Our travel planner was wonderful and the agency delivered all things as promised. We were a bit worried at first about starting the process of developing a curated vacation through an online portal, but got very comfortable after reading reviews and talking with our travel planner. We received 2 proposals and chose our planner. She was enthusiastic, helpful and local to Italy. She did a great job of working with us to set the itinerary with enough relaxation time so that we weren't running too fast. I think we needed a little more down time, but we would've had to sacrifice seeing things that I think were important for our children so her development of the itinerary was excellent. Additionally, our travel planner set up some fantastic events for us including a cooking day in Florence, an amazing hike through the Path of the Gods in Praiano/Positano, a hike in Montepulciano capped by an amazing lunch at a winery and a fabulous restaurant for us in Ravello for our "celebrations" dinner. Simply put, the planning and trip was excellent! Also, the Italian cellphone she provided was a nice touch. We used it daily. The itinerary was thorough and the hotels that were chosen were up to the standard we expected. The drivers and vehicles that took us around were excellent!
There are too many parts to really narrow it down much but things that were truly spectacular included our hike in Motepulciano and lunch at a vineyard along the hike route, our hike along the Path of the Gods with an unforgettable guide who took us to his family's farm during our hike where we picked and ate apricots and plums, our day on a private boat from Sorrento to Capri and the celebrations dinner; probably the finest dinner venue that I've ever experienced.
A few things. First, I would change the amount of time spent in Chianti. I loved our hotel but it was too far from the places we were going to visit each day; Siena, Montepulciano and Florence. The hotel was amazing and I'm glad we stayed there but we needed to shorten our stay to get closer to where we were going to be doing things. I wish we had checked out of our hotel a night early and checked into a hotel in Florence at night after one of our tours/side trips.
Instead of staying in Sorrento, I wish we'd stayed in Positano or Ravello. We ended up visiting these places but the drive to them from Sorrento, while beautiful, was too long.
I felt we had too little time in Florence and that may have had a lot to do with the driving to get there. I would redo this part of the itinerary so that you have more time in this City. We simply didn't give the City enough time. Frankly, I would've skipped Siena to have had an extra day in Florence. From a planning perspective, if a client is only doing two days in Florence and doing Siena, tell them to do 3 days in Florence and save Sienna for next time.
In Rome I wish we'd set up guides for the Coliseum and the Roman Forum. The Forum is hard to appreciate without a good local guide.
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