My wife and I are so glad to have found this Italy travel agent. She planned an excellent trip for us that really took our interests into account. Our trip was about as effortless as a 16 day trip through 6 locations can be. Although only 13 of them were planned through this agent and her comapany, they were happy to accommodate our changes when we decided to add 3 days in Austria to the beginning of our trip, which we planned on our own (with friends).
We also asked them to make some last minute changes (sometimes within 24 hours of a planned event) and they were absolutely fantastic in making the arrangements work. We felt like we had a magic ticket to all of Italy!
It was an experience we will never forget, and we cannot thank our agent and her company enough.
All of the accommodations were amazing and well thought-out. The first, a mysterious 9-room hotel in a hidden alley in Venice. The second, in the middle of Florence, as close to the Ponte Vecchio as you can get. The third was basically on top of the metro in Rome. The best was saved for last, in Sorrento, with the corner unit balcony overlooking the Gulf of Napels with a unique art installation in the room (and extending outside, into the hallway). That blew us away! We never stayed too long in the rooms (except for the last), but each of the accommodations in their own way was the perfect paring for the cities they were in and what we wanted to do.
Speaking of pairings, our trip into Tuscany for an eight-hour, private wine tasting was unforgettable. The scenery took care of itself, and our agent found a remarkable driver/guide who was very friendly and knew much about the area and the wines that were produced there. Italian wines, especially, are not the easiest to learn, but our guide and the hosts at the vineyards were great educators. So not only did we get to taste great Italian wines, we learned much about them too. Perhaps the greatest part of all was that we got to use this new found knowledge throughout the rest of the trip and then came home much better prepared to order and enjoy Italian wines!
Overall, Florence really enchanted us, and we look forward to getting back there sooner rather than later.
We did 4 locations (Venice, Florence, Rome, and Sorrento) over 12 nights (2, 3, 3, and 4). If we had to do it over, we would skip Venice and do (4, 4, 4). We would also skip the mountain drive day-trip to Almafi to give us a full day at Pompeii. The drive through the entire coast was beautiful, however we are both interested in history and enjoyed the 2 hours that we had with an archaeologist on a private tour and would have loved to spend the entire day with her at Pompeii.
Also, even though many Italians speak English (especially in tourist destinations), it would have been nice to know more Italian. You can easily make the trip without knowing a drop, but the experience would have been richer with a better grasp of the language.
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