This was our first time using this travel company and we were very pleased! Our travel specialist was amazing to work with. She took time to answer many of our questions via email, and also made herself available for discussions over the phone. Everything was above and beyond our expectations - from the hotel suggestions/selections to the private tours that were arranged, and even the restaurant recommendations that she provided. While we could have planned and arranged this trip on our own, it was much less stressful having this company's assistance, and allowed for us to relax and enjoy our vacation!
We spent 12 days between Venice, Florence/Tuscany and Rome. Though 12 days was all the time we had this trip, we cannot wait to return to Italy!
Each city was unique and we had memorable experiences in all of them!
Venice - Venice was breathtaking. We loved the private gondola ride as well as dinner on Lido (at our travel specialist's recommendation). We stayed at a wonderful hotel on the Grand Canal, with beautiful views of the water from our room. Wondering around Venice on foot was so fun! Our private tour of St. Marks' Square, St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace were incredible. The guide was very knowledgeable and engaging. Our travel specialist had also recommended that we make time to visit the islands of Burano and Murano, which we did on our last day. Amazing!
Florence - we absolutely loved Florence. Once again we had a beautiful hotel, which was located next to Santa Maria Novella. Extremely walkable to all sights in and around the city. The food in Florence was unbelievable. Favorite experiences included climbing to the top of the Duomo (cupola) for panoramic views of Florence, hiking up to Piazzale Michelangelo, and visiting the Uffizi and Academia museums. We loved our tour guide in Florence - she was incredible! Not only was she knowledgeable but she was able to answer all questions and you could tell she was very passionate about the art and history. Our time with this guide was one of our favorite experiences in Italy.
While in Florence we took a day to explore the Tuscan countryside, which was amazing! Our driver (who was fantastic) took us to a terracotta factory on the way to the town of Greve, where we enjoyed cappuccinos and purchased food from the local butcher shop. Next, we went to a family owned winery for a tour, wine tasting and incredible lunch. Our driver then took is to Siena for the afternoon where we explored the beautiful city. He was so fun! We loved spending the day with him.
Rome - At first Rome seemed a bit overwhelming due to the size, but we really enjoyed our time here. We walked everywhere! We explored many parts of the city, and loved all of the history, culture and artifacts that could be found around every corner. We spent most every evening sipping a Sprtiz at our favorite trattoria on Trestevere. Our hotel was centrally located to everything we wanted to see which was ideal. Many thanks to our travel specialist for the restaurant recommendations, as we had our favorite meal in all of Italy while in Rome! We had two private tours in Rome - one of Ancient Rome that included the Colosseum and Pantheon, and one in Vatican City, where we explored St. Peter's Square, St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. This was an unbelievable experience! We are so happy we chose to do private tours rather than join a group. Having the one on one experience with a guide made all of the difference.
All in all this was an incredible experience which we will never forget. We walked over 112 kilometers, had amazing food and wine, saw incredible sights and immersed ourselves in all of the amazing history and culture that Italy has to offer. Many thanks to this company especially our travel specialist, for putting this vacation together for us! Grazie mille!
The only thing we can think that we would do differently would be to stay longer! We might also reallocate some of our days - we spent 3 days in Venice and in hindsight, wish we would have spent less time in Venice and more time in either Florence or Rome.
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