Traditional paper making, Limoncello tasting and walking in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, experiences that broadcaster and travel writer Penny Smith enjoyed while exploring Italy’s Amalfi Coast in her new role as Brand Ambassador for Travelsphere.

“Travel is all about experiences. There is only so much you can get from a guide book, if there is something I really want to see then I need a human guide. During Travelsphere’s tour in Italy we visited Pompeii, somewhere I have always wanted to go and the guide was superb, knowledgeable and with a fantastic sense of humour,” said Penny.

Penny began her career as a reporter for the Peterborough Evening Telegraph before her television life took off with Border TV, Thames News and Sky. In 1993 Penny became one of the main presenters of GMTV, the UK’s flagship breakfast show, where she spent the next 17 years waking up the nation.

Penny now presents the Saturday Breakfast Show on TalkRADIO, can be heard regularly on BBC Radio 2 and covers the world of travel for various publications.

“The itineraries, destinations, tour managers and guides are why Travelsphere stands out. Not only do they take you to places you might not normally see on an excursion, they tell you where to explore in your free time and where the locals eat and drink. Museums are obviously great but for me its markets and tea shops, public gardens and impromptu vistas that I enjoy,” said Penny

Award-winning escorted tour operator Travelsphere, leads the way in Italy with 20 unique touring holidays, taking in 12 lakes and more than 140 cities and towns, with the option of 120 departure dates.

“It is fantastic to welcome Penny as our Travel Ambassador for Travelsphere. Our holidays are all about exploring new lands and living the dream while enjoying sharing your stories with others, which is exactly what Penny does when inspiring her listeners and viewers with tales of her adventures,” said Alastair Campbell, Travelsphere’s Managing Director.

“Penny will really help us to dispel many myths about escorted touring and show that it is the smart way to travel. On our tours everything is taken care of but you still have the freedom to explore independently,” added Alastair

When asked about what inspires her to travel, Penny said, “Travel shakes you out of your routine. It broadens your mind, expands your knowledge, makes you more empathetic and gives you experiences you could never have imagined. You make new friends and can bore old friends for so long that they move to another country.... which is very useful if it’s somewhere you want to go.

“One of my most memorable trips was being in a small thatched hut on an island in the Philippines while falling coconuts crashed like mortar fire around us in a typhoon! Whenever I’m having what you could describe as a real adventure, I try to think about how much fun it will be in the retelling.”

Travelling with Travelsphere means getting under the skin of a destination and sharing experiences in good company, which is exactly what Penny looks for when choosing a holiday.

"I grew up in a small village in the smallest county in Britain. Travel was exotic. From the moment I get on a plane I am excited to be going to different - sometimes distant- countries. The chance to see how others live, see their culture, see history coming to life, try new food, new flavours, new things is all part of the incredible experience that travelling gives,” explained Penny.

Penny is already planning her next trip from more than 60 destinations that can be explored with Travelsphere.

“I have been to so many extraordinary places - and want to go to so many more - that it’s hard to pick my next Travelsphere tour. South America will always hold a special place in my heart. I’d love to go back to Lake Titicaca on the borders of Peru and Bolivia, since I arrived during a three day wedding party and don’t feel I did it justice,” commented Penny.

Penny joined Travelsphere’s Amalfi Coast Tour, an eight-day single centre holiday with return flights from Gatwick, or a number of regional airports, with seven-night half-board in a four-star family run hotel in the coastal town of Minori. Highlights are the tours of Amalfi, Ravello, Sorrento and Pompeii. Price is from £699 per person.