This summer my family traveled to Venice, Florence, and Rome. We had an AMAZING and unforgettable vacation! Our travel company played a critical role in the success of our trip. They coordinated all of our tours, activities, and transportation once we arrived in Italy. There were nine people in my group with a ride range of ages (5 years old to 65 years old). Our travel company did a great job of providing activities that appealed to everyone in our group. They also checked in with us daily while we were on our vacation to make sure things went smoothly. This travel company was almost perfect but we did run into one problem. When my sister arrived at the airport to depart to Venice she was not allowed to board the flight because her passport was going to expire within the next 90 days. Apparently, Italy will not allow you to entire the country if your passport will expire within 90 days. We were completely unaware of this rule. We were all devastated and my sister was in tears. This problem could have been avoided had our travel company reminded us to make sure our passports were not going to expire within 90 days. Eventually my sister was able to join the rest of us in Italy but she missed the entire Venice portion of the trip. It also cost her a tremendous amount of money to change her flights and get an emergency passport. A simple reminder from the company to make sure none of our passports were going to expire within 90 days would have prevented stress, devastation, and unanticipated expenses. After my sister joined the rest of our family in Florence the trip got back on track and we had an amazing time!
The most enjoyable part of the trip was eating GREAT food in all three cities and learning about the history of Italy. While we were in Venice my husband and I got to experience Festa del Redentore. This festival celebrates the end of the plague that killed 50,000 people in 1576. On the eve of the festival Venice comes alive as people line the streets to watch the magnificent fireworks show. There were gondolas and boats everywhere on the water to watch the show. We decided to watch the fireworks from the rooftop of our AMAZING hotel! This was a real treat! Venice also had great shopping. Once we arrived in Florence my husband, dad, brother, and brother in law traveled to Bologna to tour the Ferrari, Ducati, and Lamborghini factories. They LOVED this part of the trip!! They got to test drive some SUPER FANCY cars and they loved every minute of it. This was an experience they will always remember. While the men were gone my mom and I did some shopping in Florence. Florence had great shopping! We bought some amazing purses and luxury Italian soaps! The most memorable part of Rome was visiting Vatican City. We had a very knowledgeable tour guide and we had skip the line access. This allowed us to experience Vatican City in a way that most people don't.
Our favorite accommodations were in Venice and Florence. The rooms were a nice size, had modern furnishings, were clean and well air conditioned. They also had a nice breakfast buffet every morning and room service. I highly recommend both of these hotels.
If I could take this trip again I would stay longer. Our trip was 9 days and we packed a lot of activities into 9 days. As a result, things felt super busy at times. In hindsight I wish we had more "down time" to relax.
I would probably choose to stay somewhere else in Rome. We stayed at a place called Navona 49. It is a luxury apartment/suite building. The location was AMAZING but it lacked some of the conveniences you appreciate at a hotel. For example, at Navona 49 they did not clean our room everyday, the rooms were not well air conditioned and the breakfast options were VERY limited. The TVs in the rooms didn't work well so we couldn't adjust the volume which was annoying. With a few tweaks Navona 49 could be great.
Travel Company's Comments
Welcome home Jessica! Thanks so much for sharing all of your adventures. It sounded like there were a lot of memorable experiences that your family will remember! The Ferrari day seems like a highlight!
We were so sorry to learn of Erin’s delay due to her passport issue. As you know, we do not handle air arrangement and as stated in our Terms and Conditions that we were unable to process passports or visas.
However, we were in constant contact with your sister to change her pick up to ensure that she would be pick up by our representative in Venice and would not have any other delays. We were glad that all went smoothly once the family was reunited in Florence.
Thank you again for choosing our company. Have a great summer and we hope to see you again in Italy soon.
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