This happened to be the "BEST" vacation/honeymoon we have ever had. My wife and I have been together for many years, and this was well over due. The initial problem was finding where to go, for she has been all over the world for work. We decided on Italy, not only that she has not been there, it is also because I have never been to Europe (I'm usually staying home with the dog and or kids). So now I'm searching for travel agencies/tours etc... So naturally you see what the big name guys have and see what they have to offer. Pretty much they were all the same, being bused here and there in groups, everything being timed and or rushed.... to me this is not our well over due honeymoon, we're not young kids. This is something for our kids to do.
So the next thought was to see maybe construct our own excursions and do everything ourselves. Then I found Zicasso Travel... custom made luxury planning. I checked them out and found out that this company, depending on where you are going, gives your information to their contracted local agencies for the place you are going to. To me this is perfect, for they know how to make your visit more enjoyable as a regular instead of your plain tourist.
I gave my info on their site and within 2 days I was contacted by our agent this travel agency via email. She is from the United States and has been living in Italy for the past 15 years I think she said. I thought fantastic and where do we begin. She wanted to know everything, from interests (places to see), regions (places to stay), likes and dislikes, budget, when and how long you are going for. The initial plan was for 2 weeks but cut down to 12 days (wife had to go to work). Within a few weeks and a few changes, we had a plan. This plan was customized to our thoughts and needs, AND all private - from the time you stepped out of the airport to the time you stepped back into the airport to go home. No rushing anywhere and could change with our guides and or driver which we did a few times (skipped the length of tour to rest/eat/relax at local places or see a different part of the area).
Now we received the price and was more than expected, but this was a once in life-time trip, and we needed it badly. The initial payment we did via Credit card then wired the rest via bank transfer. We were nervous paying to this company for they were not well known (only a few reviews that I found but all 5 star) and was hoping this is not a scam. Another reviewer stated the same, and he was glad he did. So with all things taken care of, we could not wait to get there. "A major note is to wear comfortable walking shoes, for you will be doing a lot of walking."
First stop Rome. We were greeted by our designated driver for the next 4 days. He was great! I had a little problem at first that I forgot to pack extra batteries for my hearing aids, so as we left the airport and he was showing us around, we were looking for batteries. We stopped at a hearing aid place and they had them. He saved my life for my wife would have killed me. A couple of hours driving around we finished seeing parts of Rome, picked up the special letter to see the Pope the next day, and now at the beautiful Hotel, where check-in went fast and smooth. The rest of the day was to relax. Early the next day was off to Vatican City, Service with the Papal, then off to the recommended place for lunch. After lunch, we met our tour guide. She is a beautiful, intelligent, knowledgeable young woman and a blessing to have. She took us on our first tour of the Vatican & Sistine chapel ending with St Peters. She gave us a few recommendations of where to eat - fantastic. The next day we were off to Pompeii and along the coast. It's a long drive but worth it. There in Pompeii we met our private tour guide, who is a knowledgeable and funny young man. A pleasure to have as he took us around the ruins. After that, we drove along the coast to our next stop for lunch. Instead of eating inside at the recommended place, we decided to eat outside close by for it was a beautiful day. Walked around a bit with our driver and then drove back to hotel to relax. The next day, we saw our beautiful tour guide again as we walked around ancient Rome. It was raining on and off so we grabbed an umbrella at the hotel. We had a great time with her again. She dropped us off to eat at the end of our tour and gave us recommendations of where to go on our own. We took a taxi to the ancient underground burial caverns and took a group tour there, then back to hotel to relax.
Next stop Florence. Our driver picked us up again as we checked out and stopped at a few places along the way. We arrived to a beautiful hotel on top of a hill over-looking the city. The next day we took a taxi into town early for breakfast and meet another lovely woman for another full day of tours. Another great day!. The next day our new designated driver picked us up for 2 Chianti wine tours stopping in between for lunch. The next day our driver picked us up to explore 2 towns, Siena and San Gimignano, on our own. While having lunch in San Gimignano, I ask our waiter where I can get a pair of new reading glasses, mine broke the night before. He directed us a few blocks away and picked up a new pair. No matter where you go, the people are very friendly and speak English.
Next stop Venice. The next day, our driver picked us up as we checked out and transferred us to the train station where we took a high-speed train to Venice. As we got out of the train station, we had a hard time finding our private water taxi due to construction by the near-by church. Within 15 minutes, our agent called my cell and directed us to our taxi. I was in amazement, like she was watching us from above and knew we were lost. God bless her. Found our driver and off we went. As we got to the port, our private water taxi driver directed us to the hotel a few blocks away. We walked past the hotel twice, asked a young lady at one of the local shops and just pointed to the other side of the walkway down 100 feet/30 meters. LOL... Again, check-in was fast and easy and relaxed with a little bit of exploring on our own. The next day our private guide was waiting for us in the lobby. She gave us a beautiful tour of this city and stopping to get one of the best gelato we ever had. Also instead of taking our private Gondolier ride in the early evening, our guide made arrangements for after the tour to take the ride and to drop us off on the other side of the Grand Canal so we can explore this beautiful church and be close to the hotel. Later that evening, we had dinner reservation and instead of walking (that's all you do in Venice) we decided to take a water bus. Well this was an experience. What we found out was that there are 2 sections next to each other, so if you need to go down the canal to the right, you get in the left side section and vise/versa. Yes we got on the wrong side. We did not realize this till 4 stops later where we got off and paid again to the correct section. Called the restaurant stating we will be late. We finally made it even with a few wrong turns. Dinner was great and took water bus back. The next day, we were on our own to explore till late afternoon when we met our guide in the lobby. She took us on a Baccari wine tour to 2 places and then off to our private sunset cruise along the Grand Canal to end our honeymoon.
Everything that our agent planned for us was great. This Trip will be forever embedded in our hearts.
This is a tough question... If this was your first trip to Italy, I'd change nothing. As far as a return trip, see different regions.
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
Zicasso matches you with the world’s best travel specialists.
Get Your Trip Planned
"This happened to be the "BEST" vacation/honeymoon we have ever had."
"Tour was well organized and all hotels were very good. Tour guides were excellent and drivers very dependable."
"Our travel specialist did such an amazing job planning our dream honeymoon."
Copyright © 2021 Zicasso, Inc. All Rights Reserved. CST 2124858-50.
Headquarters: 650 Castro St., Suite 120-447,
Mountain View, CA 94041, USA