Guide and driver fantastic. Florence Hotel awful - not 4 star. Room small - could not relax and enjoy the room at all. Dinner was buffet - awful food, awful staff. Breakfast was marginally better. The local restaurant we went for lunch was excellent. Venice room bigger. Marginally better. Local restaurant for both dinner's was awful - busy, understaffed, food average. Overall the tour and guides were excellent but the accommodation and some of the 4 meals provided were not satisfactory. Diner food at service centres also below average.
This was a great way to see many towns in Italy without renting a car or worrying about transportation! Our guide Mirjam was wonderful, really went out of her way to make sure guests were happy. She was very knowledgeable about all the sights, and the history.Luigi the driver was great, very safe. Would have given it a 5 star if it didn't have "add on" activities for an additional price, would have been nice to have everything included. VERY glad we upgraded in Venice, well worth it.
For th most part we enjoyed this tour. The only drawback was there was a great deal of walking. I have taken several European tour and this is the first one the bus couldn't drop you off at the church or whatever you were going to tour. They had to park in the bus area and most of the time it caused us to walk sometimes several blocks. So be prepare for this. Our tour guild was very accommodating . The hotels were class 4. We also really enjoyed Venice.
Tour was a good introduction to Italy though wish we have more time to explore some areas.
Most enjoyable 5 days, Clara and Luigi were very good, with Clara speaking 4 Languages so that we all knew what was happening.All cities visited were beautiful even though we had quite a bit of rain and our Venice by night and Gondola ride tour had to be cancelled. The tour to Maruno Glass was lovely with the oportunity to purchase products, Vivienne (Australia)
This trip was great fun! Our guide was knowledgable and arranged special side tours which added to the experience. Lots of walking!
Great way to see parts of Italy that we would not have seen if we were to travel by ourselves.
Well organized, food, accommodation and guide were excellent, only downside was the large size of the tour group. It felt rushed and chaotic at times, the tour company ran English and Spanish tours at the same time with almost identical schedules, there were times that the groups/buses overlapped and we all ended up in the same place at the same time.
This tour was exactly as it's described. You get to see a lot of Italy and you have a good amount of free time. The guide is great and gives you all the information you need. Great way to spend your time in Italy.
Lucy the guide was awesome, bellissima! Very accomodating, humorous, and great communication skills. The towns visited were great for an Italian first timer, although I would have liked more time (at least a day each) in Venice and Florence - so much to see! Although selecting the standard option, I fortunately ended up staying in the superior accomodation - although this was the main let down (and my 4-star rating). I am more accustomed to better 4-star accomodation standards and the food that was provided was average to say the least. The best culinary finds were from places that weren't planned for, and the optional lunch at Montepulciano was delicious. Optional tours were not included in the itinerary - going to the Accademia to see the David, and Pisa as a result was also a highlight. A great introduction to the beautiful north - will definitiely be making my way back to Italy soon.
The overall trip was very nice. Our guide was good too. Saw many places in short time especially Tuscany vineyards. But on a conscious side read all the t and c thoroughly coz they have lot of hidden tours which they charge separate. Do lil research and do it on ur own, it will be lot cheaper.
The venue is quite good with excellent stops at all the right places with spectacular views and vistas. The times are very tight and even tighter if you sign up for all the optional tours. Mario was our guide and was excellent with his knowledge and his humor to keep the tight schedule moving. We got the upgraded hotels and wouldn't want to see the standard hotels. They were clean and adequate but if you haven't been in Europe, you would be very disappointed. The Grand Mediterranean Hotel in Florence had terrible beds and rooms were very old but adequate. The Carlton Hotel in Venice was in a good location but we had a view of an AC unit in a closed space between 2 wings. Food in both hotels were quite average. The restaurant where we had dinner in Venice was very average and on one night, the service was extremely poor. Overall, it was an excellent tour with great value.
