Sam Stanley & Laurence Hicks decided to escape the hustle and bustle of London in May 2017 choosing instead, a new life in Sicily where they set up home together at Casa Piccolo Paradiso.
Sam is an ex-professional rugby player where, at the peak of his playing career, he played for England 7’s and Saracens. Sam’s family have a strong rugby pedigree with his brother representing Samoa and his uncle Joe represented New Zealand playing for the All Blacks as well as other relatives playing for major rugby teams globally. Sam rose to notoriety within the LGBT community in August 2015 after he became the first active English Rugby Union player to reveal he way gay through an honest and frank article published in the Sunday Times.
After a 30-year successful career in the travel industry holding a number of senior roles for major tour operators, Laurence decided to switch the focus of his travel career towards LGBT friendly travel together with a major escorted touring technology project. Laurence found himself at the centre of attention of the LGBT community after Sam came out mainly through people’s fascination with the generational nature of their relationship. Laurence’s mother was Sicilian and he is an Italian speaker and has been a frequent visitor to Italy throughout his life.
Together, Sam and Laurence have created the most beautiful Homestay concept in the heart of the quintessential Sicilian hamlet of Santo Stefano. Their key and overriding philosophy is to promote and encourage inclusiveness so everyone is extended a warm, friendly and courteous welcome in their home.
Laurence has excellent local knowledge of the local area and Sicily in general and is happy to point guests in the right direction. Sam is a qualified Personal Trainer and offers one-to-one sessions at the local sports complex Olos which is run by Laurence & Sam.