My husband and I had been talking about going to Italy for years, and we decided 2015 was THE year... However, we just didn't know where to start. Through Zicasso I took a survey about the type of trip we were looking for, but honestly I wasn't expecting much... I had not heard of this company before, and though I had a few people contact me, I could find very little about their companies as well. Regardless, we took a chance and are SO GRATEFUL we did!
Our agent, through this Italy travel company, planned for us our perfect trip! In two weeks we saw Venice, Florence, (and Pisa) Tuscany, Rome, and Sorrento (including the Almafi Coast, Pompeii and Capri) Our hotels were nice, typically 4 stars, our train tickets were taken care of, our tours had guides that were both knowledgeable and spoke great English, and most tours had 15 people or less. We had private tours as well, with our own drivers that made us feel very much like celebrities! (I am a teacher and my husband is an auto technician, so celebrities we certainly are not!)
In every hotel we found excellent customer service, and with the pre-arranged transfers we were able to reach our destinations with time to spare. My husband and I wanted to see the touristy things, as well as experience Italy through the eyes of the locals, and we were able to do both with no difficulties. We enjoyed having a bit of a schedule, with our itinerary pre-planned- yet we never had to wait in the long lines to enter the Colosseum or Vatican; we had a private Gondola ride arranged, walked to the top of Pisa's tower, had a private boat tour of Capri that involved entering the infamous Blue Grotto, were escorted throughout Pompeii with our own personal guide and witnessed things that we know not every other person was able to see. Oh! We even participated in a small, semi-private cooking class that involved a very knowledgeable (and handsome!) chef who took us on a tour of an Italian market and taught us how to make our own pasta, sauces, tiramisu, and bruschetta.
What we also liked, besides the tours, was that we had free time to do what we pleased. Most of our excursions were three hours, so we did not lose an entire day on each tour. We shopped, ate, wondered aimlessly, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
The hotels we stayed at were all very unique. Our favorite was the hotel in Rome, which was a very modern hotel... It had great air conditioning (the temps outside were about 100 degrees daily) a washer and dryer for customers to use, as well as a vending machine that sold bottles of wine for $5. ;) Though it lacked the Italian charms of some of our other hotels, the great A/C, location and staff made it the hotel we will compare others to from this point forward.
Our agent created a trip that we will talk about for the rest of our lives- we mentioned her throughout our trip saying things like "Wow, our agent has out done herself!" or "I wonder how she is going to top today's trip!" and she always did. I can't stress enough how her attention to detail made this a stress free two weeks yet included everything we wanted to do. The money we paid was certainly worth every penny, and we will definitely recommend this agent to anyone and everyone who wants to visit Italy.
Thanks to our agent! And thank you for reading this- I hope it helps to get you one step closer to your dream Italian vacation!
Our favorite part was Tuscanny... The hotel we stayed at was beautiful, the food was delicious and the view was breathtaking!!!! And our wine tour was great! (Please note though- wine tours in Italy include 3-4 stops, which is less than I am used to.)
If we go back to Italy, I would probably spend more time in Florence, Tuscany and Sorrento... Maybe visit Sicily as well. However, if I were to "redo" this trip, I don't think I would change anything. We saw what we wanted to see and experienced everything and more we wanted to experience... I have nothing negative to say about it.
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