Covered beautiful places you won t be able to do on your own / only negative was the hotel in Venice ,which we did not like , the room was sooooo hot and uncomfortable, EVEN PAID EXTRA FOR AN UPGRADE . I hope this hotel WILL BE remove from their list. When I travelled in March 2017 w/ my daughter we got a nice hotel in Venice w/ an upgrade, so I TOOK THE SAME TOUR W/ MY SON but no luck this time.
We loved the sites visited on this tour, but there were some real downsides. First, our tour guide had no regard for the makeup of the overall group. Some were a little older and couldn't maintain the breakneck pace. And some of the younger people even complained that they were on vacation, not a race. Most of the time this guide would begin the walk before many of the people were even off the bus. In fact, one time she left at least 10 of us behind and over a block down the street, made a turn before we were even off the bus. We were caught in the midst of another tour group and couldn't find her lovely pink umbrella, since she was so far ahead of us, over three blocks. Secondly, the lower priced hotel options were pretty meager and the food was terrible. In Florence, we weren't even close enough to old Florence to walk on our free time. The higher priced options were lovely and very conveniently located. The most annoying and exhausting day of the tour was being left on our own in Venice and told it would be an easy 45 minute walk to return to the bus station. It took us an hour an 1/2 and the streets were not clearly marked. We then had to take a packed city bus on our own to get back to the hotel. I'll think twice before I ever book another Viator tour.
Overall a good tour. Our guide Carlos was very professional and kept things running smoothly. The tour was worth it for the opportunity to visit some smaller cities like Assisi and Montepulciano which were less crowded. Venice was a huge disappointment because it was extremely crowded and touristy.
This was my first experience of a coach tour but I'm thoroughly glad I went. From the moment we set off from Rome the trip was well coordinated and catered for everyone's needs, young or old. I firmly believe that the Tour Leader, Sabrina Prasede, was the main reason for the success of the trip. She was organized, efficient and yet always seemed to have time for every individual on the trip. Whether people needed the extra attention or just wanted to be left to discover for themselves, Sabrina was able to give the time and attention that was needed. If you get her as your Tour Leader you will have an excellent experience!
The tour took in five cities between the primary locations of Rome, Florence and Venice with stops at Assisi and Sienna on day one. These locations were well chosen and there was ample time to walk the streets and see the sites while there. The hotel in Florence was excellent as was the optional trip on day two to Pisa....a Must See. I would also recommend the walking tour of Florence to see the sites with a local Tour Guide.
Between Florence and Venice we stopped at Bologna and Padova. Again, well chosen locations with sufficient time to see everything. The hotel we stayed in, just outside of Venice, Hotel Delfina, does let the overall quality of the tour down somewhat. The hotel rooms are ok, but the staff are just not focused on the guests - front desk, restaurant and chambermaids. This is the one thing that should change, find another hotel that welcomes guests and treats them as they should be treated.
Venice, again with a local Tour Guide, is an excellent day's sightseeing and then on to Montepulciano and wine country before returning to Rome.
What stands out for me is that, while the tour took in 8 locations in 5 days I never felt rushed or that I had missed anything that I wanted to see. I would definitely do this type of trip again.
Locations were well set out. Gave you an initial exposure to the areas. I would have expected some of the 'Optional Tours/site visits' to be a part of the tour your provide, because they were all significant icons of the regions. Remove the standard visits and back the iconic sites inclusive. For example, forget the leather and glass exhibits and concentrate on having the 'Venice by Night' the standard, seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa as the standard, as these icons are what people want to see as a part of the tour you provide - not as an operational extra, in order for me to see these things I had to pay extra- that was disappointing. Hotels average, food average - need to invest more money on the 'Food Culture' standard. Food is very important and an experience of the locations - better the current standard. Would have been very good if Cinque Terra' was a part of the tour, we were only 11/2 hours away, remove the museum tour/ the hour here and there free time. It would have 'Valued Added' so much more of this Viator Tour by visiting there. Tour director was very efficient, organized, helpful and knowledgeable.
Based on the positive reviews, we booked with this 5-day Italy trip. One month past our trip and we're still talking about how wonderful our experience was and would highly recommend this tour to anyone planning a trip to Italy for their first time.
The service and response from viator was excellent.
Our tour guide was Sabrina, and our driver, Antonio. From the moment we met them, they were extremely warm and friendly with us and everyone else in our group. Sabrina first made sure we knew our schedule for the coming days and had all the paperwork sorted out right at the beginning. Before each stop she gave us information of the place we were visiting, the things we were going to see and would recommend wonderful places to check out during our free time. She took good care of us all and connected with us on a personal level. Antonio was so friendly and always had a smile on. He would warmly greet us every morning while helping place our luggage in the bus. Some places we stopped at, such as Florence, Venice, Pisa had local tour guides who took us around the place and they were lovely too. Some activities such as 'Venice by night' and 'Gondola ride', though optional, are highly recommended and we were very well briefed about them by Sabrina. The hotels we checked into were comfortable.
All of the cities and villages, the churches and museums we went to were absolutely gorgeous. If you are travelling in the summer, be sure to carry a bottle of water with you at all times. You will get bottles of cold water for a Euro each in the bus. There is a lot of walking around to do, so it would be best to have walking or sports shoes on. Before entering a church it is required to have your shoulders and knees covered.
There is a city tax that has to be paid and this tax varies from place to place that will be billed to you at the time of check-out.
All in all, our trip was wonderful, not only because of the beauty of this country which is overwhelming, but also because of viator, Antonio and Sabrina to guide us.