Great experience! Our agent was very responsive to any question or concern. They can customize your trip perfectly to your needs and wishes. The hotel recommendations were impressive, offering 3-5 star ratings, so you can spend as little or as much as you want. Don't think it would be easier to book yourself. Let your agent do all that for you. Plus, since you pay for everything prior to departure, you only have to budget for meals (although, all the hotels included a breakfast) and souvenirs.
Exploring the Tuscan countryside. The city guided tours are a must, and enjoyable, and they can recommend great lunch restaurants that aren't tourist traps. But, the activities we chose (truffle hunting, Chianti wine tasting tour, to name 2), was less hectic and enjoyable for me.
I'd let the agent book all the hotels and transfers. I thought I'd want to choose my own rooms at the hotels, but, since you don't spend much time there, it didn't matter really.
I'd also consider staying either in hotels that offer a lounging/living/kitchette area or renting flat. Not sure if that would've been a lot more money. But, for me, after a long day, (especially in the city), I didn't want to sit in the bar. I needed some quite time. Most rooms had one lounge/chair. No place to sit, read, relax - without buying drinks all nite.
But, I wouldn't have known that until AFTER this trip.
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