The trip was very well organized. All went smoothly with the exception of some confusion about where we were to meet for our pasta cooking class. That was quickly and satisfactorily remedied. I think this travel agent did an exceptional job of focusing this trip for our granddaughter, an eleven year old. I commend her efforts.
Our favorite ACTIVITIES were pasta making in Florence, mask-making in Venice. The GUIDES commentary provided added dimension and context to the sites in all three cities. We very much appreciated the narratives and perspectives of these three women. I particularly liked the fact that the TRANSPORT from city to city was perfectly organized and went so smoothly. Our favorite hotel was the hotel in Florence, with it's fabulous breakfast, attentive staff and comfortable room. My least favorite was the Relais Della Rovere. This hotel had a most peculiar creosote-like smell, which had me wondering if there had been some kind of chemical treatment, maybe for bugs? I did find the exoskeleton of what appeared to be a juvenile bed bug in my room and that of a dead bee in the hallway (one of the chemicals used to treat bed bug infestations is highly toxic to bees). Whatever the source of the smell, I did have to sleep with the windows open (rather than have the air on) to prevent having a sore throat.
I would either extend our stay or try to do less. We were TOO busy. (NO time for shopping.) Our agent tried to rein me in on my ideas of what I wanted to see and do to make this a great experience for my granddaughter. Thank God she succeeded to some extent. I also would have skipped the tour of the Guggenheim Museum in Venice and instead just asked to have the tickets for that museum as I don't believe we needed a guided tour.there. In its place, a guide would have been invaluable at the Gallileo Museum in Florence.
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