First - Zicasso...when I set out to plan our most recent trip, I had a challenge before me. My best friend wanted to go to Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast and Greece. Her husband insisted on Rome and the Vatican. My husband emphatically said he wasn't driving or slinging bags on and off the train on the trip because he wanted to relax and enjoy. For two months, I searched cruises, bus lines, various travel agents and I was truly pulling my hair out. trying to pull it all together. Then I lucked upon Zicasso on the internet. After submitting our "wish list", within 24 hours I had a long email and then a phone call from this travel agency from his company in Rome.
Our travel agent...Within a couple of weeks our travel agent had put together an amazing 3 week itinerary. We went back and forth for several weeks tweaking the original itinerary. He always got back with me within 24 hours either by phone or internet to answer my "many" questions. After we made our deposit, I kept asking questions and he generously kept answering every question no matter how small.
About a month before we left, he emailed our final packet of tickets, vouchers, etc. Everything was exactly as we discussed.
He changed our minds about when to travel for the best possible weather and the least tourists. We stayed 3-4 days/nights at each location and he insisted we have one leisure day at each location which we were ever so thankful for. He suggested things like truffle hunting - which was one of the highlights of the trip.
When we were actually on our trip, we had 3 different times we were a little confused about the itinerary. He got back with me within the hour to answer and resolve our questions. He was so professional and made our trip like a beautiful fantasy.
Three tour guides stand out above the rest: Our guides in Cinque Terre, Rome, and Athens. They were all the creme de la creme!
Three hotels were exceptionally impressive: The hotels in Cinque Terre, in Positano (Amalfi Coast), and the hotel in Mykonos (Greece). They all afforded great views and lovely accommodations. The Positano hotel and the Mykonos hotel get extra kudos for outstanding staff and warmth.
We loved the fun of the truffle hunt even though we didn't find many truffles. But after the hunt they took us back to their home and cooked homemade pasta (topped with truffles), served us wine and it was just a lovely afternoon.
We took a Pesto class which was a lot of fun.
We loved the many boat rides.
Most of our tours were VIP (meaning just the 4 of us plus our guide). What's not to love about that!!! Breakfasts were included at all of the hotels. On the days we had VIP tours, either lunch or dinner was included. The guides took us to local restaurants and ordered a variety of local dishes/wines for us to try. Our favorite restaurant was probably Trattoria Billy's in Manarola (Cinque Terre). Every day on our trip was a new delightful experience.
The drivers were all on time and made every change of venue so easy.
Our last venue was Athens and we had only one day and one night there. I would definitely have added another couple of days there as all other venues were 3-4 days.
The only other thing I would have changed, would have been our airfare. I asked our agent to book us on American Airlines. He did what I asked but he booked it through British Air. Consequently, we were unable to upgrade our tickets and we were under the constraints of British Air rules, namely only 1 bag per person. After accumulating many things on our trip, it would have been nice to have been able to check a second bag.
We would travel lighter because the three internal flights we took only allowed one checked bag and one carry on. Easy Jet charged us $60 extra for an extra carry on. They were not easy nor fast. However, Aegean airlines was terrific and very accommodating!
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