Overall -- Zicasso and This Travel Company are designed for Lazy People
It was the most stress free travel I experienced. In the past, I was the primary planner and driver for my family's vacation trips, and usually the stress in organizing, logistics and driving takes the fun away from my vacation. I was often more stressed out and tired after going on vacation. This time using Zicasso and and this Italy travel company gave me headache free and no-stress travel experience, where I can truly relax and enjoy a luxurious trip to Southern Italy in a highly customized way.
Below is a summary of our experience for 10 days.
1) Better Service than AMEX Centurion (Black Card) Concierge
I gave the same travel criteria specs for a 10 day trip to Southern Italy (Sicily, Malta, Naples) to both this travel company and AMEX Centrurion Concierge, and the engagement experience was night and day. I got a response within 1 day from this company with a detailed travel itinerary, while it took AMEX over 2 weeks to respond to my request. I found this company to be very responsive and pro-active in reverting back to me and getting me answers. AMEX is a middle-man who outsources to other tour operator, so AMEX was very clueless. This Italy travel company really knows their craft in interesting places to visit in Italy and delivering a luxury travel experience.
2) Detailed Itinerary and Travel Knowledge Overcame Online Trust Concerns
As a first time user on Zicasso and Ithis travel agency, I was concerned with online fraud. I found Zicasso through search engine, and had not heard about this travel company before. I googled for negative comments, where there was a few for Zicasso, but not in a significant way. I also googled for testimonials, but on FB and the travel company's website positive comments built about a 40% trust level. What really gave me the 100% confidence to engage with the company was the level of detailed travel knowledge reflected on the itinerary. If this was a scam, it will be impossible to provide such detailed info on niche travel locations on a highly customized travel trip request. So after a few back and forth with the company, I gained the trust to prepaid the whole trip up front. It would have helped if I found out about Zicasso's fraud promise earlier on (http://www.zicasso.com/our-promises).
3) Above & Beyond Expectations -- Professional and Courteous Guides & Drivers
I found our travel company's arrangements to be extremely detailed oriented and precise. We visited a different town every day, so we had various different drivers and guides during the trip that involves land, sea and air transportation. Every tour guide and driver knew our schedules very clearly, and no mistakes or confusion was made. I thought the background communications and logistics arrangements were very impressive. The tour guides were all very knowledgeable about the history of each places we visited with a wealth of info. They are local people who are very passionate to share the history and traditions, to enable visitors to experience the places as if we were local Italians. The drivers were courteous, polite and drove extremely safe. We traveled in new model Mercedes-Benz all the way (sedans and 9-seater van), so it really was comfortable and in style.
4) Staffs at Our Travel Company Truly Cared
I had a small issue with the 4G SIM card provided by the tour operator. I emailed the travel company, and got a response. They also followed-up continuously throughout the trip to ensure I have my connection. I initially can't find a driver, and called the travel company at 11pm at night, and some one picked up the phone to help me sort things out. The willingness to follow-up on minute detail really made the experience whole and complete.
In summary, I enjoyed the experience with this travel company, and felt a lot of hard wording people made a difference to bring me a stress free vacation, and experience Italy in a highly localized and customized way. I would like to thank this company in making this possible for us with a unique and unforgettable trip of Southern Italy.
Our travel company recommended 3 locations that I must visit, were highly enjoyable, and originally not on my plan.
1) Matera - is a city and a province in the region of Basilicata, in Southern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Matera and the capital of Basilicata from 1663 to 1806. The town lies in a small canyon carved out by the Gravina. Known as "la Città Sotterranea" (the Subterranean City), Matera is well known for its historical center called "Sassi", considered World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1993, along with the Park of the Rupestrian Churches. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matera). We stayed at a cave hotel, which was an extremely unique experience.
2) Alberobello - is a small town and comune of the Metropolitan City of Bari, Apulia, southern Italy. It has about 10,700 inhabitants and is famous for its unique trulli buildings. The Trulli of Alberobello have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberobello).
3) Borgeo Egnazia - is a luxury resort and spa in Fasano, Italy. The resort has 45 acres of land which includes the San Domenico golf course and Vair spa, as well as a 28 villas and 63 hotel rooms. The buildings are made of local stone and were designed in the typical historical style of the Apulian region. Borgo means "village" in Italian, and the resort is arranged to have the appearance of a village (http://borgoegnazia.com/)
The hotels arranged by our travel company were generally of superb quality, and were very enjoyable and luxurious. For each location, I had 2 hotel choices from the company. I checked Booking.com for each hotel to ensure quality and location beforehand. After the actual visit, out of 8 hotels, 2 properties were a bit stale in terms of up-keeping and maintenance.
The lesson was that for some hotels, the pictures on Booking.com was a bit better than reality. In future, I will also check pictures taken by travelers before making a decision.
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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