About Us

Founder Shannon Kenny was inspired to create Arte al Sole from a desire to share her love of art and history with her two young daughters. She could see the benefits of introducing kids to culture through their eyes and nurturing their natural creative spirits. Shannon received her Master’s Degree in Medieval & Renaissance History, and has worked as a freelance writer, editor, and educator in the fields of history, social sciences, French & Italian languages, and travel for over 20 years. She operated an editorial services firm focusing on history, art, and social change, and authored Gold: A Cultural Encyclopedia (2011). Shannon then created Via Papera, the umbrella company of Arte al Sole, Italiakids.com, an online resource for families traveling to or in Italy, and Elaia Travel, a concierge travel agency. Shannon is now CEO & Founder of travel solutions app, Prontopia,  which connects travelers with locals in Italy and Spain who provid on demand help when needed. Shannon is wholly dedicated to forging a new sense of cultural awareness and global citizenry through discovery and creative exchange.

Gianny Trutmann

Arte al Sole Director Gianny Trutmann is a multicultural documentary filmmaker and passionate advocate for the arts as a channel for social change. His work has encompassed travel and social impact documentaries shedding light on local life and culture. Gianny loves the enduring moments Arte al Sole experiences create for families as they make international friends and discover new cultures. Gianny manages business operations for Arte al Sole, Italiakids, and Elaia Travel.

Bess Bredell

Our Program Coordinator Bess loves showing off the Eternal City in all its magnificence. After receiving her B.S. in Sociology from Loyola University of Chicago’s Campus in Rome, she never left! She taught English at Rome’s public  elementary schools, still working with kids 20 years on. As a mother raising bilinqual children, she makes learning fun thru hands-on activities. Bess supports Arte al Sole families from our Rome office, organizing private tours and summer camps for families coming in from round the world.

Marion Freel

Digital Marketing Coordinator Marion studied Anthropology and History of Art and Architecture at UCSB, and has since pursued a career engaging with visual aspects of design and education. Marion spent summers in Italy as part of the founding Arte al Sole teaching staff and coordinates social media and content.  She loves traveling to the lesser known areas of Italy where you truly have to take on the pace and lifestyle of the locals. For Marion, “teaching others is an important aspect of growing as a student and a person.”

Visit our sister site Elaia Travel, a full-service travel agency dedicated to creating your dream itinerary in Italy and Europe.  We specialize in designing extraordinary itineraries that take you exactly where you dream of going.

Visit our sister site Italiakids.com, a complete resource guide offering a wealth of information for families living in and traveling to Italy.