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Melissa H

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Melissa H

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Nov182009

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums Walking Tour including Sistine Chapel, Raphael's Rooms and St Peter's

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
We took the early Vatican tour on a Friday morning the last week of October 2009. This tour was definitely worth the money. We were inside before the general public, so we had longer to go through the Vatican without a lot of people around. About the last hour of the tour is when it started getting crowded from the rest of the people coming in with larger group tours and on their own. I would not recommend touring the Vatican without a tour guide to explain things. There is SO much in the Vatican that if we didnt have our tour guide we wouldve just been looking at nice paintings and sculptures and not knowing the history behind it all, and the history is what makes the Vatican so intriguing. Our tour guide was excellent, knowledgeable, and funny. She spoke excellent English and was easy to understand didnt have thick accent. Being that the group was only 8 people, I felt like we learned more than larger groups because there were fewer people asking questions so we all were able to get our questions answered. The tour ends at St. Peters Square and you can go back inside afterward to see the tombs of the popes and climb to the top of the dome. That is not part of the guided tour. If you want to do those things, plan to wait in line to go up the dome. We did not do so because of the line. The Vatican is massive in size and grand in dcor. A definite must see while in Rome, whether youre catholic or not, its an impressive piece of architecture and history. I cannot recommend this tour enough! 100 worth every penny!

Nov182009

Tour/Activity

Chianti Region Wine Tasting Half-Day Trip from Florence

Florence, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This tour was an excellent experience and way to see the breathtaking countryside of Florence. The Viator CAF staff member holding the sign was a little difficult to find. When you get off the train and you leave the station, go to the right so you are walking toward the large, brown church and they will be on the corner across from the church. Our tour guide was very good and so funny! I wish I could remember her name. She definitely made the trip enjoyable. Once on board the bus, we drove through Florence and the Chianti region. The guide explained some history on the way as it was a good 30 minute drive to the castle, but the scenery on the way was gorgeous. There were vineyards and olive trees everywhere. The castle employee showed us the vineyards and explained the process. Unfortunately, we took this tour the last week of October 2009 so most of the grapes had already been harvested. Next, we went through the wine cellar and then out to the garden where we could take pictures for a few minutes. Then we went to the area to taste the wine, bread and olive oil. The olive oil was very good. You could purchase wine if you liked after the tasting was over. Then we had about five minutes after to take more pictures. After the caste we stopped in a little town where we tasted salami, cheese both great! and purchased a wine card for Euro10 to taste several different wines. Then we left and were dropped off back at our meeting point. The tour guide did not talk on the way back, which was good as many people were tired and napped on the way back.

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