We had a wonderful time on the trip, and we thought our travel company did a very good job. We had four tour guides in different cities, and all were excellent. We had the same guide in Florence for 3 days, and she was fantastic. She was knowledgeable, friendly, and personable. Her English was excellent. Our tour guide in Bologna was also excellent, giving us a real sense of the city in a few short hours. We really enjoyed our guide in Sienna, who ended the trip with a balcony view of the main square which is something we would have never done on our own. When we had a question or request, our travel company was responsive and always friendly. The rental car drop off and pick up worked well. The cooking class outside of Sienna was a lot of fun as was the cheese tasting. We would have had a hard time scheduling these experiences without the expertise of our travel company.
With that said, I have only given them four stars. Why not five? The challenge is that our prior experience with a Zicasso travel partner was substantially better. What was the difference? The other company was much more proactive in helping us plan the trip and giving us support once we were in Europe. The other company really helped us think through our daily itineraries. This travel company seemed to spend less time thinking through our day. For example, on one day we were driving an hour to our cooking class, and they then scheduled a dinner which was another hour away. It would have been four hours in the car on the same day. When we hired the driver from Como to Sienna, they did not think to schedule a guide in Bologna until we asked. My mind read is that this company is used to working with clients who want full support with a driver and guide every day, and they are less accustomed to working with couples like us who are just looking for some additonal support. The other Zicasso partner gave us a cell phone to use while we were in Europe, making it very easy for us to contact them whenever we needed their help. And they called us every day to see how things were going, to make suggestions for the following day, and to see if we needed any assistance. Our travel company just did not provide this level of support.
We enjoyed the timing of the trip with four or five nights in each city. We loved the tours and learning about the culture. We loved the relaxed feel of the trip, and the incredible food. Of course, we were in some of the most beautiful places on the planet,, and we just loved being in Northern Italy.
I am not sure. I would do a better job of planning some of the restaurants I wanted to eat in. I don’t know if I would go to Lugano, Switzerland which was beautiful but no more beautiful than Lake Como.
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
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