I wanted to get back to you and give you a more detailed feedback on our trip because I think it is important to you and improving your business.
Lisa actually has a lot of Italian in her blood, her maiden name is D’Argenzio. We both had the time of our lives in Italy, and we indeed loved your country. For the most part, the entire trip was informative and fascinating and we really enjoyed the things that we did and saw. Let me go into detail about each facet of the trip, much like you had our trip laid out.
First the Hotels:
Roma Hotel Lunetta – 3.5 stars – the hotel was nice, but a little cramped for me. Not much room to put our bags or the stuff in our bags. We did like the location of the hotel and was able to walk from the Vatican back as well as the Coliseum and back. We also explored the Pantheon and several of the sites around the hotel. Lots of shops/restaurants, etc. It didn’t feel “unsafe” to walk around. We also enjoyed the spa downstairs in the hotel. The breakfast was also very good.
Firenze Antica Torre Di Via Tornabuoni 1 – 4.5 stars. We got more of an apartment here than a hotel room. A lot of room and the apartment was right on the river! This was our view!
Beautiful! Again, very centrally located and lots to see while walking around. Very nice accommodations and great breakfast. Hotel staff was very nice and helpful. Nice rooftop bar with great views at nite.
Gaiole in Chianti Castello Di Spaltenna – 4.5 stars Again, a very nice accommodation. Quaint with great valley view, nice rooms and spa. Restaurant was good, though expensive. Their wine was also very good. Breakfast was also excellent. We loved our room. Just one issue – they charged us $16 from the mini-bar, but we just had one water from it. Lisa notice there were half bottles of soda water that were used from previous guests? I would have contested the mini-bar bill, but we were running late for our train ride from Florence to Venice. Otherwise, the place was a pretty awesome place – we loved it.
Venezia Palace Bonvecchiati – 4.5 stars Again, a very nice accommodation. Right on a canal with gondolas passing buy. A very short walk to St. Mark’s square. Lots of shopping and restaurants nearby. We felt a little more “unsafe” here due to the large number of people and the smaller streets and walkways, however, we did not encounter any problems during the whole trip. Nice restaurant downstairs, great breakfast and friendly staff. No problems.
Drivers: All drivers were courteous and on time. Most spoke pretty good English except the one that took us back to Firenze to catch the train. But all were friendly and helpful. Excellent.
Private tour personnel: All private tours were excellent!! We learned so much about ancient Rome, the Vatican, Firenze, and St. Mark’s Basilica and the Ducal museum. All of the people who were our tour Operators were very knowledgeable and friendly, and really helped us to enjoy our tours. We really enjoyed all of this. We also enjoyed our private driver in the Chianti region. He was also very friendly and knowledgeable and did a great job taking us around. He even stopped for us and helped us buy a small dinner of lunch meats and cheeses before we went back to the Castle. We didn’t want to eat another large dinner after our very large lunch at Caffe Poliziano. Also, our chef that we cooked with in Firenze was awesome. She not only taught us how to cook some new Italian cuisine, but she was very nice and acted as our waiter when it was time to eat. A very nice woman and an awesome early afternoon.
I’ll be more brief concerning the activities and the tours. All tours were AWESOME and breathtaking. The Vatican, Ancient Rome, the Coliseum in Roma! The tour and Accademia Gallery museum in Firenze! The tour of Venice’s St. Marks and the Ducal! All simply incredible. We so very much enjoyed this. We felt very “special” to have private tour guides instead of following around a large group. All of these private tours really were well done with exceptional people!
We really enjoyed the wine country and the small medieval towns we visited. A couple of the towns were kind of Tourist traps, but understandable, since they were so beautiful. We also felt very special when we toured and ate lunch at the Fattoria San Donato. We couldn’t believe we had our own private room with a table full of wines and delicacies! Very impressed!
We were definitely “tipsy” when we left here! The food was excellent as well. The tour by the owner was also awesome. A very good time on a very nice day. We were lucky that almost all of our days were sun filled and moderate temperatures. Only two rainy mornings, but this conveniently occurred during our train, travel days.
The next day was also awesome. Our tour of Val D’Orcia and our lunch at Caffe Poliziano was fabulous. Again, we felt very special eating on the terrace overlooking the valley. The food and wine were incredibly good! After this, we went to the Poggio Antico winery. The tour of the winery by their young lady was very informative and interesting. There was much going on since grapes were being harvested that day. The winery was spotless and clean. We thoroughly enjoyed the tastings and agreed that the wines we had were probably the best we have had during our trip. We ordered a selection of wines, 18 bottles, and had them shipped to our home. We have since enjoyed two of those bottles already with friends. Very good quality!!
When we arrived in Venice, it was a bit chilly and we bundled up for our Gondola ride. We, of course, enjoyed this very much! There was an issue, though. Our voucher was for a ride of 40 minutes, but our actual ride only lasted 20. We did not complain since the gondola operators were very busy, but we thought that you should know.
All in All, a trip of a lifetime! A great Honeymoon! I couldn’t have been more happy with your service, Matteo – Very Well Done!!
Doug Gadsby (Monroe, NC) – OCTOBER 2015