My family just returned from a ten night trip to Rome and Tuscany planned by this agent and his company. Every aspect of the trip was simply perfect.
I've travelled a fair amount for both work and pleasure over the past forty years, so my requirements are fairly specific. Our agent exceeded all of my expectations in planning this 60th birthday trip for my wife and entire family. Planning started over a year ago with a number of e-mails with our agent describing what we were looking for - punctual drivers, passionate and professional guides, all tickets purchased in advance, coordinating multiple travel schedules. Our travel agent delivered on all fronts.
Our agent suggested an itinerary almost a year ago - an itinerary that we continued to fine tune over time. Throughout that process, he was responsive - never taking more than a day to respond to detailed questions and requests for modifications. He was also the consummate professional, always patient and thoughtful, with suggestions that always improved the final product. Restaurant reservations for lunches and dinners for the entire trip were added to the final detailed itinerary.
We agreed upon four nights in Rome and six in Tuscany. Not one driver was late for a pick-up and the guides ranged from very good to exceptional. All of the drivers and guides coordinated with each other, and all had the necessary tickets to the various sites, providing easy access without standing on lengthy lines. In Rome, special kudos go to our guide for his passionate tours of Vatican City and Ancient Rome.
On the trip to Florence, our driver stopped in Orvieto and our guide provided a fascinating tour of the city. In the afternoon, we stopped at Barbi vineyards for a wonderful tour, lunch and wine tasting. Very intimate, educational and delicious. Probably the best vineyard experience we've ever had. Our wine educator, was wonderful.
The wonders of Florence speak for themselves - and we had a first rate guide in Ulrich. Our driver for the entire stay was personable, professional and punctual - and always in contact with the various guides. Our guide also provided a memorable tour of Pisa and Lucca, offering information about both cities that might not be found in a guidebook. An unexpected mini-concert at Pisa's Baptistry was a real treat. As a newly minted sommelier, our guide joined us for a fabulous lunch in Lucca at Borgo Antico where she continued with her discussion of Lucca and wine.
We had a charming archaeologist and cyclist guide through San Gimignano, Siena and a 10KM hike in the gorgeous Val d' Orcia from from Montalcino to Fattoria La Maggia, where we had a wonderful tour, lunch and wine tasting. It's worth noting that our guide rode the trail the morning before our hike to ensure that it was clear.
One of the highlights of the trip was an evening with a personal chef, caterer and sommelier. We met her at her home where, over a three hour period, she brought her love for food to life. We learned how to cook (and eat) pasta, a delicious chicken and vegetable dish and tiramusu. She is charming.
Bottom line, this was a trip of a lifetime. This travel agent is a patient and good listener and the guides he engaged were passionate professionals who made this such a memorable trip. This travel agent and his company have my families unconditional recommendation - and our gratitude. Grazie mille!
October 13, 2017
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