With a degree in fine arts under my belt I left home and travelled for 3 years. I returned home bearded and wiser. I travelled extensively through Europe, Asia and the Americas following the lines of art, music and the world of food. This planted a seed that would see me return to live in Italy, Germany and eventually flourish and settle in Spain.

In 2002 I moved into a people management role in VIP aviation which took me worldwide. In 2007 I accepted a top international people management role in Europe where I have remained.

I chose Madrid as my base, or rather it chose me.

This was the turning point for a new path that has since become a love affair with Spain.

My passion for Spanish culture and gastronomy eventually led me into high-end tourism and here I find myself today in my adopted city, Madrid, as a Spanish citizen.

MadriDivine is the culmination of one journey and the beginning of another.

The goal: connecting people and culture. 

I devote my time to promoting Madrid and Spain as a destination and sharing my passion with clients worldwide. I am not currently guiding in Madrid.

Welcome to MadriDivine

David Gillison


Native English, Spanish & Italian


I fell in love with Spain in 2007 while studying abroad in Barcelona. In four short months I realized the world outside my own country wasn’t a scary place but actually welcoming, fascinating and fun.

Back in Texas I finished 2 degrees in broadcast journalism and Spanish. I had a brief stint working in a cubicle when the travel bug started to bite. I moved to Seoul, South Korea for a year to teach English. It was a whirlwind year, but it wasn’t my place.

I moved back to Spain in 2011, sights set on Madrid. One year turned into two, I changed jobs, fell in love, improved my Spanish, dealt with the famous Spanish bureaucracy, convinced my younger sister to move to Madrid, lost a parent, bought property and have said many sad goodbyes but also lots of happy hellos. All the while Madrid was there, changing, but retaining that special charm I first experienced in 2007.

My passion for food started as far back as I can remember. I was raised with a strong Italian-American influence from my dad’s side of the family. And the food that came with it. Growing up in the melting pot of Houston I was exposed to a wild variety of food from a young age with the mantra: “You don’t have to like it, but you should at least try it.”

As I began to travel as an adult, food was always the most important part of my trip. It still is. Gastronomy is one of the best ways to learn about a culture and a surefire way to connect with locals. Often it’s the human moments we experience while eating and drinking together that stick with us the most.

Madrid is a city of layers: chronological, cultural and gastronomic. I want to show you these layers through the lens of a local without disturbing the authenticity we are trying to preserve.

“I think food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable.” -Anthony Bourdain

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