Our trip was fantastic and was enjoyed by all of us. Although we were exhausted at the end, it was absolutely worth every moment, and the memories on this trip will stay with all of us forever.
We would like to pay special compliment to our agent for her patience, her recommended itinerary, and her follow through on every change and every special request. We appreciate all her efforts and all her attentiveness.
Our hotel in Tuscany has to be 6 stars all the way; accommodation, service, and dining experiences. This was one of our highlighted stay and the view was breathtaking. The Owners and the staff were friendly and helpful throughout the length of our stay.
The 2 day private excursions to Siena, Gimignano, Pisa, and Lucca were terrific. Our tour guide is one of the best, guiding us through the background, historic point of interest, and history of each place. All of his lunch stops were right on our palette. He is informative, friendly, patience, and very funny.
Tour of Pompeii was an experience we were looking forward to and it did not disappoint. Our guide was totally knowledgeable with every aspect of the site since she spent many months working in the ruins, excavating the site. Her insights were phenomenal, and the way she guided us around the cruise ship mobs needs to be commended. Worth every penny and more.
Now, how can you top all of our activities so far; with a phenomenal COOKING CLASS in Sorrento. Boy, this was the top, everyone participated including Ray. We cooked up a storm; eggplant rolls, ravioli alla caprese, steak with wine, and of course, tiramisu. It was so good that we didn't leave a tiny morsel. That was a happy, happy day. By the way, Polly tried to duplicate the eggplant rolls the very next day after we got home.
Tour of Vatican, Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine hill, and Capitoline hill was terrific. Sistine Chapel especially and it was breathtaking and stunning. Standing below works of Michelangelo was awesome and mind blowing. Our guide, as with most of our guides in Italy, was knowledgeable and friendly. We much appreciate his patience and attention.
We all agreed the gourmet tour at Venice was not as expected. Eating standing up on the street and walking in a bar that was fully booked without reservation was not something we would call gourmet or do normally.
As much as we enjoyed yesterday the cooking class in Sorrento, today's excursion to Capri not so much. I'll try to be brief and try not to be negative:
a) upon pickup at the hotel, we were stuffed into a van with 9 people including the driver.
b) we were driven couple blocks and were dropped off at Villa la Terrazza, which is on top of a cliff.
c) we had to walk down 4 long flights of steep steps and 4 long and steep hillside to get down to the beach. Now let me remind you that the youngest in our group is 67 and the oldest is 75.
d) the boat excursion to and from Capri was ok but the boat was small (there were 6 others plus the captain), which rendered some of us being splashed.
e) getting in and out of the boat was torturous, we almost lost two of our ladies.
f) included lunch of a caprese sandwich only, was not too good. Wished we had other choices (not offered) even if we have to pay extra.
g) Capri was absolutely a zoo and a typical tourist trap. I am sure it can be a very nice place to visit but not with shoulder to shoulder mobs of other visitors. There is no way one can enjoy what ever the island has to offer.
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