We traveled to Italy in early May after working with this travel agent. The trip was one we had been considering for some time and it was everything we had anticipated it to be and more, in large part because of the attention to things we discussed with our agent during the planning process. We started by flying to Naples where a driver met us and drove us to our hotel in Positano on the Amalfi Coast. After spending several days there, we visited Pompeii and took the train from Naples to Rome. After Rome, we took the train to Florence and picked up a rental car and spent several days driving the Tuscany countryside and visiting Siena, Greve and many other communities. After returning the car we spent four nights in Florence. Our final stop was Venice for three nights before returning home.
We started working with this agent in late September last year. Based on a review of our initial thoughts of what we wanted to see and do she provided a first draft of an itinerary which then, through a series of e-mails and phone calls we worked through to our final itinerary. Our agent provided excellent suggestions of things for us to see and do, tours to take, etc. She listened to our feedback and adjusted the itinerary accordingly. The final itinerary was well organized and included the appropriate details for various contacts that we would meet along the way (airport pickup drivers, tour guides, etc.)
Our agent checked in on us periodically while we traveled, by text, e-mail or phone, just to make sure things were going according to plan. That was very much appreciated. At one point, we had an incident that required medical attention. We contacted our agent on a Saturday morning, and within an hour she got back to us with the location of a nearby clinic, the doctors name and hours, costs and directions for us to get there. This was above and beyond the call of duty. A couple days later we were able to meet her personally and thank her for taking the time to assist us in this manner.
The hotels she selected were all well located for us to walk to restaurants, sights, etc., and they were all very comfortable, clean, and well staffed. She provided recommendations for restaurants, of which we used many, and all were great. We had a number of private tours that she arranged. Each and every one of the guides spoke very good English and were very knowledgeable about their subject matter. She also had arranged in several of our stops to have private cars/drivers pick us up. While we may have been a bit uncertain about the usefulness of this, as well as the cost, we quickly concluded that it was worth it because of the excellent service. It also reduced the stress of having to arrive at a location and then figure out the logistics of getting to a hotel. The drivers were all very personable, and also provided some great commentary on life in Italy. In particular, the service our agent set up in Rome included the driver giving us a 3 hour overview tour of the city. This proved to be very, very helpful over the next couple days in orienting us on both our guided tours and personal sightseeing. We highly recommend it.
This travel agent gets the highest marks in our book. She did an outstanding job in setting up our trip and we do not hesitate to recommend her and her company for planning an Italy trip.
This is a difficult question to answer because the entire trip was tremendous. The Amalfi Coast and its scenery were outstanding. Rome, which we had kind of expected to not care for too much, was awesome. Big city – yes. But so full of history and architecture no matter where you look. The Tuscany countryside is magnificent. Driving was occasionally a bit intimidating, but for the most part, very enjoyable. The museums in Florence were somewhat overwhelming and you can get a bit of art overload, but how spectacular… And Venice was so unique. A bit frustrating to negotiate the twisting, turning alleyways, but very fun.
All of the tours that our agent arranged for us were top notch. We both particularly enjoyed the food related ones: lemon grove and limoncello making, olive oil tasting, mozzarella making and pizza in Sorrento; more olive oil and Chianti wine education in San Casciano; and balsamic vinegar and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese making in Modena.
The people we met were very helpful and eager to talk about their country, both good and not so good aspects, which was very interesting for us. The food and wine throughout the country were fabulous. We anticipated that we gained weight on the trip, but didn’t, maybe in large part because we logged between 90 and 100 miles over the 20 days we were there, based on our iPhone apps.
Our trip was a perfect introduction to Italy. It is one of the few trips we where we never commented, “I wish would we have . . . . . . “. On a return trip we would certainly return to some areas for a more in-depth look or experience, but there are also many parts of the country that we have yet to explore. We cannot emphasize enough how strongly we feel that our agent gets all the credit for carefully planning and then assuring the execution of a wonderful tour. We have frequently traveled internationally and this trip has earned its place as our new favorite.
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
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