Overall a wonderful trip planned by this travel company. Our agent did a great job choosing hotels, setting up individualized tours and arranging transportation (it is a great comfort to be have airport to hotel trips pre-arranged). Especially noteworthy were her choice of tour guides, simply wonderful!
The most memorable part of the trip for us was hiking from Portofino to San Fruttuoso. It was unplanned. The national park near Portofino is outstanding and the vistas spectacular. I would highly commend the tour guides as well. All were superb and shared wonderful bits of knowledge with us! The luncheon in the Chianti region was a pleasant surprise as we weren't expecting such personalized service. And, as we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversay while in Florence, the Michelin star restaurant we celebrated at was fantastic.
We did not specify an automatic shift car for rental, not realizing that the standard in Italy is manual. It has been 10 years since my husband drove a manual shift and with the challenges of city driving in Italy, we opted to switch. It was a minor hassle, but we were successful in doing so.
Not appreciating the distance from Portofino to Cinqueterra, we chose an option to take a "private yacht". It was a rather expensive option and I would not do it again. The trip was 2 hours each way, and with a windy day, the spray was such that we were forced to go under cover for part of the trip. With such a time commitment, I also would have started the day much earlier than we did. I think the yacht would be fun for close to shore, port hops, not the longer distance. Train service in the area seemed easy and probably would have made a better option.
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