My husband and I used this company to plan our honeymoon in Italy. Most of the planning for the trip took place via back-and-forth emails. My husband and I communicated our budget as well the cities we wanted to visit and our general expectation. The company was very easy to work with in the planning stages. About a month before our trip, we received a packet in the mail with vouchers for our services, an itinerary, maps, general information on Italy, and a cute little apron and potholders with the company logo. We spent 2 days in Venice, 4 days in Florence, 4 nights in Positano, and 3 nights in Rome.
As for the trip itself, my husband and I enjoyed ourselves but things did not go flawlessly. Some of the times on the vouchers did not correspond with the timing laid out in our itinerary. For example, we took a 6 hour tour in Chianti that the itinerary stated began at 9am. The voucher was for a tour at 6pm. Luckily my husband and I assumed the tour would not go from 6pm to midnight and arrived at the correct time.
It's difficult not to have a good time on your honeymoon in Italy but there was not a lot of down time on this trip. I had stated that I wanted to make sure my husband and I had 4 or 5 days in Positano, we somehow ended up with 3 full days and 4 nights. Part of that was probably my fault but not all. For instance, the day for our tour in Pompei had to be altered in such a way that it cut into time in Positano. Also, an extra day was given to us in Rome (they were really pushing more days in Rome from beginning to end) that could have been spent on the coast. I felt that 2 days in Rome would have been enough.
At the beginning stages of planning the trip I stated, in what I thought was a clear way, that we wanted to stay in 3 and 4 star hotels only- nothing less than 3 stars. If the budget we gave did not allow it, we could be flexible. The first couple hotels were adorable (one 3 star and one 4) with great locations. The hotel in Rome where we ended our honeymoon was quite a shock. The location was just ok and the room itself was tiny and bare with white walls. It felt like we were in a hospital of some sort (it was clean and people were nice). There was a tiny window without a view and the shower in the bathroom was so small we could barely move in it. When I looked the hotel up on the internet I was not shocked to see that it was a 2 star hotel. Not sure how or why that happened. Not a good way to end a honeymoon... Also, in Rome, I got an email from our travel company stating that we were accidentally given a nicer room than was intended due to, shocker, incorrect wording on the voucher. The company apologized for their mistake and then seemed to reprimand us for not picking up on the mistake. It was very odd- I wasn't sure what the point of the email was.
Lastly, I was not quite sure where our money went. The hotels we had were nice but nothing special and when I looked up the costs of our tours/ trains things did not seem to add up.
Overall, my husband and I had a good honeymoon but probably would not recommend this company.
We loved the walking tours in Pompei, Venice, and Rome. We learned so many interesting things and had great guides. Positano was beautiful. The wine tasting tour in Chianti was a blast!
More time on the coast, a day less in Florence. We would have taken a full day trip to Siena, which was beautiful, instead of half day in Siena and half in San Gimignano, which was touristy and silly. A day less in Rome. I definitely would have chosen another hotel in Rome...
Travel Company's Comment
Thank you so much for taking the time to complete a Zicasso review for our company. We take an active interest in our clients' feedback and appreciate the time and thought you put into your response.
We are very glad to hear that you largely enjoyed your honeymoon in Italy and found the planning of your trip to be easy and stress-free. Unfortunately, I see that you were disappointed by some aspects of your trip, which I'd like to take a moment to address.
In regards to the voucher typo, we take full responsibility for this error. Although we check our very detailed documents to ensure there are no mistakes, we are still human and on rare occasions there is a typo. However, we have taken measures to ensure that if there is an error or confusion, it will not impact our clients' trip. We give our clients contact information for all our vendors so they can contact the vendor directly should they have any questions (in your case, a discrepancy between the itinerary and voucher times). We also give clients our own 24/7 number which they can use to reach us at any time during their travels. This way we can address and eliminate any concerns that might arise while they are in Italy. Although you did not use either resource, please understand that they were there for your convenience.
In regards to amount of time on the Amalfi Coast, Rome, and the tour in Pompeii, I'd like to emphasize that we never push our clients to do something they do not want to do. Given our expertise, we offer suggestions as to what we feel would be the optimal trip layout along with an explanation. If the client is still uninterested, then we do whatever the client wants.
You only asked for 2 nights in Rome in your initial response, in hopes to add another destination to your trip. When we explained why we generally advise at least 3 nights in Rome, you approved 3 nights from then on and never suggested otherwise.
We also never received an explicit need for 4 or 5 days on the coast. At one point we were working with you to decide between 5 nights in Florence or 5 nights in Positano, however you decided to shorten your trip by one day and told us 4 nights in each would be perfect. I'm sorry if you wish you could have stayed longer, but we feel there was no way for us to have known this in advance given our correspondence.
In regards to the hotel in Rome, it is in fact a 3* property. We have been working with the hotel for about 4 or 5 years now without any complaints and inspected it personally. The property is your typical Italian 3* in terms of the rooms, size, dcor, etc. However, it had been rated as a 2* previously because there was no elevator, and according to Italian regulations a hotel must have an elevator in order to be rated a 3* or higher. The hotel finally had an elevator put in within the last year and is thus officially a 3* property now, but since this is a new addition many websites still list it as a 2*. I'd like to also note that the location of the hotel is one of the best in Rome. It is located directly next to Piazza Navona, and cannot be more ideal! This is why we love the property and why our past clients have loved it too.
Between the superb location and fantastic staff, this property is definitely one of our most popular with clients, especially for the price. Even still, when we finalized your itinerary, we found that we were under your budget after adjusting for the exchange rate. Because of this, we suggested upgrading your accommodations in Rome to a 4*, but you decided to proceed in confirming your trip as it was. We also asked if you had any questions when we emailed you the list of all your hotels after receiving confirmations from the properties. I wish we could have had this discussion at that time so your concerns could have been addressed and your trip could have proceeded in alignment with the expectations you've expressed in your review.
Finally, I understand that you were unimpressed with your trip to Siena and San Gimignano, and I must say that your feedback is highly unusual for our clients. San Gimignano is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is unique in the world. It is a stunning and very well-preserved medieval town with incredible views of the countryside. We suggest visiting San Gimignano with tours to Siena as the two locations are close that it is a very convenient opportunity, but also because we don't want clients to feel as though they missed out by not at least being given the option to see both. We would not have been able to decrease your stay in Florence given the excursions and tours you were interested in, and I apologize that we did not understand your preference for all that I've addressed above.
Thank you again for your feedback as it is very important to us. I apologize if there was any miscommunication, and I wish there had been a way for us to have better understand your expectations prior to your trip so that we could have adjusted your itinerary accordingly.
I wish you the best in your future travels!
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
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