Our trip to Italy was amazing! Six of us traveled together including my husband and me, our two teenage sons and my parents. The travel agent could not have put together a better itinerary for us. Everything was perfectly planned and executed. It was such a relief to step off the plane or a train and see a driver holding up our name. Our travel agent thought of everything and her careful planning eliminated all the stressors that can accompany an overseas trip. We just got to focus on having fun and learning as much as we could about Italy. My parents have traveled a lot on their own and after this trip, they were total converts to having someone take care of all the details of the trip.
We traveled to Rome, Sorrento (Naples area), Florence and Venice. In addition to arranging hotels and transportation for us, our travel agent arranged private tours for us. We did walking tours in Rome, Florence and Venice, a tour of the Vatican, an Ancient Rome Tour, a tour of Pompeii and a tour of the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence. All of the tour guides were experts in their fields and we learned so much more from them than we would have if we had just been wandering around on our own or doing a large group tour. I would highly recommend private tours as it gives you freedom to see the things you are most interested in and avoid crowds. We had skip the lines tickets everywhere, which was a huge time-saver. We also had a day with a car and driver along the Amalfi Coast and had a private boat for a day which took us to and around Capri. Our travel agent was very receptive to the tweaks we wanted to make when planning the trip, which made things exactly as we wanted them.
With two teenagers, we knew we wanted to do some hands-on activities as well. Our travel agent booked a cooking class for all of us and a mask-making workshop for the boys. These were both excellent and exceeded expectations.
We could not have had a better trip to Italy. It was wonderful on all levels and I attribute most of that to our travel agent's careful planning and attention to detail. The couple of times we did have questions during the trip, she always got back to us with a quick response. Everything was amazing!
We loved the whole trip, but some standouts were:
Day-long private boat tour to and around Capri. It was right in the middle of the trip and was so relaxing and beautiful. We only ended up going onto the island for lunch and didn't venture further because of the crowds.
Pompeii - It far exceeded my expectations just by how huge it is and by how well preserved it is.
Cooking class - We had a private cooking class to make pizza at the request of my 13-year-old. Sounds pretty straight-forward, right? But they served wine the whole time, had us make 3 appetizers, gelato and slipped in some balsamic vinegar tasting (sounds gross but was delicious).
We would not travel to Italy in August. Because of our work schedules and the boys' school schedule, August was the only time we could go. It was super hot and very crowded, especially down in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. We knew this going in, but if you have a choice, pick a less busy time of year.
We would have liked one more day in Venice (we only had one day).
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