From the very beginning we had a truly incredible experience in Italy. Our Italy travel tour company was knowledgeable and experienced, and they were able to work with us to plan the perfect vacation within our budget.
Then they provided us with a detailed Itinerary book that got us to each destination wihtout the slightest trouble. We never worried about missing tours or pickups. The hotels were absolute jewels. I am sure that, had I planned the trip alone, it would have been far more expensive and not gone nearly as well.
First off a general comment, our tour guides were truly stunning. Each one spoke excellent English, was extremely knowledgeable about the area and the tour's content, and were more than willing to spend extra time with us to suggest good restaurants nearby or to put us on the right path towards our next destination. It really made the trip special to hear all the little stories about ordinary buildings we walked past between monuments or other major locations. They strongly encouraged questions, and had some of the funniest stories.
The most enjoyable moment of the trip was, by far, the Tuscan cooking class we had in Florence. Our chef taught at a local culinary school and his English was excellent. He started off the class by showing us the contents of his grocery bag from his shopping in the morning, and he was more than willing to adjust the menu to fit our tastes perfectly. Then we shared some coffee and began to cook. From there is was simply amazing, both at the sheer fun of helping him make culinary magic, and us laughing at his sense of humor. Several times during the class we used olive oil made on site, picked herbs from their herb garden right outside the door, and we enjoyed excellent wine. At the end of the class my sisters told me that they would have enjoyed a vacation that consisted solely of a daily cooking class with our Chef.
The tour of the Roman Forum and the Colloseum was also incredible. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable as we walked through the Forum, and then we got to go underground to see the areas of the Colloseum where all the "backstage" work was done. It was an amazing experience topped off by a visit to the VIP section at the top of the Colloseum where we got amazing overhead views of the stadium as well as wonderful views of the Roman Skyline.
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