“My family just returned from a ten night trip to Rome and Tuscany planned by Matteo Della Grazia of Fuoritinerario – Discover Your Italy. Every aspect of the trip was simply perfect.
I’ve travelled a fair amount for both work and pleasure over the past forty years, so my requirements are fairly specific. Matteo exceeded all of my expectations in planning this 60th birthday trip for my wife and entire family. Planning started over a year ago with a number of e-mails with Matteo describing what we were looking for – punctual drivers, passionate and professional guides, all tickets purchased in advance, coordinating multiple travel schedules. Matteo delivered on all fronts.
Matteo suggested an itinerary almost a year ago – an itinerary that we continued to fine tune over time. Throughout that process, Matteo was responsive – never taking more than a day to respond to detailed questions and requests for modifications. He was also the consummate professional, always patient and thoughtful, with suggestions that always improved the final product. Restaurant reservations for lunches and dinners for the entire trip were added to the final detailed itinerary.
We agreed upon four nights in Rome and six in Tuscany, using 47 Luxury Suites near the Trevi Fountain in Rome and the Plaza Luchessi Hotel in Florence as our bases. Not one driver was late for a pick-up and the guides ranged from very good to exceptional. All of the drivers and guides coordinated with each other, and all had the necessary tickets to the various sites, providing easy access without standing on lengthy lines. In Rome, special kudos go to Nicola for his passionate tours of Vatican City and Ancient Rome.
On the trip to Florence, our driver stopped in Orvieto and our guide Paolo Sperini provided a fascinating tour of the city. In the afternoon, we stopped at Barbi vineyards for a wonderful tour, lunch and wine tasting. Very intimate, educational and delicious. Probably the best vineyard experience we’ve ever had. Anna Ritya Zangara Halligan, our wine educator, was wonderful.
The wonders of Florence speak for themselves – and we had a first rate guide in Ulrich. Our driver for the entire stay, Giancarlo, was personable, professional and punctual – and always in contact with the various guides. Laura Meattini provided a memorable tour of Pisa and Lucca, offering information about both cities that might not be found in a guidebook. An unexpected mini-concert at Pisa’s Baptistry was a real treat. As a newly minted sommelier, Laura joined us for a fabulous lunch in Lucca at Borgo Antico where she continued with her discussion of Lucca and wine.
The charming archaeologist and cyclist Domenico Bertucci was our guide through San Gimignano, Siena and a 10KM hike in the gorgeous Val d’ Orcia from from Montalcino to Fattoria La Maggia, where we had a wonderful tour, lunch and wine tasting. It’s worth noting that Domenico rode the trail the morning before our hike to ensure that it was clear.
One of the highlights of the trip was an evening with Laura Franceschetti, personal chef, caterer and sommelier. We met Laura at her home where, over a three hour period, she brought her love for food to life. We learned how to cook (and eat) pasta, a delicious chicken and vegetable dish and tiramusu. Laura is charming.
Bottom line, this was a trip of a lifetime. Matteo is a patient and good listener and the guides he engaged were passionate professionals who made this such a memorable trip. Matteo and Fuoritinerario have my families unconditional recommendation – and our gratitude. Grazie mille!
Richard Warren (White Plains, NY) – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017