany and day trip boating excursion to Capri — unbelievably special, amazing experiences! Huge thanks to Immersive Italy for memories that will last a lifetime.