It was a great trip - like an Intensive Italy course! The best part was the tour guides and the smooth logistics provided by our Italy travel agency. The guides were just great across the board - knowledgeable, flexible, kind, open to questions, interesting, had good stories that kept us all engaged, etc. - and the logistics/arrangements went off like clockwork, allowing us to do probably 2 times what we would have been able to do on our own, and to do it without stress. We really appreciated the fact that the tour guides and drivers were also communicating with each other so the "hand-offs" were really smooth.
We all especially loved the day that we had a car and driver take us from Florence to Rome via San Gimignano (explored on our own) and Siena (explored with a guide), though if asked, our teen-agers will say that their favorite place was Venice, though they liked the ruins in Rome a lot as well. They also loved the Segway tour (teen-agers love Segways and we adults have a great time, too!) which our agency kindly inserted into our itinerary at our request.
The Venice and particularly the Rome hotel rooms were tiny (in part due to our budget), but our agency made us aware of this in advance. All the hotels were quiet and clean, the locations were great - very central, and the breakfasts were fine.
Overall I've already told friends that we appreciated that our agency listened to our specific interests, priorities, and the way we like to travel as a family, and designed a program just for us. Our agent was also very easy to work with and efficient.
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