This trip was absolutely wonderful. Alexandra, our travel advisor, listened to what we wanted from the very beginning and during the planning process was attuned to the type of travel experience that we were seeking. Wow, she really delivered in every way. The lodgings she selected were all first rate. The base locations were well selected based on our desire to travel regionally without the necessity of having to change locations too often. This allowed us to have the maximum time to visit each region with comfortable day trips followed by more leisurely evenings at each stop. Even the dining recommendations were stellar -- about 75% of the restaurants we visited were on her recommended list. They were uniformly outstanding. Finally, we had a nice visit with her in Siena in the main piazza which allowed us to be a "face" on our multiple contacts that evolved during the planning process. Our group (4) can easily give her the 5 star rating that her services deserve. If we travel to Italy again, and I am sure that we will, we know where to return with the complete faith that all services will be provided professionally and with a keen insight into satisfying the travel experience that we are seeking.
Umbria and Southern Tuscany are special places. We enjoyed getting lost (sort of) and discovering small, out of the way hill towns like Montechiello and Montefollicino. The wine tasting day was also very enjoyable with our guide Fabbio (selected by Alexandra). In addition, the lodging and Villa Poggiano was simply beyond description. I cannot imagine a more beautiful place to stay. At the end of the day, travel in Italy is about 3 basic things: (1) food; (2) wine; (3) beauty. Along the way, we had the privilege to meet and interact with many, many wonderful people.
We discussed this on the plane back to the USA, and, honestly, we wouldn't do anything differently. My only comment would be to avoid Italy over the Easter holiday and the timing of the trip had nothing to do with Alexandra, the travel company, or Zicasso.
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