Our Journeys

Our Team


Alessandra Gardino Ranghiasci Montgomery

Company founder Alessandra offers travelers immersive tours that create space for authentic interactions. She credits her love of slow travel to her European upbringing -- which includes ties to Italy's historic Palazzo Ranghiasci as well as parents who instilled a love of nature, art and culture. In 2003, she leveraged her experience as a tourism industry executive into an entrepreneurial effort: a boutique tour agency now operating as Customized Journeys. Alessandra is fluent in Italian, French, Spanish, and English.

Benedetta Rappa Verona

Betta has been working side by side with Alessandra since 2010. She manages the logistics for Customized Journeys tours in Europe and beyond. Betta grew up in the Piedmont region of Italy and after many years of living in the United States, she returned home to run our Italy office. Betta’s love of travel and interacting with new people has also made her a coveted tour leader. She is passionate about sharing her home country of Italy with our travelers, especially its cultural heritage, food and wine! Betta loves visiting new destinations and learning about world cultures. Betta speaks Italian, English, German, and French.

Melissa Egizio Slechta

Melissa joined the Customized Journeys team in 2018. Her role includes project management, business strategy and client services. Her love of travel started at an early age with summer trips to visit her family in the Abruzzo region of Italy. After many years in the corporate and consulting world as a Human Resources professional, Melissa began pursuing her other passion of travel by joining the team. Melissa speaks English and Italian.

Cerissa Reyes

Cerissa joined the team in 2019. At Customized Journeys, her focus is on Administration. Cerissa has spent much of her career in the IT industry before making a move to the travel industry. She brings to the team strong organizational and technical skills. After growing up in the Philippines, Cerissa moved to Portland with her family. She loves exploring her new home in the Pacific Northwest and learning about different cultures. Cerissa speaks English and Filipino.

Willie Anderson

Born in Liverpool, England, Willie came to the US in the late 70’s to play soccer for the Portland Timbers. Previous to that he had good fortune to play in Great Britain for Manchester United, Aston Villa and Cardiff city. After retiring from soccer, Willie went onto sales and advertising positions in the radio industry in Portland, Oregon. Willie loves traveling, having been to over 20 countries in Europe! At Customized Journeys, Willie’s focus is on Sales, along with helping grow Customized Journeys by connecting us with new clients and travel partners.

Andrea Algieri

Andrea was born in a small town in the Calabria region of Italy. After living in Florence for many years, Andrea moved to the United States in 2006 where he launched a successful music career. Andrea’s passion for travel brought him to the Customized Journeys team as a Tour Leader. In addition to leading tours abroad, Andrea is helping to grow Customized Journeys through Business Development. Andrea speaks Italian and English.

Please check here for the latest Covid-19 travel updates

Dear Friends & Travelers,

The safety and well-being of our clients is our top priority.

We have been closely monitoring the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and relying on recommendations from the US State Department, CDC, World Health Organization, and other relevant authorities at home and abroad. Based on the latest developments, we have made the difficult decision, in coordination with our trip hosts and partners, to reschedule all departures starting on or before December 31, 2020.

We want to assure you that we are making every effort to do the right thing for our clients, partners, and local vendors in this time of uncertainty, and we look forward to sharing our passion for experiencing the world with you by offering the following options:

1. Join your group’s alternate date
We are offering each of our affected groups a future alternate date and will gladly transfer your reservation to this date.
2. Reschedule your trip on a different Customized Journeys departure
If the alternate date for your program does not work for you, we are happy to work with you to find a different date, private trip, or future program that will suit your needs and interests.
3. Receive a Future Travel Credit (FTC)
If your preference is to wait to make a decision, we will put your reservation on hold and apply your funds toward a future Customized Journeys travel program of your choosing. This FTC is valid for 2 years from your original departure date.

We share your disappointment and appreciate your understanding during this challenging time. As the situation continues to evolve, we have learned that what makes sense today may be different tomorrow. Our planning could be further adjusted, and we will update you as we continue to work through developments. In the meantime, we’d like you to know that we are reviewing every aspect of how we run our trips with the intent of safeguarding the health and well-being of our clients.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need additional information to help with your decision process.

Thank you for your commitment and understanding.

The Customized Journeys team