~~The trip was fabulous!!!
I had been to Italy a few years ago on a bus tour with 90 people. So for this trip after finding this travel company I knew where I wanted to go but didn't know where to stay or how to get around and I didn't want to go with another tour group. This trip was planned over a 2 week period with emails that I sent back and forth to our agent. He was an amazing travel agent and even though there was a 7 hour time delay between our locations he responded back to me faster than any travel agent that I had used in the states. So here is my review of the itinerary that he planned for us. We did make our own air reservations and sent the information to our agent and he had the transportation waiting for us.
The transportation was excellent. The water taxi from the Venice airport to our hotel was amazing. The driver showed us places along the way where he used to jump off of when he was a kid. We were always on time and the transfers from the train to getting the car were so easy. There was always someone waiting at the end of the train platform with our name. The pickups from the hotel were also on time and the drivers extremely courteous and would show us the sites on the way. When we arrived and had to walk to the hotels it was close to the train station and not at all hard to find.
The hotels that were selected for us were right in the heart of the cities/areas that we visited: Venice 2 days, Florence 3 days, Sorrento 3 days, Rome 3 days. All the hotels were very clean, the bathrooms were recently renovated, and the staff was very helpful whenever we needed a recommendation for a restaurant or directions they had a map and showed us where to go. We stayed in the 3 star hotels which are quite small compared to US standards but for the savings in price it was perfect for my daughter and I. If my husband would have gone he wouldn't have fit in any of the showers being that he is 6'2". Also the view from the hotel rooms were obstructed but we were never in the room except to sleep so it was not an issue for us. When we were in Rome the hotel receptionist apologized for the size of the room when he knew we were from the US, he was so nice, and actually that room wasn’t the smallest that we stayed in. The one in Sorrento was smaller, but they had a beautiful balcony with a fabulous view of the ocean.
The private tours were excellent in Rome (Vatican City – Colosseum – Palatino), Florence walking tour and Venice walking tour. The guides took us to places that were not seen by many tourists along with the main sites in the area. We were so pleased with every one of them. I can’t say enough about how great they are!! This was the best part of the trip and I’m so glad we had this experience instead of being herded around with the receivers hanging around our neck.
-The Tuscany bus tour was good in the morning, San Gimniano, and the wine tasting at noon was excellent, but the afternoon of Sienna and the castle were quite boring, it was also pouring rain so maybe that had something to do with it. I thought there would be more wine tasting and maybe a tour of how they made the wine, so I’m thinking I didn’t give enough information to pick the best tour. The tour guide on the bus was good but she kept having to change from English to French which got annoying and the microphone on the bus wasn’t working' so we really couldn’t hear her since we were seated in the back of the bus. -The Capri tour was not very good because of the tour guide who did nothing but keep giving us times that we had to meet with him, he really didn’t do any tour guide stuff except show us a map of the island then we were on our own. It also cost extra to take the chair lift up to Ana Capri which was awesome and I’m glad we went. But we also had to pay for the boat ride around Capri and they put so many of us on the boat that we were stuck inside and really couldn’t see much of the island so that wasn’t worth it at all.
-The Pompeii tour with our guide was fabulous. She was very knowledgeable and gave a lot of information on the bus ride and the microphone was working and only English was spoken. Then the tour through Pompeii was excellent once we got through all the lines. Our tickets were paid for and taken care of but none of the other people on the bus had tickets so we had to wait while everyone (about 40 people) stood in line behind other bus tours to purchase theirs before starting the tour.
The amount of time that we spent in each of the locations was perfect, not too little and not too much. Compared to my last trip to Italy this was the way to go we went at our pace and we did do a lot of walking. I would definitely recommend this company to any of my friends and family. We were so lucky to find this agency.
The private tour guides!!
I would not do the bus tours. We were so spoiled with the private tour guides. I would try to figure out how to have the private guides for the whole trip.
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