We just completed our first trip to Italy with our 5 children. We put our trust in these Italy travel agents to guide us through Rome, Florence and Venice and they did a spectacular job. From the private transfers to the guided tours, hotels, recommended restaurants and more, everything was first class. Our agent's recommendations on a variety of activities helped to keep the kids engaged and offered more than your standard walking tours.
Our agents were very flexible with our itinerary. They made numerous changes for us as we planned and were always gracious about it. Everyone of their recommendations were right on.
The hotels all more than met our expectations. All were conveniently located to everything that we wanted to do. They knew when to put us in the middle of the mix and when to move us out a little. From the small boutique hotel in Rome which sheltered us from the big city but located us in the market (by day) and the Palazzo (at night) to the exquisite accommodations in Florence and to the trendy hotel in Venice on the Grand Canal close enough to busy St Marc's Square but tucked away on the back end in a quite neighborhood, we were always happy with our temporary homes.
The mix of activities was what made this fun for everyone. Our children range from 21 to 13. My husband and I could stay in museums all day but we knew we needed more for the kids. Blending in cooking classes, bike tours and boat tours was the perfect mix to break things up.
I could not think of ever using anyone else when it comes to planning such a wonderful vacation.
In Rome the tours of Vatican City and Ancient Rome were breathtaking. What made it even nicer was the knowledge of each of our guides and their ability to get us past long lines. But to top off Rome our pizza making class in a wonderful restaurant will stick with our family because of the fun we had making and eating our pizza.
In Florence nothing will replace our bike tour through Chianti and our wonderful host at Podere La Capella. She welcomed us into her home, cooked us a meal to die for and toured us through her wine cellar as she explained how they make the wine we all got to taste through lunch. We felt like family from the start and the bike ride helped to erase the guilt of eating so much!
In Venice, our guide made a magical place even more magical. To experience St Marc's Basilica and Square was wonderful but to walk the back streets throughout Venice and tour Murano and Burano and experience the true Venice life style brought such wonderful memories back of my grandparents and parents. Again, as with every one of our guides, she was not only knowledgeable but she was so friendly we felt like we had known her for much longer than the two days we were with her. They were all very considerate of the kids and stopped and offered treats and breaks when they noticed it was time.
On our next trip we will use the free days more wisely. Even though everyone needed a day to sleep in to catch up we missed the opportunity to explore a little more on our own. We would also put the free day more towards the end of a stay in one location so that we can see and understand the area with the guide first and than decide where we want to explore further on our own based on the knowledge and the experience of the tour guide.
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