Thank you very much for your e-mail. We had such an incredible time in Italy, and we will definitely recommend you and your agency to all of our friends.
The highlights of our trip were several of the people that you placed us with. First, and foremost, Georgio, our driver in Florence and Tuscany was great! We cannot say enough good things about him. Next, we really enjoyed his neighbor, Monica. Her love for Florence and Siena really shone through. Finally, Cecilia’s food tour in Venice was a highlight. We were exhausted and tried to cancel. She would not take “no” for an answer, and we are so glad that she persisted. She was so pleasant, and relaxed, but also her love of her city and food was apparent. Whatever you do, we strongly recommend that you use these three people as frequently as possible. Your other guides were very good, but these three were exceptional.
Let me stress that we are very, very pleased with our vacation. In the interest of giving constructive feedback, however, I would like to mention a few things that could have been improved. First, with the food tour in Rome, it was not clear to me that this would be a group tour instead of a private tour. This was an issue because Julie has been following the “Whole 30” diet (which is similar to gluten free) since the start of the year, which is after we booked. I never thought to mention her diet restrictions to you, and they were clearly a problem because our tour guide had planned stops for the group, and none were tolerant of Julie’s diet issues.
Second, the location of Firenze Number 9 is both good and bad. It is in a great location in the heart of Florence, and our room was beautiful. Unfortunately, we had a street-front room. There was a lot of street noise, particularly with late-night partiers and car stereos, which woke us up.
Third, Modena is a great town, but we were not completely satisfied with our stay at Quartopiano. It is a beautiful bed and breakfast with delightful furnishings. But, it is small, and the walls are thin. The bathroom within the living space was a little strange. We also did not get good directions from the owners on the location of their bistro, which we could not find for breakfast. I am very tall (6’5”) and it is not a good fit for somebody my size.
Fourth, our driver from Modena to Venice, Luca, was a very nice young man. But, he drives a small, two-door BMW. While the car is very nice and very clean, the drive was cramped.
Fifth, I have a suggestion on an additional question to ask your clients in preparation for your trip. Do you plan to do laundry? Julie and I travel very lightly, using only carry-ons. We always plan to do laundry and we had some difficulties in Modena and Venice finding a coin-operated laundromat.
Finally, in hindsight, I probably wouldn’t have scheduled as many activities. We cancelled our cooking class in Florence because we were so tired from walking. I have no doubt that we would have really enjoyed the class, because we really enjoyed everything that you scheduled. We just felt like we overdid things.
Again, we are so thankful to you for such a wonderful trip. We explored historic Rome! Michaelangelo’s David was a revelation! We ate Sangiovese grapes fresh from the stem! We explored the back alleys and canals of Venice! There are so many great memories. Thank you very much for the trip of a lifetime!
Robert Lockwood (Huntsville, AL) – SEPTEMBER 2018