This was a really enjoyable tour and the tour leader Lucy was just fabulous and made the trip very entertaining. Hotel accommodation in the 4* Venice hotel on the grand Canal was just great. We had a triple room and it was quite large. The 4* room in Florence was disappointing as it was extremely small. I would recommend that the trip delete the stop at Padua as it was just to go to the church and not much else and this time could have been allocated to Florence. Most of the tour group wanted more free time in Florence. We did the Pisa afternoon tour and so had no free time at all in Florence. I would recommend that the coach drive up to the Piazza Michelangelo that is the park that overlooks the city centre. This plaza offers superb views across the city and the Duomo but we didn't get to see it. The Uffizi and Florence city tour was a bit rushed. You need to remind women travellers that they must cover their shoulders and knees if they want to get access into the Cathedrals.
Great trip to see major points in a short time. Mario was great as our maim guide and very knowledgeable. Very well organized! A must do to have a taste of Italy! !!!
The destinations were perfect, and our guide coordinated arrangements so that we didn't have to. I've been on other tours before, and I wish the guide had given more than cursory background information about the regions we were visiting. Local guides were very good.
Great tour! Local guide was very funny and informative and went the extra mile to look after us (Lucy). There was a good balance between tour time and free time and we felt like we got a lot more from the places we visited then if we had attempted them ourselves. The time spent in each place was suitable for the length of the tour and a large majority of the meals were included. Only drawbacks we found were that it was not apparent that the cheaper hotel option in Venice is on the mainland (not the canals) and that activities such as visiting michelangelo's David in florence, and tour to Pisa, are extra costs. Coach was very comfortable and over all the tour was a great experience that allowed us to visit many places in Italy and experience many towns that we would otherwise not have seen.
Robert F M Canada
An excellent tour which more than met my expectations. We had an excellent tour director (Stefano) and driver (John Franko). These people did a great job preparing and making sure our tour was a great experience in some of the more important parts of Italy.
This tour is generally well planned out, and our guide Antonella was quite good. Couple of slight negatives: the stops at Assisi and Siena are very quick (say 2 hours or so), same with Montepulciano on the last day, so they are more like photo ops with limited time to explore. Breakfasts were very good, dinners were marginal so we ended up eating dinners off property for the most part. We upgraded our room in Venice which I would recommend as you are right in the heart of the city, although our group was moved to an alternative hotel on the canal that was not as nice as the one advertised. If you want to visit the museums in Florence it is a major time saver to book advanced reservations on-line as waits can be several hours otherwise.
We thoroughly enjoyed the 5 days seeing the many intersesting places. The hotels were good, but the meals left a bit to be desired. Our guide Stephano's English could have been clearer, as at times he was hard to understand. Also would have liked a daily printout of what our schedule was. Florence and Venice guide's English was good, although Venice guide didn't have a microphone and was hard to hear. We did the extra tour to Pisa, which was great with a good guide and also had a Gondala ride as an extras as well. Both were well worth doing.
I enjoyed my time on this tour. Our driver Sabatino was great; our tour guide Stefano was very personable and helpful. The Pisa excursion is an absolutely must. This trip really capped off my first tour of Italy quite nicely. I had spent 5 days in Rome prior to this trip. Memorable. Ciao!
We loved the tour! Our guide Clara was knowledgable and gave us all the details that we need. Venice is a wonderful place and very romantic. Tuscany is breathtaking as well. Dont forget to book the optional tours like the trip to Pisa and the gondola ride. Luigi the driver is helpful and polite.
We went on this trip as a family of 4- 2 adults and 2 children (5 and 7). Full adult price was paid for all 4 of us.
I booked it with the consideration that we wanted to see several key places without the stress of having to get ourselves to these places.
In essence this tour did not disappoint. We saw some amazing sights- and met some amazing people.
There was a mix of languages spoken- this was not a problem.
There were additional trips that could be taken at extra cost- there were worth the extra money and we enjoyed them.
This would have been a 5 star tour EXCEPT- as noted previously we paid full price for all 4 of us- it was therefore disappointing when in Florence they squashed us all in to a double room. This was amended for Venice thankfully.
Very good stops along the way and well organized by the tour director. The only downside was there was only one other English speaking person on the tour, so the guide had to translate all instructions into Portuguese, Spanish, English and Italian every time. Got to be a bit mind-numbing. Would have been nice if the tour had been divided by language.