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Shane H

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Shane H

Shane H

USA

Sep202012

Tour/Activity

Pompeii Day Trip from Rome

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The tour guides who coordinated the tour were Monica and Stephano. They were helpful, attentive, and a pleasure to spend time with. The tour guide who assumed the lead at Pompeii was Willie. Willie is an absolute riot! Intelligence mixed with wit with a healthy does of humor. Informative, fun, memorable. His unique approach with the tour and his zany observations brought history to life and made the facts easy to remember. I wish that I had a history teacher like that in school. The walk up Vesuvius was most interesting. But, be very conscious of your choice of footwear. It is a steep climb on an unsteady surface. Within the first five minutes, my leg muscles were already burning. Pray for cloud cover, otherwise it's going to get hot nearer to the top. The group was allowed 25 minutes to the top and 25 back down. To accomplish it requires a steady pace and quick steps. It's not a leisurely walk, but it's worth it. Pompeii itself was off the chart. The restaurant for lunch does not share in my 5-star rating. Supposedly, our orders were placed in advance. But, yet we sat and sat and sat. Our tour guides had to scold the kitchen staff to bring us our food. Since we did not get our lunch until almost time to depart, we asked for to-go boxes. And, the kitchen staff fought over whether to give us boxes. Lunch was nothing special. But, the tour made up for it. When you see the price of gasoline along the way, you wonder how they can provide the tour so affordably! Well worth the money. Hope that you're lucky enough to get Willie as a guide!

Sep192012

Tour/Activity

Ancient Rome and Colosseum Tour: Underground Chambers, Arena and Upper Tier

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The heart of Rome is the Colosseum, in my opinion. This tour is an absolute must. We enjoyed tours of each level, including the rarely seen underground. We entered using the same entrance as the gladiators themselves. Our group breezed right on in with no waiting. Our tour guides were Marina and Niccolo. Marina is an absolute doll! She explains things using such a common-sense approach. After listening to her stories, I would think to myself, "Oh, that's what they were talking about in history class!! Why didn't they say it like that?" Intelligent, charming, personable, friendly. The tour guide makes it or breaks it. And, Marina made the tour totally worthwhile and memorable. Absolutely fascinating. History surrounds you and comes to life. The grandeur of Rome will touch you and leave its imprint--a memory of a lifetime. Well worth the money!

Sep192012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Crypts and Roman Catacombs Small Group Walking Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The crypts and catacombs tour was wonderfully macabre and wonderfully intriguing. Our tour guides were Luciana and Peter. They were a pleasure to share an afternoon with. Knowledgeable. Passionate about their subject matter. Luciana remarked that the tour is not so much a focus on death, but a meditation on life. Very true. It was a bit faster paced for my taste, but there was so much to see in such a short period of time, so I did understand the pace. Also, due to the nature of the environments and respect for the dead, cameras are not allowed. I so wanted to share some of those images with friends back home. In the crypts, you will be inches away from bones and skulls on display in elaborate decoration. In the catacombs, you will have a greater appreciation for the myth of the Minotaur. If you bump into the wall and some of the wall comes off on your shoulder, you're going to think, "Oh, I wonder who that was once part of??" A slightly macabre nature helps to provide a deeper appreciation of the tour, but very worthwhile and very enlightening. The message you carry away: Enjoy life while life is still yours for the taking.

Sep182012

Tour/Activity

Ghost and Mystery Walking Tour of Rome

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This tour was a steal of a deal! It is a delightful way to spend an evening. Our tour guide was Francesca. She has such a lovely personality. History is more fun when it sounds like gossip! She masterfully brought those stories of old to life. I was not afraid walking at night with the group. The nightlife of Rome is so vibrant anyway. There are always large groups of people around. I didn't pick up on any ghostly "vibes." It wasn't scary or anything like that. It was just an enjoyable, unique, memorable way to spend a pleasant evening. Seeing some of the sights by moonlight adds to their intrigue. Like I say: Steal of a deal!

Sep172012

Tour/Activity

Rome Segway Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Segway is the only way to go! I took this tour on my first afternoon in the city to get a better sense of the neighborhoods and to help "get my bearings." Our tour guide was Fabio. His knowledge of history was expert. He was very attentive and took the extra time needed during the beginning orientation segment for those who were unfamiliar with operating Segways. He also took special care to help keep the group together and to keep us safe around traffic. Fabio took us to some of the off-the-beaten path sites which most tourists do not get to appreciate. It was a full afternoon of sightseeing--up close and personal. The time passed quickly. Segways are a blast--like flying standing up. I highly recommend the tour. If a vacation destination offers a Segway option, I am always quick to hop on. The Roman Segway needs to be on every vacationer's "to do" list when in Rome.

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