The trip absolutely exceeded our expectations. Our travel agent took the time to understand what we were hoping to get out of our vacation and planned accordingly. She was quick to answer all questions that came up and made any changes I requested. The itinerary was very easy to follow and we were never unsure of what to do at any given point.
Though we did not expect to, we thoroughly enjoyed the "VIP" cooking class in the Tuscan countryside. It included a trip to a local market, plenty of tastings, and a beautiful setting where we cooked and enjoyed our meal. Not to mention, the staff was top notch. We also were very pleased with our agent's suggestion to go with the private, rather than group, tours of the major sites. It allowed us to have a more personalized experience and ask plenty of questions. The one that really stands out was the guided tour of Florence. We visited the Accademia and Cathedral, but also took a long walk around town, where our guide pointed out various historical landmarks and other interested information about the city. She even shared a few restaurant and gelato recommendations. In each location, we were just happy to not be a part of large groups wearing headphones and following a single guide holding up a flag.
The only thing I may have done differently was consider the locations of the hotels a little more. We found a couple of our accommodations, while beautiful, made it a bit difficult to access the sites and restaurants we were interested in seeing. In Florence and Rome, we had very centrally located hotels, and though they were not as nice as the others, we really valued the location. This is completely my responsibility, not the agents, as she did give me the option and I chose the more secluded locations. This will of course vary from person to person, based on one's priorities for their trip.
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