Renato Giancarlo Vicario
The Co-Owner of the VICARIO Distillery and Farm, and former owner of Vantage World Travel, husband of Janette Elaine Waggoner Wesley, cherished step-father and step-grandfather died Wednesday, December 6, 2023 after a brief but brutal illness. A resident of Greenville, South Carolina, Renato Vicario was born October 11, 1946 in Legnano, Milan, Italy, soon after the end of World War II to the late Giovanna Garzetti, a singer who performed at Teatro La Scala in Milan, and the late Emilio Vicario, a business owner. He was raised on the scenic shores of Lake Maggiore at the edge of the Alps along with his beloved grandmother and great-grandmother.
Renato Vicario earned his doctorate in Economics from the Catholic University in Milan, and further studied English at Cambridge University, U.K. and French at Sorbonne University, France. He spoke many languages. He devoted his life to learning and exploring and began his career in the travel industry as a European guide, and later spent nearly 50 years as a wholesale travel business owner, with offices from Italy to Thailand, to China, and Central and South America. His life was spent offering others the opportunity to understand the richness of the world through history, culture, art, and architecture, especially from a geographic culinary perspective. He adopted the medieval poetry of Omar Khayyâm as the charge of his life- “Life is but a journey, to travel is to live twice.”
He became a Sommelier Clos de Vougeot and Compagnon de Bordeaux, and authored a book, Italian Liqueurs, The History and Art of a Creation, that was placed in the Accademia Italiana Gastronomia Storica or the Academy of Italian Gastronomic History. He was a board member of Slow Food Upstate, and taught many culinary classes to young and old alike. Along with his wife, Janette Wesley, he opened a winery in Cortona, Italy in 2010, and a distillery in Greer, South Carolina in 2014 that produced many award winning liqueurs. He also served as the Consular Correspondent, for the Consulate General of Italy in Miami.
He is survived by his wife, Janette Wesley; his step-children Lindsay Carol Wesley and her son, Nakoa L. Wesley; Reid Andrew Wesley and his wife, Kachine Rhoden Wesley; Kristopher David Wesley and his wife Leah Wesley, and their children, Logan Mayer and Norah E. Wesley; a sister, Angela Vicario of Baveno, Italy, her daughter Valeria; and many cousins of various locations in Italy. Other family included his beloved late cousin Marilena Lorenzini, of Milan, Italy.
A celebration of his life will be held Sunday, December 10, 2023 at 4:00 pm at the Thomas McAfee Funeral Home, 639 North Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601. Family and friends who are unable to attend the service can view the Live Stream by clicking on the “Watch Livestream” button located on the main obituary page.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Metropolitan Arts Council, Greenville, South Carolina, or your choice of charity.
Friends are encouraged to share their favorite memories of Renato with the family by clicking on the button labeled “Leave A Message, Share A Memory” below.