Our travel agent was great to work with and our trip was exactly what we signed up for! From the beginning, our agent was quick to respond and easy to communicate with. He provided us with some great ideas for where to stay and things to see and do in each city. We worked together to narrow down our hotel options and then picked the ideal hotel for each location, and they all worked our perfectly! Our agent sent us a very detailed packet two weeks prior to traveling that included a print-out of every location, maps, tickets, confirmation numbers, walking maps, etc. it gave us the comfort and confidence to travel on our own and knew that we always had someone to call in the event we needed help. Our agent made himself available throughout our trip and we kept in contact on a regular basis. I'd highly recommend this company and would absolutely hire them to help plan trips in the future.
The entire trip was amazing but my personal favorite location was our time spent in Sorrento, Italy. When I fly 8+ hours to another country, I like to see and do as much as possible. But when you take a long vacation, its important to bake some relaxation into your trip. 3 days in Sorrento was perfect and I wish we could have stayed longer. Our hotel was on the side of a cliff overlooking the bay and waking up to the sea breeze with breakfast on the balcony is my idea of a perfect vacation.
My favorite activity in Venice, Florence and Rome was the 2-hour introduction walking tour. I'm not a complete history buff but definitely appreciate learning the history and culture of each city. I found that a 2 hour walking tour in a small group is the perfect amount of time to get a taste for the city, learn some history, get recommendations for local restaurants/bars, and determine where to spend the rest of your time while in that location. Anything less than 2 hours isn't enough, and any longer becomes a lot of walking and my attention span goes out the window. I highly suggest scheduling a walking tour on the day of arrival and wait to book other tours until after you've spent a couple hours getting a feel for the city. Obviously, its a smart idea to book the Vatican City tour in Rome in advance, but for a city such as Venice, we opted to skip the Basilica di San Marco and enjoy other aspects of the island suggested by our walking tour guide.
This was my first time to Venice and Florence, but second time to Rome and Sorrento. It was my wife's first time to Italy so we agreed this trip was to spend a couple days in each location, check out the main attractions, do one tour or excursion in each location, and relax in the evenings with a nice dinner on on own schedule. We wanted to see and do as much as possible but still be able to enjoy our vacation and come back to work re-charged.
This trip was exactly what we signed up for and it worked out perfectly. Using this travel agent to help coordinate and book everything in advance saved us the stress and anxiety of thinking or worrying while in a foreign country. Our entire trip was organized and mapped out, most everything was paid for in advance, so when we were there all we had to do was follow the itinerary and enjoy ourselves. From that perspective, I wouldn't have changed anything.
For future trips, I will probably limit the number of cities visited and spend at least one more day in each city. I will also plan to have one day in each city with absolutely nothing scheduled so that we have more flexibility to relax or do a spontaneous excursion.
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