I took my son to Italy for his high school graduation trip. Our itinerary included Sorrento with a day trip to Isle of Capri, a stop to visit Pompeii, Florence with a day trip to Tuscany, Bologna with a foodie day trip into the Italian countryside and Venice. It was the best trip of our lives. Our travel agency took care of every detail making this the most stress free trip I have ever taken. The accommodations were lovely and the drivers and guides that our agency set up were top of the line professional. This company was also terrific rearranging our itinerary when we changed a couple of destinations mid way through the planning process and were fantastic at making suggestions. The connections this company has in Italy really makes the difference.
Without question our time in Bologna which we added to our trip at the last minute was the highlight of our trip. Our agent grew up in Bologna and suggested it to us. Away from the hoards of tourists we encountered in Sorrento, Florence and Venice, we walked and dined among the Italians. We stayed in a luxurious five star hotel that completely spoiled us. During our stay our travel agency set up a cooking course one day and a foodie tour to visit the gastronomic delicacies of that area. Also included in our foodie tour was a stop by the Ferrari factory and test drive center where we all took a spin. For lunch our tour guide had set up the best meal we had the entire trip in a lovely restaurant overlooking beautiful vinyards. Definitely a highlight.
While we were in Florence we also took a day trip to Tuscany and visited Sienna and San Gimignano. Our driver surprised us by taking us to a fabulous winery, Sant' Appiano, for lunch where we tasted 8 wines and spirits to accompany one the many superb multi course meals.
While all our guides and drivers were superb, I must make a special mention of our guide who was responsible for getting us from the train in Venice, boarding us onto our water taxi and dropping us at our hotel on the Grand Canal. She provided us with a superb walking tour of Venice and returned to pick us up at our hotel and take us by water taxi back to the airport to catch our flight back to the states.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of these guides and drivers who removed any stress of travel from the southern tip to the northern tip of Italy.
I would travel to more towns off the proverbial tourist path. I would also try to go early May instead of June which is peak tourist season. Bologna was such a treat that we would have loved to have had an extra day there. Next time I would also like to schedule a couple of night activities such as the opera in Verona. And we would spend the money to upgrade our hotel in Florence to a five star.
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