CALL US THE HAPPINESS MAXIMIZERS, FAIRY GODMOTHERS, TRAVEL ARTISANS. TYPE 'A' WHEN IT COMES TO DETAILS. TOTAL ROMANTICS WHEN IT COMES TO POSSIBILITIES. TRAVELLING THE WORLD IN SEARCH OF AUTHENTIC ADVENTURES MARKED BY BEAUTIFUL MEALS AND LIFE CHANGING MOMENTS. GIDDY AT THE IDEA OF SHARING THEM ALL WITH YOU.
Co-Founder & Owner
Dana Conley fell in love with international travel during college while studying art and politics abroad in Florence, Italy. She majored in International Relations at Stanford and has traveled to over 50 countries in search of authentic adventures, beautiful meals, and life-changing moments to share with her private and organizational clients.
In 2009, Dana made her home in France in order to pursue her passion for cheese, art and cultural curiosities. Now, running trips in several countries, Dana divides her time between France, Italy, the UK, Germany, and the new Conley & Silvers headquarters in New York City.
Our partner in Rome, Umbria and all things Italian is Maria Delfina Gandolfo (everybody calls her Madi). Madi was born in Rome, but grew up in the great port city of Genoa, not far from the enchanting Cinque Terre. After studying in Genoa, Madi took her doctorate from Yale.
Her career has taken her from the Italian embassy in Ottawa to the American Academy in Rome and most recently to the secretary-generalship of an Italian petroleum distribution center. But Madi's real love and passion long has been and remains that “other” Italian oil, namely olive oil, celebrated since the days of ancient Rome. Madi is an enthusiast for all things Umbrian and above all the beautiful hilltop town of Amelia, where she has organized successful summer residential courses for Yale. To this day, the citizens of Amelia continue to ask American visitors to their town how their “children” are doing.
Dr. Adam Tooze is one of the world’s leading experts in European history. He is also good fun, a tireless conversationalist, and an experienced travel study leader. Born in London, raised in Germany, and educated between the two, Adam received degrees from Cambridge University and the London School of Economics. After 13 years on the faculty at Cambridge and 6 at Yale, Adam has recently made the move Columbia University in New York City.
Adam's writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, and the Financial Times; he is also the author of three critically acclaimed prizing winning books, the most recent being The Deluge: The Great War and the Remaking of Global Order, 1916-1931. He has also appeared on the History Channel, BBC Radio and NPR.
Italy, England, & Asia
Tim Jepson is a British, London-based writer, traveler, and broadcaster. He began his traveling life at the age of 12, exploring the mountains of Britain and Ireland. After graduating from Oxford University with a BA in English Literature and Language, he lived and worked in Italy for six years, writing for a variety of British newspapers and leading high-level expeditions in the country’s remotest corners. His experiences were recorded in a book, Wild Italy, published in the U. S. by the Sierra Club. He has since written more than 20 books, including several titles for National Geographic, and numerous articles for publications worldwide.
He worked as a Travel Editor for London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, and continues to travel extensively, with a passion for the farthest-flung destinations and the untrammelled cultures of Bhutan, Laos, Tibet, and Myanmar. Italy remains a passion, where he has been a National Geographic Cultural Expert for almost ten years. His most recent work, The British World: An Illustrated Atlas, for National Geographic, is published in November. After hours, you can often find Tim and his folk, pop, and bluegrass band Police Dog Hogan playing shows across the U.K.
Wine expert Lionel Michelin was born in 1949 – a one of a kind vintage – a special blend of 50% Martinique and 50% Ardennes. While studying law, he worked a part-time job where he discovered the historic wine warehouses in Paris Bercy and began his initiation into the delights of antique vintages - these extraordinary tastings literally went to his head and he was soon building his own cellar of fine wines!
Through his company, De Vinis Illustribus, he sources exceptional vintages with the aim of providing his customers with a truly memorable tasting. Lionel has access to some of the most exclusive wine tasting experiences in France, and he is delighted to share them with you via Conley & Silvers.
Alison co-founded and managed Conley & Silvers for four years before she realized that the only thing more alluring to her than international jet setting, was romping around the National Zoo with her young son, Ricky.
Alison studied abroad in Florence with Dana, got hitched in a small town in Puglia, and remains a lover of all things Italian. Although she is currently on "mommy sabbatical," Alison does provide business, travel, and legal consulting services for C&S. Alison graduated from Stanford University with a BA in international relations and received her JD from UCLA School of Law. She resides in Washington, D.C. with her family, but one day hopes to own a Tuscan villa with Dana where all of you will visit for a feast under the stars. Until then, happy travels!
Hospitality Experience Consultant
Elena Goldblatt is a writer, chef and strategist dedicated to developing engaging and meaningful hospitality experiences. Above all, she is an insatiable traveler always on the lookout for the best local foods and hangouts. Elena was born in Canada and moved to her mother’s native Rome, Italy, when she was 12 years old. She has spent her life back and forth between the United States, Canada, Italy and Switzerland. Elena graduated from Yale University with a degree in History in 2010 and earned an MBA from the Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne in Switzerland in 2017. She has co-authored two cookbooks and loves baking above all else. Elena now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
France & Asia
Born and educated in England, art historian Julian Brown made his home in Paris in 1986. He began leading tours around Europe in the early 1980s whilst he was an undergraduate student at the University of Durham, and he now spends much of each year conducting museum visits and historical walking tours in the French capital and provinces.
When not in France, he lectures on tours in Italy, Spain or Southeast Asia. He has travelled extensively in Asia and has a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He gives lectures on his research for universities, museums, royal societies and at international conferences.
Sophie Campbell is a travel writer and London Blue Badge tour guide. She was brought up in Asia and Africa and has been based in London for the past 25 years, writing for many national publications. She writes a monthly column for the travel pages of the Daily Telegraph and guides many incoming journalists and corporate clients on their visits to London.
Her recently published book, The Season, details her summer whirl through the English social season – think big hats, camping in queues and royal regattas.
Kate Marsh specializes in customized design solutions for small businesses. Her clients' businesses span the medical, engineering, lifestyle, and fine arts fields. Kate was born in Colorado and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since her graduation with a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Southern California in 2009, Kate has been freelancing as a designer for web and print projects as making paintings as a fine artist. Kate currently resides in San Francisco, CA with her husband. She enjoys hosting dinner parties, reading on the couch with her dog, and traveling whenever possible.
OUR TRAVEL PARTNERS
Since 2008, Dana Conley has managed tours all over the world for the well-respected educational travel provider, Criterion Travel. Criterion plans and operates expert-led tours and cruises for top U.S. alumni associations, museums, and other affinity organizations. In 2013, Conley & Silvers became a proud travel partner of Criterion, providing destination management services in France and Italy.
STANFORD UNIVERSITY TRAVEL/STUDY
Conley & Silvers has been a proud partner of the Stanford University Alumni Association’s Travel/Study program since 2013. Take a look at our upcoming venture London, Paris and Berlin.