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Sharise C

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Sharise C

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Jul122013

Tour/Activity

Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour

Florence, Italy

My Photos

  • Pisa

Jul082013

Tour/Activity

Cinque Terre Hiking Day Trip from Florence

Florence, Italy

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Despite the tremendously hot day, it was a wonderful trip. I saw some of the most amazing views of my entire holiday on this tour, and it was nice to have a little free time to dip my toes in the Mediterranean. The trek itself is quite brief (about 4k), but can be challenging if you're not well-prepared or reasonably fit. The seafood appetizer that came with lunch was absolutely divine.

Our guide, Freddie, was pretty cool and managed to keep up with everybody (there were about 20 of us) on the train, although a couple of us commented that he really seemed to get too far ahead at certain times during the hike. It was suggested he should not keep pace with the fastest person, but perhaps the larger mid-pack. Also met some great people I will probably keep in touch with.
Also, he kept making references to Rick Steves (the travel guy) being completely wrong and ignorant about his opinions on tipping in Italy. I really feel these comments were totally self-serving and with each mention the tip I intended to give him got smaller and smaller. I still absolutely recommend the tour itself, you just gotta get lucky with your guide.

My Photos

  • Machiavelli's house in Siena
  • Lunch in Siena
  • Gorgeous Mediterranean

Jul062013

Tour/Activity

Tuscany Bike Tour from Florence

Florence, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I worked my ass off from the very first hill, but it was worth every push of the pedal. I am fairly fit and ride regularly at home, but still was challenged several times. The ride I think was more challenging than the website description leads you to believe. This was the consensus even amongst the strongest of us. Laura, our tour guide was caring and delightful though. She made sure we were prepped and mentally ready for what lay ahead. When one member had a bike with a wobbly rear wheel that couldn't be fixed, the guide swapped bikes with her. Nice lunch and mini wine and olive oil tasting. Two people did drop out after the first hill, so this tour is recommended only IF you're physically ready!

My Photos

  • Views on the Tuscany Bike Tour
  • Tuscany Bike Tour

Jul052013

Tour/Activity

Tuscany Towns and Chianti Wine-Tasting Tour from Florence: Siena and Pisa

Florence, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

A hot, long, but wonderful day. Quite possibly the best of all 6 tours from this trip. Lots of walking and wonderful sites/sights, SO much historic information, especially in Siena. Not to mention tasting some interesting bruschetta spreads. Totally loved the winetastings (3 to taste, plus the standard lunch wine). Our tour guide, Paula was absolutely adorable, friendly, knowledgeable and appropriately funny. Couldn't believe I got to see Machiavelli's house, dine in his pub then see and climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa. An absolute thumbs up and high recommendation!

My Photos

  • Machiavelli's house in Siena

Jul042013

Tour/Activity

Florence Vespa Tour: Tuscan Hills and Italian Cuisine

Florence, Italy

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Such fun despite the quirkiness of our "classic" Vespas. It was a small group, just me and another couple so that made it kind of intimate. Our guide, Chris from Walkabout, was really great and very personable. I thought it a bit odd though that he had to lead us in a car and not on his own scooter. But regardless, it didn't detract from the fun or the views. Loved the little back roads leading into the hills. Lunch was also quite nice, a selection of grilled veggies, prosciutto and several cheeses, and wine of course. Would prefer more modern scooters next time though. Mine you had to keep gassing or it would cut off and it had to be kickstarted (and I ride a Harley back home, so I know how to ride). Overall though, awesome tdip, coulda stayed out for a full day.

My Photos

  • Vespa tour -view from San Miniato

Jul042013

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Florence Duomo with Brunelleschi's Dome Climb

Florence, Italy

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

The tour guide herself was very nice and informative. The climb up the dome is pretty easy if you're in decent shape. Although if you're claustrophobic the tight spaces could be disconcerting. The paintings inside are amazing, as are the views from the top of the dome. Included as was a trip inside the Baptistry, whi h may have been the most interesting thing. It's not normally included but because many of the rooms of Museo del Opera were closed, they added it. This tour was led by Segway Tuscany and the one annoying thing is that I was on time. The others in the group were over half hour late. It began to rain and I got wet standing out waiting, which wouldn't have happened had they been on time. I agreed to wait, but I think they could have at least compensated me with some small token (lunch, t-shirt...anything)

My Photos

  • View from atop Brunischelli's Dome

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