mom, avid reader, blissful bride, volunteer addict, food and wine nut, and glass half full lady with attitude and passionate traveler without enough time.
Our guide was wonderful. She was easy to understand, knowledgeable and a passionate Florence native. We learned interesting fun facts and were able to breeze through this part of our planned sightseeing in Florence and this made it possible to do so much more with our limited time in this glorious city.
This was a favorite day for my family as we reminisced about our time in Italy and the first of our four planned viator tours. That said, the check in process was a bit stressful as we were told "we weren't on the list" initially and had to go upstairs where we were indeed confirmed on this outing. Then we were left standing around until we asked about boarding the bus and were told "yes, yes, get on the bus". Now, though a bit skeptical about your organization, we were ready to start our bike tour adventure but to our amazement our bus stops at the gates to Florence to wait (a good 20 minutes) for another bus whose driver we are told is lost/late?? Finally we are on our way and as we arrive the rains begin. This doesn't faze or dampen the spirits of our lovely half bostonian/half italian guide. He gets us all fitted on bikes, with helmets, and rain gear. All the riders get to know one another as we try to wait out the rains - which we do! We are then motored to the top of the first steep ridge to begin a wonderful sunny fresh ride to our winery destination. The stop at the local shop for refreshment was very nice and tasty! Upon arriving at the winery we were shown inside and upstairs where we were served two glasses of wine and lunch. The lunch was surprising as we were fed nothing but carbs - no protein and no dessert. However, it was well presented and the wines were lovely. The cellar tour was nicely conducted by our guide as we watched the skies rain down again. However, the rains stopped as we were boarding our bikes and our ride home was beautiful, easy (well planned for more downhills in this direction) and rewarding. Our guide was charming, knowledgeable and calm in the face of all obstacles.
My husband and I were so excited to share Venice with our kids for the first time and your tour, at the end of our last full day in Venice, was the icing on the cake! We all learned so very much and saw so many "hidden gem" sights and heard so many wonderful stories - this was the highlight of our time in Venice! A native to Venice, she navigated the maze of streets and canals with ease! She was even able to deliver us to a small, out of the way, leather store on time! We enjoyed the cocktail break and her recommendations for venetian specialties to try. Our only disappointment was that we were not told that she would be unable to go inside to tour sights and we had left the basilica for this tour as we were told by the rep on the phone that we could customize the tour and go wherever we wanted to during our time with the guide. However, we are still very happy we saw all the off the beaten trail sights and were able to hear all the wonderful history she imparted.
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