This tour had several disappointing happenings. We boarded a very hot bus when the temperature was in the upper 80sF. and were told that they were only allowed to idle the bus for 5 minutes because of environmental problems. Then the tour guide told us we had to wait for a couple of people to show up when there were about 50 people on the bus waiting to go. This was totally unsatisfactory that 50 people have to wait for 2 people. When I pointed to my watch the tour guide said to me- Lady, is there a problem? This was said with sarcasm. If I had understood what she was saying in heavily accented English I might have been more offended than I was. This is no way to address a paying customer. The guide then sent someone back to ask me if there was a problem. The problem was several people were being inconvenienced because of the lateness of 2 people. The tour guide finally allowed us to leave to start on our tour. We spent substantial time at LaScala which was lovely. The tour guide pointed out pictures of several stars and when she got around to Maria Callas she neglected to mention anything about her famous personal life with Aristotle Onassis. We had next to no time at the Duomo which was of interest to us. Very disappointing. Seeing the "Last Supper" was awesome. The palace Scarza aslo was another run through. We had too little time to see anything there. The tour guide failed to mention anything about the 5th "Pieta" which deserved a visit.
When we stopped by the tour office earlier in the day the staff were not only unfriendly, but acted like they did not want to help us. We were looking for an ATM machine and the young lady at the desk said-behind the trees. That was not a great way to direct anyone to anyplace much less people in a strange city.
We had toured with Viatour in Venice and Florence and were generally very pleased with the tours. It seemed to us that we had a substitute tour guide and got a less than stellar performance.
My husband and I loved this tour. We took this tour on a Sunday which was a mistake as we were not allowed in the Duomo, but our tour guide was outstanding and was very compassionate with my husband who was experiencing some knee problems. Seeing the David statue was the high light of the tour and left me speechless. It is impossible to comprehend the magnitude of the statue unless you see if for yourself. It is absolutely impossible to believe the statue was once a chunk of marble. It is so beautiful This tour will be something I will remember the rest of my life. Thank you so much.
We were told that the gondola ride was hokey, but we are so glad that we went ahead with the ride anyway. Going to Venice and not going on a gondola ride is like going to NYC and not going up in the Empire State Building. It is a must do. We went on an early evening ride and enjoyed every minute of it. Fortunately for us we had the best and most comfortable seats in the gondola. It is not necessary to take a ride without other people. There were 6 in our boat and there were 5 boats together. Maybe would even do it again if back in Venice.
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