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Used Carrani Tours/ I Love Rome previously so I knew communication would be lax but they'd come through in the end. The tour started with a train ride from Rome to Florence and included half a day sightseeing tour of Florence sights and then lots of free time. Carrani Tours put me up in a beautiful Hotel Corona d'Italia but I spend the duration of the trip chasing their office for information about my return to Rome as the tour guide who brought me to Florence knew nothing. Pisa tour departed from Florence and was meant to return there but the Tour Guide left 2 elderly ladies behind in Pisa as they got delayed between the meeting point and the bus. Instead of retracing her steps back to the meeting point the tour guide just waited by the bus for 20 minutes. The walk from the meeting point to the bus was quite treacherous and the ladies wouldn't have been able to find their way on their own. That was beyond unprofessional and heartless.
Be very aware of this tour. The description makes it sound like one tour guide is with you throughout the 3 days and they are not. Gray Line I Love Rome by Carrani Tours is the tour provider and I have to say it is the luck of the draw as to who you get for your guides throughout the 3 days. Depending where you stay we were in Rome you are picked up by the first guide our guide was Antonella, very eary 6:45am, who travels with you from Rome to Florence via the train. Dropped us off at our hotel then thats it. They are gone to leave you on your own. You are given a list for the next 3 days activities and where to meet. You need to get to these meeting points on your own.
We stayed at then Hotel De La Ville. It was in a wonderful area of Florence, very nice room and free breakfast. The posted itinerary changed and the trip to Pisa was the first day. So we needed to get ourselves to the bus station asap where you join another tour group of about 25 to 30 people total. Once at Pisa, you are handed off to another local tour guide who walks you thru the grounds.
So for us the first day was very long...train ride, then bus ride. Alot of traveling, very little site seeing.
The second day was the local Florence tour. Meeting place was the train station. Again you join an already established tour group. This was about 15-18 people. Stefano was our guide but he basically just walked us over to another guide, Favio. Favio was fantastic! His wealth of knowledge was amazing. Not only was he our guide for the city but also the Ufizi Gallery. He was the highlight of the entire 3 days. Lunch was at a local restaurant...nothing special.
The last day is basically on your own. We elected to stay an extra day. They did work with us to adjust our train ticket back to Rome.
So my main issue with this tour is that, in my opinion, you are given the impression that you are a single tour group with the same guide for the 3 days. When this is not the case. If you expect to be hand held on this tour do not book. If you dont mind some work on your own then you will be fine here.
Reading other reviews it appears some people had really good guides...others not so much. Honestly the guides can make or break the tour experience.
The Tourguides were taking a day trip group to Florence and had no details for us regarding our three-day trip. It took several calls and persistent questions for them to get the details for us regarding our next day trip to Pisa. That trip was at a different time and different meeting place than indicated in Viator write up on website. We had no details regarding our trip back to Rome. The local tour company finally called the evening before and told us that we would be picked up at hotel at 5pm the next day and that a tour representative would be waiting for us at the train terminal. The tranfer driver spoke very little English, but was able to communicate to us to go to the italio train lounge. We went there and waited and continued to look around for a tour representative. We checked with italio and there was no reservation under our names in their system. At eight minutes before the train was to depart we gave up looking for representative and bought tickets ourselves back to Rome. So my message to Viator is that this is the most disorganized tour I have taken through Viator!
We were put on the wrong bus heading to 3 day Naples tour. Put on a bus with 1 day Florence tour and put on train. Had 1 hr guided tour. Never taken to Hotel and had to find own way there. Never received tour itinerary even though we had went to Carrini tour office in rome 3 times before departure day, until we found and arrived at hotel. Hotel had a king size bed when we asked for two separate beds. Had to leave so they could separate king size bed into two twin beds. Hotel area was very noisy until 1.30 am (located above several bar/cafes) and then again 7:00 am. Paid alot for something that I could have done myself, since the guided tours were only for about 3 hrs (1 in florence in 2 in Pisa),ie: make my own hotel reservations in Florence, and paid for my own guided tours in florence and Pisa. There are people everywhere offering guided tours in Italy. Spent most of the 3 days on my own and last day itinary said to meet between 5-5:15 pm. Arrived at 430 pm and was almost left behind. Driver did come back and told me that he was told to pick us up at 430. Communication was the worst I have ever seen. Apparently me and my friend were the only ones that had scheduled the 3 day Florence/Pisa tour in English and they were not prepared for us. Paid to much for what was received. Could have all been done on my own much cheaper. Not worth half what I paid (about $560 per person (sharing a room). Recommend you plan this trip on your own.